Sydney cityscape at sunset

The Sydney to Dubbo road trip is a popular route with campervan enthusiasts from all over Australia. But, just like any other road trip, it’s the sights along the way that really make it exciting! Today, we’re going to be looking at 12 of the best stops to check out between Sydney and Dubbo, with something to entertain every passenger.

What is the Driving Distance from Sydney to Dubbo?

The driving distance from Sydney to Dubbo is 398km and has an estimated driving time of 5 hours and 15 minutes, depending on the amount of traffic you encounter along the way.

Compared to some other Australian road trips, this isn’t the longest distance, but there are so many amazing things to see and do along the way that it makes the perfect route for a family road trip.

What Are Some Places We Recommend Checking Out Along the Way?

Below, we’re going to look at some of the best places to stop and explore when you’re taking on the Sydney to Dubbo road trip. From relaxing walks where you can stretch your legs to places to stop and grab lunch, we’ve covered all possible needs and wants.

  1. Sydney
  2. Leura
  3. Bathurst
  4. Orange
  5. Parkes
  6. Dubbo
Quick stats

398km trip distance

day roadtrip

Campervan recommended

road trip map



Sightseeing #1: Annie’s Ice Cream Parlour

The first place we recommend stopping on your road trip is Annie’s Ice Cream Parlour. Founded in 1983, you’ll find some of the best quality ice creams in Australia. Each batch is made fresh daily using premium ingredients and following a secret, original recipe. Fan-favourite flavours at Annie’s include passionfruit, caramel choc chip, cappuccino, and banana. There are dairy and gluten-free options available, too.

Sightseeing #2: Blue Mountains Botanic Garden

Australia’s oldest scientific institution, the Blue Mountains Botanic Garden is one of the most popular stops on the road trip from Sydney to Dubbo and offers the opportunity to stretch your legs and relax in nature. Here, you’ll find a collection of native and imported plants as well as fantastic walking trails. The gardens are surrounded by UNESCO World Heritage Area wilderness too, so you can make a game of how many native animals you can spot.



Sightseeing #1: Leura Cascades

One of the most popular stops in the Blue Mountains, Leura Cascades is reachable by following a short walking trail. Surrounded by ferns, trees, and native fauna, this beautiful waterfall offers a great place to catch a breath of fresh air and take a break from driving. The path to the cascades is concreted, making it easy to walk, and the viewpoint at the top provides an awesome photo op.

Sightseeing #2: Fortress Ridge

Another amazing natural beauty spot, Fortress Ridge is also an easy walking trail that is worth stopping at on your road trip from Sydney to Dubbo. Once you reach the rock, you’re offered unparalleled views of Grose Valley and Fortress Canyon, as well as the opportunity to spot wildlife.

For the more adventurous, you can also explore Dr Dark’s Cave while you’re here. This is a “frozen in time” moment that preserves the cave’s discoverer, Dr Eric Dark, and his family’s items left in the cave, who used it regularly as a secret retreat.

Sightseeing #3: Leura Village

Looking for souvenirs and gifts from your trip? We recommend heading to Leura Village, where you’ll find a few local shops selling wonderful homemade crafts, including candles, giftware, and clothing. There are plenty of places to eat here too, making it a great place to stop and get a hearty breakfast before you set out for the day. This is also a great place to pick up some lunch supplies for the day ahead.



Sightseeing #1: Mount Panorama Racing Circuit

A huge part of Australia’s sporting history, the Mount Panorama Racing Circuit offers the opportunity to see real life race cars in action! You’ll also find the National Motor Racing Museum here, which is the perfect mid way point stop for any racing enthusiast, showcasing memorabilia from all over Australia.

Sightseeing #2: Australian Fossil and Mineral Museum

There’s no denying that adults and young kids love dinosaurs and fossils, so why not indulge your inner paleontologist with a trip to the Australian Fossil and Mineral Museum? Here, you’ll find Australia’s largest collection of amber fossils, dinosaur egg fossils, and raw gemstones. There’s even a Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton that will both thrill and educate your family, and when you’re done, you can stop at the gift shop to commemorate your visit with a souvenir.

Sightseeing #3: Abercrombie Caves

This series of limestone caves have been carved out over time by water erosion, leaving behind some of the most exquisite and adventurer-enticing caves in Australia. You’ll also find the largest natural arch in the Southern Hemisphere here, aptly named “The Archway”.

There’s history to this site as well, dating back to the gold mining days of the 1860s. Guided tours are available, and purpose-built walkways take you around each of the caves safely. So, even if you prefer to explore by yourself, you’ll still be able to see these magnificent caves in all of their glory.



Sightseeing #1: Rowlee Wines

You’ll pass through Orange en route to Dubbo, and in this area, you’ll find some of Australia’s finest winemakers and vineyards. One of the most revered is Rowlee Wines, which offers you the opportunity to tour their vineyards, sample house wine, and enjoy a private picnic lunch surrounded by stunning views. You can also take part in a “Sensory Wine Experience” here, during which a dedicated host will guide you through different wines as you look over the vineyard estate. This is truly a wonderful way to spend an evening after a relaxing road trip.

Sightseeing #2: Lake Canobolas

Once you’ve had your fill of Orange’s amazing wine and food, we recommend heading to the beautiful Lake Canobolas. Fed by the meltwater from Mount Canobolas and Towac Valley, this tranquil lake is a fantastic place to spot native birdlife and wildlife, and you may even be lucky enough to see a platypus diving for prey on the lake’s silty bed.

Once you’ve worked up a hunger from exploring the area, the Lakeside Kiosk and Cafe provides a killer lunch menu made from delicious local produce. You can also order takeaway from here, so it’s perfect if you’re keen to get back on the road as soon as possible.

Sightseeing #3: Orange Adventure Playground

People travelling with small children will know all too well how important it is to keep them entertained and busy! Why not let them burn off some excess energy (and kill screen time) with a trip to Orange Adventure playground?

Here, they’ll be able to play on slides, swings, climbing obstacles, and more. There’s even a rock wall for the more adventurous child, as well as a designated bicycle track. Once everyone is exhausted, the cafe offers an excellent place to refuel, or if you prefer to cook for yourself, you can use the installed barbecues in the picnic area.



Sightseeing #1: King’s Castle Elvis Exhibit

For fans of all things “rock n roll”, The King’s Castle Elvis Exhibit in the Henry Parkes Centre is everything you could ever want to know about The King himself. You’ll find items from Elvis’ home and tours, along with some of his most famous stage outfits. Guided tours are available, and when you’re done, you’ll get the chance to purchase some exclusive memorabilia.

Sightseeing #2: CSIRO Parkes Observatory

The home of “Murriyang”, a 64-metre radio telescope that has been in action since 1961, CSIRO Parkes Observatory is an excellent place to make a pit stop if you’re a space lover. Here, you’ll learn how the radio telescopes work, the discoveries made at Parkes Observatory, and how it has played a significant role in Australia’s scientific history.

Sightseeing #3: Cooke Park

Located right in the centre of town, Cooke Park is a great place to enjoy a few games, picnic, or simply kick back and relax in lush green surroundings. There are towering pine trees throughout that provide shade where needed, as well as a playground with everything children need to keep entertained!

Cooke Park also has some interesting landmarks scattered throughout, including a colourful mural, Jaffa the Astronaut, and, of course, a statue of Elvis. There’s a public art trail you can follow too, which is perfect for any art enthusiast.



Sightseeing #1: Taronga Western Plains Zoo

As you pass through the charming regional town of Parkes and head towards the end of your epic road trip, take a day to visit Taronga Western Plains Zoo to see the huge collection of Australian, African, and Asian animals being cared for. Guided tours are available, and there are events you can take part in throughout the day, including a behind the scenes look at the zoo’s hippos.

You can also camp overnight at Taronga Western Plains Zoo, which is an amazing experience to mark the end of your journey. Campgrounds are on the Billabong Camp, and not only will you be sleeping under Dubbo’s starry night sky, but you’ll get the opportunity to see the zoo by night before heading off for the next driving stretch the following day.

Sightseeing #2: Old Dubbo Gaol

Are you looking to learn more about Australia’s historic towns? Before you reach your final destination, head to Old Dubbo Gaol and get a glimpse into the life of 19th century prisoners with tours of the cells, exhibits of historical items, and talks on attempted escapes. There are also immersive displays and theatrical performances throughout the day, bringing history to life and educating in an exciting way.

Sightseeing #3: Peak Hill

Head north of Dubbo, and you’ll reach Peak Hill, one of Australia’s best-loved small country towns. Here, you’ll find lots of popular tourist attractions, including Bogan Weir, the Flora and Flora Reserve Nature Walk, and the Open Cut Gold Mine.

Final Thoughts

Campervan driving on road in Australia

With so many wonderful places to visit on the Great Western Highway, it’s clear to see why it’s such a popular route, and one of the best ways of exploring it is by campervan. Speak to the Travellers Autobarn Team about hiring a campervan in Sydney with a free online quote, and you’ll be one step closer to this epic journey.

Or, check this out if you’re looking for more Sydney road trip ideas. So, what are you waiting for? Hit the road and discover everything the route from Sydney to Dubbo has to offer.

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