Cars have lined up outside Taronga Western Plains Zoo on Monday to be the first through its gates, finally reopening after a shutdown forced by the COVID-19 pandemic more than two months ago.
Visitors were greeted by a beaming zoo director Steve Hinks, who said it was an exciting moment.
He is predicting the June long weekend "will definitely be a busy one" for the zoo.
"It's the first weekend where NSW residents can travel so people will no doubt be keen to enjoy a getaway with family and we are almost booked out for accommodation already," he said.
The zoo, Dubbo's premier tourist attraction reports that since it was announced travel restrictions would be lifted from June 1, its reservation team has been fielding a large number of inquiries for overnight stays.
"The upcoming winter school holidays and June long weekend will no doubt be a busy time for the zoo and regional tourism in general," Mr Hinks said.
"Tourism plays a key role for Dubbo's local economy contributing over $300 million dollars annually, so the zoo reopening and attracting visitors to the region will help in the local economic recovery from what has been a tough time with drought and COVID-19 impacts."
Guests were "responding to the COVID preventative measures well", Mr Hinks said.
"These first few days will always be the test and give us the opportunity to assess how everything is going," he said.
"We can then make any adjustments or changes necessary prior to the long weekend when visitor numbers will be higher."
Guests looking to visit the zoo are reminded they need to purchase their tickets online or register if they are a zoo friend member for their date of visit at www.taronga.org.au.