One of the best purchases we’ve made while travelling is our annual zoo membership. It means that we can visit most of the zoos around Australia as many times as we like! Today we drove through the Taronga Western Plains Zoo outside Dubbo and took our time enjoying the animals we were interested in and skipping the ones we aren’t keen on.

Happy the hippo, Taronga Western Plains Zoo, Dubbo, NSW, October 2013
At the keeper's command, Happy the hippo opens his mouth so his teeth can be inspected.

White rhinoceroses, Taronga Western Plains Zoo, Dubbo, NSW, October 2013
A male white rhinoceros was born at the zoo in May this year and was given the name Macheo.

Lion lying on his back, Taronga Western Plains Zoo, Dubbo, NSW, October 2013
The big cats continue to be Aisha's favourites, and today the King of the Savannah was sunning his belly.

Sketching a wapiti (elk), Taronga Western Plains Zoo, Dubbo, NSW, October 2013
Brioni sits and sketches the wapiti (elk) that poses patiently for her under the trees.

Top tips for patting a wallaby, Taronga Western Plains Zoo, Dubbo, NSW, October 2013
A helpful sign in the Australian animal enclosure gives tips on how to get close to the wallabies.

Sneaking up on a wallaby, Taronga Western Plains Zoo, Dubbo, NSW, October 2013
Brioni gently approaches the wallaby.

Yellow-breasted robin, Taronga Western Plains Zoo, Dubbo, NSW, October 2013
The zoo is also home to great number of beautiful native birds, including this yellow-breasted robin (which is not really a robin/thrush).

Our leisurely visit took several hours, and we were glad to catch some of the keeper talks. We parked and explored and played and navigated using the handy maps given out at the admissions office. Although there were many animals we didn’t actually see, we had a terrific time and plan to return again on Sunday.