New South Wales
Overlooking Dubbo from the suburb of West Dubbo.jpg
Overlooking the city from West Dubbo
Dubbo is located in New South Wales
Population: 38,037[1] (37)
Established: 1849
Postcode: 2830
Coordinates: 32°15′25″S 148°36′4″E / 32.25694°S 148.60111°E / -32.25694; 148.60111Coordinates: 32°15′25″S 148°36′4″E / 32.25694°S 148.60111°E / -32.25694; 148.60111
Elevation: 275 m (902 ft) [2]
Time zone:

 • Summer (DST)



Location: 400 km (249 mi) NW of Sydney[3][4]
LGA: City of Dubbo
Region: Central West
County: Lincoln
State District: Dubbo
Federal Division: Parkes
Mean max temp Mean min temp Annual rainfall
24.3 °C
76 °F
10.1 °C
50 °F
551.7 mm
21.7 in
Japanese garden in Dubbo

Dubbo (play /ˈdʌb/)[5] is a city in the Orana Region of New South Wales, Australia. It is the largest population centre in the Orana region, with an estimated population of 38,037[1] and serves an estimated catchment of 130,000.[6]

It is located at the intersection of the Mitchell, Newell and Golden highways. Dubbo is located approximately 275 m (902 ft) above sea level, 303 km (188 mi) [3] north-west of the state capital Sydney (400 km/249 mi [7] by road) and is a major road and rail freight hub to other parts of New South Wales. Dubbo is considered the cross-roads of New South Wales.[citation needed] It is linked by national highways north to Brisbane, south to Melbourne, east to Sydney and Newcastle, and west to Broken Hill and Adelaide.

Dubbo is included in the rainfall records and weather forecast region for the Central West Slopes[8] and in the Central West Slopes and Plains division of the Bureau of Meteorology forecasts.[9]



Evidence of habitation by Indigenous Australians dates back approximately 40,000 years.

The explorer, John Oxley, was the first European to report on the area now known as Dubbo in 1818.[10] The first permanent settler in the area was Robert Dulhunty, described as one of the wealthiest citizens in the Australian colony at the time. There are records of squatters being given permission to set up large sheep and cattle stations in the area in 1824 but these were not maintained.[citation needed] Dulhunty occupied a property, known as Dubbo station (established in 1828),[10] from the early 1830s on a squatting basis. With the passing of the Squatting Act in 1836 he took out a licence on the property.[11]

Dulhunty showed an affinity with Indigenous Australians, his party included some 40 Aborigines and he favoured using Aboriginal names for properties, including Dubbo. Dubbo is now thought to be a mispronunciation of the local Wiradjuri word "Thubbo" but because of a lack of precise records from Dulhunty at the time and an incomplete knowledge of the Wiradjuri language today there is some conjecture over the word's meaning. A popular current theory is the word means "red earth," consistent with the local landscape. It is also possible that Thubbo or Tubbo is Wiradjuri for "head covering"[12] – a theory put forward to support this name is that the shape of Dulhunty's house may have looked like a hat to the local people.[citation needed]

Dundullimal Homestead is a farmhouse from that period, built around 1840 by John Maugham on his 26,000-acre (11,000 ha) sheep station. The building is one of the oldest homesteads still standing in western NSW and today is open to visitors.

In 1846, due to the number of settlers in the area, the government decided to establish a courthouse, police station and lock-up in the Dubbo area. A constables residence was completed in 1847 and a wooden slab construction courthouse and lock-up in early 1848. By this time, the settlement had only four buildings; the constables residence, courthouse and lock-up, a store and an inn.

Due to the lack of title for the land, in 1848 the storekeeper, Jean Emile Serisier, organised a petition asking for a land sale of town allotments. The plan was presented to the colony's Surveyor General in May 1849 by surveyor G. Boyle White.[11] The settlement was gazetted as a village in November 1849 with the first land sales taking place in 1850.[10] Population growth was slow until the Victorian gold rush of the 1860s brought an increase in north-south trade. The first bank was opened in 1867. Steady population growth saw the town proclaimed a municipality in 1872, when its population was 850. The railway extension of the main western railway from Wellington to Dubbo was formally opened on 1 February 1881.[13][14][15] By 1897, Dubbo had a general store, Carrier Arms, a slab courthouse, a gaol and a police hut. The final section of the Molong to Dubbo railway opened in late May 1925.[16][17]

Dubbo was officially proclaimed a city in 1966.[18]


The city's largest employer is the Fletcher International Exports, which exports lamb to the world.[19] Other local industries reflect the city's status as a regional base in an area whose economic backbone is agricultural.

A large employer is the Dubbo Base Hospital, and "health services" are the local area's largest employer[citation needed], as the town provides medical services to the surrounding region.


The main commercial area of Dubbo

Dubbo is also considered a major shopping centre for the surrounding regional areas in the Central and Far Western districts of New South Wales. Dubbo has many shopping districts including, but not limited to, the large Orana Mall (East Dubbo), Macquarie and Talbragar Streets (City Centre), Centro Dubbo, Riverdale and Tamworth Street local stores (South Dubbo). Dubbo also has many boutiques and unique stores as well as major national stores including Target, Coles, Woolworths, Mitre 10 Home & Trade, Bunnings, Myer, Harris Scarfe, Big W, The Good Guys and Harvey Norman.

Planning is currently under way for a new suburban shopping centre in West Dubbo. The centre will contain a new Woolworths supermarket (Dubbo's third) and 15 smaller retail shops.[20]


Tourism is also a significant local industry. Dubbo features the open-range Taronga Western Plains Zoo, which is home to various species of endangered animals, including the White, Black and Indian Rhinoceros', and runs a successful breeding program for a number of endangered species. The zoo is home to numerous specimens from around the world in spacious open-range moat enclosures, grouped according to their continent of origin. Other town attractions include the historic Dundullimal Homestead and the historic Old Dubbo Gaol in the middle of the commercial centre of Macquarie Street. The recently opened Western Plains Cultural Centre includes four gallery exhibition spaces, two Museum exhibition spaces and a Community Arts Centre.


There are 20 schools and secondary colleges including the Dubbo school of Distance Education. Dubbo is home to one of the four main campuses of Charles Sturt University which is located next to the Dubbo College Senior Campus.


The Macquarie River runs through Dubbo, as does Troy Creek. The City of Dubbo lies within a transition zone between the ranges and tablelands of the Great Dividing Range to the east and the Darling Basin plains to the west.


Dubbo is located within a climatic transition zone between temperate and semi-arid climates. Summers are warm to hot, and winters cool to cold, that bring some occurrences of early morning frost.

Dubbo's location in the transition area between the Central Tablelands and the Western Plains have provided a mild distribution of rainfall throughout the year. Dubbo's wettest month is January with an average rainfall of 60.1mm (2.36 inches) occurring on average over five days. Evaporation in the Dubbo area averages approximately 1880mm (74 inches) per year.

Wind patterns are ongoing over the whole year. The prevailing winds at Dubbo are from the southeast, south, southwest and west, which account for a combined 64.4% of the wind direction over the whole year.[21]

Climate data for Dubbo
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 33.0
Average low °C (°F) 17.9
Precipitation mm (inches) 60.7
Source: [22]

Notable people

  • Jean Emile Serisier was Dubbo's first businessman and the leader. He held many important positions including Post Master, Justice to the Gaol and was Magistrate from 1862.[23] He is also credited with works to advance the town including schools, Catholic Church, bridge (named after him) and Hospital.[24][25][26]
  • Reggie McNamara and Bob Spears – Early twentieth century international cycling stars
  • Kate Leigh - Sydney underworld figure who rose to prominence as an illegal trader of alcohol and cocaine in Surry Hills during the first half of the Twentieth Century and was a leading figure in the notorious Sydney Razor Gang Wars.
  • Suzanne Grae, founder of the fashion label bearing her name, was born in Dubbo in 1968.[27]
  • Andrew Ryan – Rugby League player
  • Luke Priddis – Rugby League player
  • David Peachey – Former NRL Rugby League player
  • Geoffrey Lancaster – International concert pianist
  • Thirsty Merc – Australian Rock Band
  • Dean Pay – Former Rugby League International, grew up and retired in Dubbo
  • Kirsty Lee Allan – Actress in Australian drama series Sea Patrol
  • Kyle Noke – International MMA fighter, UFC fighter (Ultimate Fighting Championship)
  • Megan Dunn – Cyclist winning two gold in the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games
  • Lizzy Gardiner -costume designer
  • The Reels – 1980s pop band
  • Adrian Leijer – Australian international soccer player
  • Damien Shortis – Norwegian international cricketer, who recently captained the side in the ICC World Cricket League Division Seven[28]
  • Steve Peacocke - actor, known for his role in soap opera Home and Away


Dubbo has several fine examples of Victorian civic architecture including the (second) Courthouse (1887), the Lands Office with its use of timber and corrugated iron cladding, and the railway station (1881).[29] Towards the centre of the city the older residential areas contain numerous examples of red brick houses built in the "California Bungalow" style of the early 20th century, together with Victorian terraced houses (Mostly in the Darling Street area) and a few Edwardian semi-detached homes.

Dubbo Courthouse.jpg The Lands Building.jpg California Bungalow Styled Home.jpg Terrace in Dubbo New South Wales.jpg Edwardian Semi Detached Homes.jpg
Courthouse Lands Building California Bungalow Victorian Terraces Edwardian 'Semis'


Dubbo railway station lies on the Main Western railway line between Sydney and Bourke and opened in 1881.[13] The station is the terminus of a daily CountryLink XPT train service which operates to and from Sydney. Dubbo also has its own recently upgraded airport, Dubbo Airport, with daily flights to Sydney (Qantas, REX, Airlink), Broken Hill (REX and Airlink), and other small out-back New South Wales towns (Airlink). Buses also service Dubbo, with major runs to Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.


Local print media include:

  • The Daily Liberal
  • Dubbo Weekender
  • The Weekly Dubbo Photo News
  • The Weekly Mailbox Shopper

Dubbo is home to the Rural Press Central West Regional Hub, which prints many of Rural Press' local newspapers from across the state in the city. Regional Business magazine is also printed locally.

Three commercially licensed radio stations broadcast in the city:

  • Star FM – broadcasts on FM 93.5, playing popular and hit music.
  • 2DU – Local heritage station which broadcasts on AM 1251.
  • Zoo FM – Rock music station which broadcasts on FM 92.7

ABC Radio also has a studio in the city:

  • ABC Western Plains – Local news and talk on 95.9FM

ABC Radio broadcasts five services to the Dubbo area; ABC Local, ABC Radio National, Triple J, ABC Classic FM, and News Radio.

The city also has narrowcast stations on 90.3 FM Racing Radio, a tourist radio station and a country music station. The city has one community station, Rhema FM which broadcasts Christian music.

Dubbo has 5 television stations that broadcast in both analogue and digital transmission formats :

Ten additional free-to-air digital television channels are now available in Dubbo. These channels include ABC2, ABC3, ABC News 24, One HD, Eleven, GEM HD, GO!, 7TWO, 7mate and SBS Two.

Prime7 and WIN Television both produce half-hour long local news bulletins. Prime7 News screens at 6 pm, while WIN News screens at 6.30 pm from Monday to Friday.

Subscription Television services are provided by Austar.

Sport and recreation

Sport plays a big role in Dubbo's community life. Rugby league is popular in Dubbo. Two teams compete in the Group 11 Rugby League – the Dubbo CYMS and Dubbo Macquarie Raiders. The city also has an Australian rules football team, the Dubbo Demons who were premiers in the Central West Australian Football League in 2007. There are also two rugby union teams, the Dubbo Kangaroos (Roos) and the Dubbo Rhinos, which compete in the Central West Rugby competition.

Dubbo has a turf club, which incorporates a pony club, horse racing and organises shows and gymkhana. Ultimate Frisbee is a new sport to the town and is rapidly growing in popularity. The Dubbo Meerkats have been Champions of Western NSW for the years 2005–2007 and are hosting the inaugural National Country Ultimate Championships in 2008.[dated info] The 'Dubbo Rams' compete in the men's and women's NSW State Basketball Leagues. Netball is also popular in Dubbo with competitions every weekend for all age groups during netball season at the Nita McGrath netball courts near the Macquarie River in Central Dubbo. Dubbo has a large Junior and Senior Hockey Association with over 1500 registered members, playing on one of the best[citation needed] synthetic hockey fields in the central west. Soccer is very popular particularly among children. Dubbo has its own all-age men's and women's competition and has three teams – Dubbo FC Bulls, Westside Panthers and Orana Spurs – who compete in the Western Premier League.

In 2007 Dubbo hosted the Junior World Orienteering Championships with most of the events held in the granite outcrops of the nearby Sappa Bulga Range. From this event the orienteering club Western Plains Orienteers was born. Other sports popular in Dubbo include cricket, lawn bowls, golf.

Annual events

Dubbo Multicultural Festival

Every September, the Multicultural Festival has a Parade & Festival in Victoria park, & the following weekend a Dinner and Concert, held at the Dubbo Regional Theatre and Convention Centre. The festival is about celebrating the unity of cultural diversity within the region with over 70 nationalities represented in the community. Enjoy the performances by local and state-wide performers of all cultures and partake of the multicultural cuisine on offer.

Dubbo Show

The annual agricultural show, held around April/May of each year, is a major event for Dubbo and surrounding areas.

Dubbo National Steer Show

This event is the annual domestic steer and heifer (cattle) hoof and hook show. Each year over 100 beef carcase cattle are judged live (hoof) as led or un-led and dead (hook). It is also the annual young judges, auctioneers and paraders competition. These events are very popular among the schools and colleges of the New South Wales area.[citation needed]

Dubbo City Eisteddfod

The Dubbo Eisteddfod is held annually at Dubbo Civic Centre, with students from Dubbo as well as surrounding regions including Gilgandra, Wellington, Orange, Gulgong, Narromine and Bathurst competing in the various sections.This involves Speech, Drama, Instrumental & Dance. The Eisteddfod runs from May until July each year.

See also


  1. ^ a b "3218.0 - Regional Population Growth, Australia, 2009-10: Population Estimates by Statistical District, 2001 to 2010". Australian Bureau of Statistics. 31 March 2011. http://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/DetailsPage/3218.02009-10?OpenDocument. Retrieved 23 August 2011.  Estimated resident population (ERP) at 30 June 2010.
  2. ^ "DCC Annual Report" (PDF). Dubbo City Council. published 2005. Archived from the original on 28 September 2007. http://web.archive.org/web/20070928203459/http://www.dubbo.nsw.gov.au/repositories/files/2006062610194237/DCC+Annual+Report.pdf. Retrieved 30 December 2007.  (refer page 7)
  3. ^ a b "Great Circle Distance between DUBBO and SYDNEY". Cocky Flies. Geoscience Australia. http://www.ga.gov.au/bin/distancedraw2?rec1=106743&placename=sydney&placetype=0&state=NSW&place1=DUBBO&place1long=148.601196&place1lat=-32.248501. Retrieved 27 August 2011. 
  4. ^ Dubbo lies at a bearing of 307° from Sydney
  5. ^ Macquarie Dictionary, Fourth Edition (2005). Melbourne, The Macquarie Library Pty Ltd. ISBN 1-876429-14-3
  6. ^ "Dubbo City – Moving online and moving ahead". Australian Government. Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy. 6 February 2008. http://archive.dbcde.gov.au/2008/01/communities_online/dubbo. Retrieved 19 April 2008. .
  7. ^ "Driving directions to Sydney NSW". Google Maps Australia driving directions. Google. http://maps.google.com.au/maps?saddr=Dubbo,+New+South+Wales&daddr=Sydney+NSW&hl=en&ll=-32.245329,149.002075&spn=2.675927,4.938354&sll=-33.023285,149.90396&sspn=2.652793,4.938354&geocode=FVDME_4dF3nbCCmFHs5KrXEPazFgeUOQtAkGBA%3BFZsz-_0dszwDCSnFAZBWlpcSazFgqDIWaH0BBA&vpsrc=0&mra=ls&z=8. Retrieved 27 August 2011. 
  8. ^ Weather, The Land newspaper, 2009-10-29, Rural Press, North Richmond, NSW
  9. ^ New South Wales Forecast Areas Map Retrieved 2010-1-27
  10. ^ a b c "Australian Heritage - Dubbo". Australian Heritage - Historical Towns Directory. Heritage Australia Publishing. http://www.heritageaustralia.com.au/search.php?state=NSW&region=102&view=443. Retrieved 7 November 2011. 
  11. ^ a b Hornage, Bill (1974). Old Dubbo Gaol. Gaol Restoration Committee of the Dubbo Museum and Historical Society. pp. 4–5. ISBN 0959843604. 
  12. ^ "PLACE NAMES.". The Australian Women's Weekly (1932–1982) (1932–1982: National Library of Australia): p. 61. 13 May 1964. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article55185386. Retrieved 22 February 2011. 
  13. ^ a b Bozier, Rolfe. "Dubbo Station". NSWrail.net. http://www.nswrail.net/locations/show.php?name=NSW:Dubbo&line=NSW:main_west:0. Retrieved 7 November 2011. 
  14. ^ "EXTENSION OF THE RAILWAY FROM WELLINGTON TO DUB[?."]. The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954) (NSW: National Library of Australia): p. 3. 31 January 1881. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article13483388. Retrieved 7 November 2011. 
  15. ^ "OUR RAILWAYS.". The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954) (NSW: National Library of Australia): p. 7. 14 February 1881. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article13481596. Retrieved 7 November 2011. 
  16. ^ "RAILWAYS.". The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954) (NSW: National Library of Australia): p. 21. 30 May 1925. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article16224383. Retrieved 7 November 2011. 
  17. ^ Bozier, Rolfe. "Molong-Dubbo Line". NSWrail.net. http://www.nswrail.net/lines/show.php?name=NSW:molong_dubbo. Retrieved 7 November 2011. 
  18. ^ "Geographical Names register Extract: Dubbo". Geographical Names Board of New South Wales. http://www.gnb.nsw.gov.au/name_search/extract?id=SXwGwpZTTR. Retrieved 30 December 2007. 
  19. ^ "Program aims to cut Dubbo unemployment". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 24 June 2005. http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2005/06/24/1399611.htm. Retrieved 19 April 2008. .
  20. ^ "Application lodged for west Dubbo shopping centre". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 11 March 2005. http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2008/03/11/2186086.htm?site=centralwest. Retrieved 7 July 2009. 
  21. ^ http://www.dubbo.nsw.gov.au/AboutDubbo/ClimateInformation.html
  22. ^ "Climate statistics for Dubbo". Australian Bureau of Meteorology. http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/averages/tables/cw_065012.shtml. 
  23. ^ "Serisier, Jean Emile (1824–1881)". Australian Dictionary of Biography, Online. http://www.adb.online.anu.edu.au/biogs/A060120b.htm. Retrieved 19 April 2008. 
  24. ^ "Shoyoen Sister City Garden & Jurian Ceremonial Tea House Points of Interest" (PDF). Dubbo City Council. http://www.dubbo.nsw.gov.au/repositories/files/ShoyoenGarden.pdf. Retrieved 19 April 2008. [dead link]
  25. ^ Dubbo The City and its History by Bill Hornage
  26. ^ Dubbo City on the Plains by Marion Dormer
  27. ^ "Suzanne Grae, About Us". Archived from the original on 3 May 2008. http://web.archive.org/web/20080503084015/http://www.suzannegrae.com.au/Dynamicpages.asp?cid=55&navid=55. Retrieved 7 June 2008. .
  28. ^ "Damien Shortis, Norway". http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/player/467841.html. 
  29. ^ "Dubbo". WalkAbout. http://www.walkabout.com.au/locations/NSWDubbo.shtml. Retrieved 19 April 2008. .

External links

Preceding station   NSW Main lines   Following station
towards Bourke
Main Western Line
towards Sydney
Preceding station   CountryLink Services   Following station
Terminus CountryLink Western
Dubbo XPT
towards Sydney

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