Heading North to Dubbo
We left Grong Grong and kept heading North along the Newell Highway with only a quick lunch stop next to the free camp along Lake Forbes. Click Here for a post about a previous stay at Forbes. After another long run until we finally pulled into a free camp spot at Ponto Falls between Dubbo and Wellington for a couple of nights. It is a large reserve located right along the river and has no facilities other than a single drop toilet. Wellington is only about 15km away and has all services normally found in a larger town.
Accommodation Rating – 3.5/5
|Location||Ponto Falls between Dubbo and Wellington|
|Dog Walks||Plenty along the river|
|Local Services||Wellington is a large town about 15 km away|
|Comment||Some people were annoyed by an irrigation pump that runs some of the time. It was not far from where we camped and it did not really bother us any more than the van up the road running a generator!|
Campsite at Ponto Falls between Dubbo and Wellington
Alan and John stayed back with the dogs for a day of R and R while I headed off with the cameras to spend the day at Dubbo Zoo. I had visited Dubbo and the Warrumbungles on a school excursion about 30 years ago and always wanted to go back to the area.
I have always found zoos to be bitter sweet - while they provide a great opportunity to see all sorts of animals, I saw quite a few displaying the behavioural issues common to animals that are bored and frustrated in captivity. Loved the Meerkats and many of the herbivores, but the big cats and elephants displayed fence pacing and other abnormal behaviours even in the generous enclosures provided. The zoo does provide a great day out for families but at $48 for my ticket I am not sure I will return in the near future! You can hire a bike or one of the overpriced electric carts ($99 for the day), I just drove the car around the big circuit - this was great as it saved me carrying the long lens around my neck all day.
When photographing wildlife you really need a looong lens to get close enough. I like to carry two camera bodies, one with a 70-200 and the other with a 200-500 to cover a range of focal lengths. Both have vibration reduction. An alternative would be a lens with a really large zoom range or a compact superzoom camera. I like to keep the aperture wide open and the shutterspeed fast at at least 1/500th sec to guard against animals moving and camera shake from the long lenses. Here are some of my images, keep scrolling there are a lot of photos!