Warrumbungle Area

With Australia’s largest optical telescope, three beautiful national parks and plenty of country charm, the Warrumbungle region is popular with stargazers and bushwalkers. The town closest to Warrumbungle National Park is Coonabarabran, known as the astronomy capital of Australia.

Coonabarabran is only 100 minutes’ drive northeast of Dubbo, which is five hours’ drive from Sydney. You can also fly to Dubbo and rent a car at the airport. Alternatively, you can drive to Coonabarabran via the Hunter Valley wine region or the World Heritage-listed Blue Mountains.

Scenic view from Breadknife and Grand High Tops

Warrumbungle National Park is Australia’s first dark sky park, where views of the pristine night sky are not obstructed by artificial light. During the day, explore the natural beauty of the wilderness, including the ancient volcanic mountain range, on walking trails to spectacular lookouts.

Check out the events calendar for shows and festivals in the region, including StarFest in October when the Siding Spring Observatory, on the edge of the national park, opens its optical telescope to the public for a day. The Exploratory exhibition at Siding Spring is open Tuesday to Saturday.

Star trails across the night sky, Whitegum lookout

For an earthly journey into the prehistoric past, visit the Australian Museum Diprotodon Exhibition in Coonabarabran and see the skeleton of the largest ever marsupial to have ever lived. A short drive northeast of Coonabarabran is Pilliga National Park, with its iconic inland landscapes.

Coonamble, northwest of Coonabarabran, is home to the biggest combined rodeo and campdraft in the Southern Hemisphere and the gateway to the Macquarie Marshes, a beautiful wetlands in the Great Western Plains. The annual Coonamble Rodeo and Campdraft is on the June long weekend.

Fossils at Wellington Caves, Warrumbungle Area

Accommodation options suit various budgets, including classic country pubs such as Hotel Dunedoo in charming Dunedoo, home to the Dunedoo Bush Poetry Festival and 65 minutes’ drive from Dubbo. Nearby is Coolah, a popular stop on the way to Coolah Tops National Park for cycling.

Things to do and places to stay

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  1. Harmony Day

    Wednesday 21 March 2018 , Glen Innes

    At the Town Square of Glen Innes there will be a lunch held at 12pm for everyone to be able to experience culturally diverse food, you can bring along your food to share or to sell. Dress up is encouraged for the versatility of cultures. …

    21 Mar
  2. The Midwife

    Wednesday 21 March 2018 , Lismore

    Gifted midwife Claire (Frot) has led a quiet, focused life, dedicated to her profession and to the raising of her son as a single mother. But change is in the air; the local community maternity ward where she has worked for decades is to be…

    21 Mar
  3. Outback | Colour | Wind

    Thursday 22 March 2018 to Monday 30 April 2018 , Broken Hill

    Pop up art exhibition at the Lodge Outback Motel. It has long been their vision to use the public area at the Lodge Outback Motel to display art, so it is with great excitement that they have finally taken the steps towards making this new …

    22 Mar - 30 Apr
  4. Artist In Residence - Kate Kenworthy

    Thursday 22 March 2018 to Thursday 31 May 2018 , Wellington

    Artist In Residence - Kate Kenworthy has won the major art prize twice in the Wellington Quota Art Competition. People enter this competition from other areas and states from around Australia, the Wellington Quota Art Competition holds a hi…

    22 Mar - 31 May
  5. Cape Byron Lighthouse Friends

    Thursday 22 March 2018 to Wednesday 11 July 2018 , Byron Bay

    Looking for volunteer work with a view? If you’ve got a minimum of 3 hours a week to spare, come and be part of a friendly team at Cape Byron. Lead guided tours of the museum and lighthouse, sharing the area’s fascinating maritime history w…

    22 Mar - 11 Jul