Arriving at Pericoe Retreat, about 12 kilometres from Dubbo's centre, feels like turning up at an old friend's country homestead.
Central West, NSW
12R Cassandra Drive, Dubbo
Phone: (02) 6887 2705; 0407 896 828
The location Regarded as the crossroads of NSW, all roads lead to Dubbo - or at least many major ones from the state capital, the Queensland and Victorian borders, Canberra and Broken Hill do. From Sydney, the nearly six-hour drive can be enlivened with pit stops in the Blue Mountains and Mudgee. For those taking the longer route through Bathurst, Orange is a hot spot for food and wine. There are also direct flights from Sydney and the CountryLink XPT terminates at Dubbo.
The place Arriving at Pericoe Retreat, about 12 kilometres from Dubbo's centre, feels like turning up at an old friend's country homestead. Wallabies keep watch as you wend your way up the long driveway to the house, where Barnaby and Kevin, the owners' Himalayan cats, greet you with furry indifference (expect more exuberance from the border collie pup, Buddy). Once settled in by your two-legged hosts, wander the gardens, retreat to whichever of the four spacious suites is your weekend home, or just enjoy the peace and quiet afforded by being tucked away on 10 hectares.
The experience Younger guests will enjoy chalking the snooker cue, hitting the floodlit tennis courts, or spending days around the pool - this is the perfect place to do as much or as little as you like. And if you decide that going to town for dinner is too hard with kids in tow, a range of up-market home-cooked meals allows you to eat in. (With mains priced at $34 to $38, they're not cheap, but country-sized serves add value.)
Don't miss Make like you're on safari in Africa at Taronga Western Plains Zoo (Obley Road; 02 6881 1400; taronga.org.au/taronga-western-plains-zoo); explore Old Dubbo Gaol (90 Macquarie Street; 02 6801 4460; olddubbogaol.com.au), which uses animatronics and holographic displays to bring history to life; or browse more than 60 produce stalls at Dubbo Farmers Market (dubbofarmersmarket.org.au), held on the first and third Saturday mornings of each month.
Need to know
Cost: $485 a night for two adults, two children (includes afternoon tea and cooked breakfast, surcharge for single-night booking). Wi-Fi access included.
Where : 400km (5.5 hours' drive) north-west of Sydney.
Wheelchair access: No.