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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
Location in New South Wales
Population 38,392 (2018) (37)
 • Density 210.25/km2 (544.5/sq mi)
Established 1849
1966 (city)
Postcode(s) 2830
Elevation 275 m (902 ft)
Area 182.6 km2 (70.5 sq mi)
Time zone AEST (UTC+10)
 • Summer (DST) AEDT (UTC+11)
LGA(s) Dubbo Regional Council
Region Central West / Orana
County Gordon
State electorate(s) Dubbo
Federal Division(s) Parkes
Mean max temp Mean min temp Annual rainfall
24.7 °C
76 °F
10.3 °C
51 °F
569.8 mm
22.4 in
Dubbo garden
Japanese garden in Dubbo

Dubbo is a city in the Orana Region of New South Wales, Australia. It is the largest population centre in the Orana region, with a population of 38,392 at June 2018.

The city is located at the intersection of the Newell, Mitchell, and Golden highways. The nearest city, Orange, is about 144 km (89 mi) away. Dubbo is located roughly 275 m (902 ft) above sea level, 303 km (188 mi) north-west of Sydney (400 km (249 mi) by road) and is a major road and rail freight hub to other parts of New South Wales. 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 and weather forecast region for the Central West Slopes and in the Central West Slopes and Plains division of the Bureau of Meteorology forecasts.


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

The explorer and surveyor John Oxley (1784–1828, born, Yorkshire, England) was the first European to report on the area now known as Dubbo in 1818. The first permanent European settler in the area was English born 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. Dulhunty occupied a property, known as Dubbo station (established in 1828), 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.

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" – 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.

Dubbo War Memorial
Dubbo War Memorial

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. The settlement was gazetted as a village in November 1849 with the first land sales taking place in 1850. Population growth was slow until the Victorian gold rush of the 1860s brought an increase in north-south trade. In 1857 Schloeffel's populated dubbo. 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. 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.

Dubbo was officially proclaimed a city in 1966.


Towards the Warrumbungles from Dubbo
Plains of the Dubbo region, towards the Warrumbungles.

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 falls in the warm temperate climate zone. Under Köppen climate classification, Dubbo has a humid subtropical climate (Cfa) that borders the semi-arid climate (BSh). Summers are warm to hot, and winters cool to cold, that bring some occurrences of early morning frost but generally no snowfall–unlike the nearby city of Orange. The last occurrence of snow was recorded by The Dubbo Liberal and Macquarie Advocate in 1900. The town's location in this transition area also allows a large temperature variation during the year, with high summer temperatures, sometimes peaking above 40 °C (104 °F) typical of the Western Plains of New South Wales and colder sub-zero temperatures typical of the Central Tablelands in winter.

Dubbo's location in the transition area between the Central Tablelands and the Central Western Plains have provided a mild distribution of rainfall throughout the year. Dubbo's wettest month is January with an average rainfall of 60.1 millimetres (2.37 in) occurring on average over five days. Evaporation in the Dubbo area averages approximately 1,880 millimetres (74 in) per year. Dubbo is considerably sunny, receiving 148.6 days of clear skies annually, in contrast to Sydney's 104 days.

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.

Climate data for Dubbo
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 45.2
Average high °C (°F) 33.0
Average low °C (°F) 17.9
Record low °C (°F) 5.8
Average rainfall mm (inches) 60.7
Average rainy days (≥ 0.2mm) 5.9 5.4 5.1 4.7 6.1 8.1 7.9 7.4 6.7 6.8 6.1 5.8 76
Average relative humidity (%) 37 39 40 44 53 58 57 51 45 39 36 33 44


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


Dubbo City Airport
Dubbo City Regional Airport

Dubbo railway station lies on the Main Western railway line between Sydney and Bourke and opened in 1881. Dubbo station is the terminus for the daily NSW TrainLink Central West XPT service from Sydney with connecting road coach services to Broken Hill, Bourke, Cootamundra, Lightning Ridge and Nyngan. The Mindyarra Maintenance Centre is scheduled to open 700 metres to the east of the station in the early 2020s, as the home depot for the NSW TrainLink Regional Train fleet.

Dubbo Buslines operate services within the city. BusBiz operate coach services under contract to NSW TrainLink and maintain a depot in the city.

Dubbo City Regional Airport has flights to Sydney (QantasLink, Regional Express), Newcastle (FlyPelican), Canberra (FlyPelican) and other small outback New South Wales towns (Airlink).

Sport and recreation

Sports play a big role in Dubbo's community life. Rugby league is popular in Dubbo. Three teams compete in the Group 11 Rugby League – the Dubbo CYMS, Dubbo Westside 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. Two rugby union teams are active, the Dubbo Kangaroos (Roos) and the Dubbo Rhinos, which compete in the Central West Rugby competition, the Blowes Clothing Cup. Dubbo Junior Cricket Association conducts cricket for over 500 children aged between 5 and 16 during October to March and also conducts first-, second-, and third-grade competitions during this time.

Dubbo has a turf club, which incorporates a pony club and horse racing, and organises shows and gymkhana. Ultimate Frisbee is a new sport to the town and is rapidly growing in popularity.

Disc golf basket Dubbo
Basket used as "hole" in Frisbee golf. A course has been established on the riverside park near Ian Drake Drive.

The Dubbo Ultimate Frisbee Federation (DUFF) is the local Ultimate club and organises a local league and the Dubbo Meerkats Mixed rep side. 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 representative teams for all ages, while also participating in the Premier League Hockey Competition in both the Men's (Dubbo Lions) and Women's (Dubbo Blue Jays). 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. Dubbo also has one of the only 10 lane pools outside of Sydney in NSW, the Dubbo Aquatic and Leisure Centre. The centre hosts meets through the Western Swimming Association (and affiliated clubs Dubbo City Swimtech and Orana Aquatic) and school carnivals.

Dubbo's Caltex Park hosted the annual City vs Country Origin match in 2006, with an attendance of 11,423, and in 2014, with an attendance of more than 9,600 in rainy conditions.

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 lawn bowls, via the huge variety of bowling clubs, and golf (on Dubbo's 27-hole golf course).

Annual events and culture

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 statewide 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 with a carnival like atmosphere.

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.

Dubbo City Eisteddfod

The Dubbo Eisteddfod is held annually at Dubbo Regional Theatre and Convention 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.

Dubbo International Body Building Championships

Dubbo International Body Building Championships is an annual natural bodybuilding event that has been held in the city for last 26 years. The INBA Dubbo Natural Physique Titles competition is sanctioned by INBA Australia, which is the Australian affiliate of the International Natural Bodybuilding Association.


The city's largest private employer is Fletcher International Exports, which exports lamb and mutton globally. Other local industries reflect the city's status as a regional base for surrounding agricultural regions.

A large employer is the Dubbo Base Hospital, with hospitals (excluding psychiatric hospitals) being the area's single largest employer.


Dubbo, NSW
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 the large and very recently renewed Orana Mall (East Dubbo), Macquarie and Talbragar Streets (City Centre), Centro Dubbo, Riverdale, and Tamworth Street local stores (South Dubbo). Dubbo features many boutiques and unique stores, as well as major national stores including Myer, Big W, Kmart (replaced Target in October 2020), Officeworks, Coles, Woolworths, Mitre 10, Bunnings Warehouse, The Good Guys, Harvey Norman, JB Hi-Fi, Sportsmans Warehouse and The Coffee Club.

A new suburban shopping centre in West Dubbo contains a Woolworths supermarket (Dubbo's third) and 15 smaller retail shops.


Giraffa camelopardalis -Taronga Western Plains Zoo, near Dubbo, New South Wales, Australia-8a
Taronga Western Plains Zoo

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 rhinoceroses, 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 Western Plains Cultural Centre includes four gallery exhibition spaces, two museum exhibition spaces, and a community arts centre. The Royal Flying Doctor Service base at Dubbo airport has a large visitor information centre, staffed by volunteers, which features a King Air 200 turboprop aircraft and a variety of touch-screen interactive displays illustrating aspects of RFDS operations.


In June 2018, the population of Dubbo was 38,392; 51.9% of residents were female and 48.9% were male. The median age is 36, slightly younger than the national average of 38. People aged 0–14 constitute 21.2% of the population compared to 18.7% nationally, and 14.6% of residents are Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander; the median age in this group is 21.

About 84.5% of residents report being born in Australia, notably higher than the national average of 66.7%. Other than Australia, the most common countries of birth are England (1.0%), India (0.9%), New Zealand (0.8%), Nepal (0.5%), Bangladesh (0.5%), and the Philippines (0.5%). The most common reported ancestries in Dubbo are Australian, English, and Irish.

Around 76.8% of residents report both parents having been born in Australia, significantly higher than the national average of 47.3%. About 87.6% of people only spoke English at home. Other languages spoken at home included Nepali (0.5%), Bangla (0.5%), Mandarin (0.4%), Malayalam (0.3%), Tagalog (0.3%), and Sinhalese (0.3%).

The top religious groups in Dubbo are Catholic (30.4%), Anglican (23.2%), and Uniting Church (5.2%); 17.9% reported no religion (lower than the 29.6% nationally) and 9.0% did not answer the question.


The 20 schools and secondary colleges include the Dubbo School of Distance Education. It is home to one of the four main campuses of Charles Sturt University, which is located next to the Senior Campus of Dubbo College (successor to Dubbo High School, founded in 1917). There are three private K-12 schools located in Dubbo which are Macquarie Anglican Grammar School, Dubbo Christian School and St Johns College.

Notable people

  • Kirsty Lee Allan – actress in Australian drama series Sea Patrol
  • Frederick William Bamford (1849–1934) – politician
  • Braidon Burns, rugby league player for the Canterbury Bulldogs
  • Matt Burton, rugby league player for the Canterbury Bulldogs
  • Brandon Costin – former NRL player
  • Les Davidson – former NRL international
  • Megan Dunn – cyclist winning two gold in the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games.
  • Kaide Ellis, rugby league player for the St. George Illawarra Dragons
  • Lizzy Gardiner – costume designer
  • Luke Garner – second row for NRL Club West Tigers
  • Pearl Gibbs (1901–1983) - Aboriginal leader, lived and died in Dubbo
  • Margaret Packham Hargrave – writer, poet, local poultry farmer, wrote for Daily Liberal
  • Ella Havelka (born 1989), first Indigenous person to join The Australian Ballet
  • Geoffrey Lancaster – international concert pianist
  • Kate Leigh – Sydney sly grog bar operator
  • Adrian Leijer – Australian international soccer player
  • Ben McCalman - Australian rugby union player (Western Force, Wallabies)
  • Glenn McGrath – Australian international cricketer, born in Dubbo and raised in Narromine
  • Amy Mills (1986–) – Australian Deaflympic gold medallist
  • Kyle Noke – international MMA fighter, UFC fighter (Ultimate Fighting Championship)
  • Dean Pay – former NRL international and coach, grew up and retired in Dubbo
  • David Peachey – former NRL player
  • Steve Peacocke – actor, known for his role in soap opera Home and Away
  • Luke Priddis – former NRL player
  • The Reels – 1980s pop band, founders: John Bliss, Craig Hooper, Dave Mason
  • Andrew Ryan – former NRL player and current ABC Radio Grandstand Rugby League sideline expert
  • Jean Emile Serisier was Dubbo's first businessman.
  • Robert Adam Spears (1893–1950) – professional cyclist
  • Nicole Sykes – Australian International soccer player, and captain for Canberra United
  • Ashleigh Sykes – Australian International soccer player
  • Thirsty Merc – Australian rock band
  • Barrie Unsworth – 36th Premier of New South Wales
  • Isaah Yeo – rugby league player and co-captain for the Penrith Panthers

Images for kids

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Dubbo para niños

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