Warrumbungle Area

The iconic Warrumbungles is a mountain range created over millions of years from an extinct shield volcano. Unrivalled in Australia, the jagged volcanic silhouette rises sharply from eucalypt-dotted ridges amid surrounding plains. This is a spectacular destination for bushwalking and stargazing.

The nation’s largest optical telescope is just inside the  Warrumbungle National Park, the first Dark Sky Park in Australia. Galaxies of stars shimmer in the pristine night sky, free of artificial light. The town closest to the wilderness is Coonabarabran, known as the astronomy capital of Australia.

The Milky Way galaxy shining brightly, Warrumbungle National Park, NSW

You’ll discover other charming country towns and magnificent national parks in this wonderfully diverse region of NSW. There are art galleries to visit, fascinating museums to explore and thrilling rodeo to watch. You’ll see vivid murals on water towers and eye-catching sculptures by the road.

You’ll find plenty of heritage pubs and oodles of country hospitality. Coonabarabran is 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, drive to Coonabarabran via the Blue Mountains or Hunter Valley.

Hiker watching sunset over volcanic rock formations, Warrumbungle National Park

Check out the events calendar for festivals, exhibitions and traditional agricultural shows in the region. The celestial StarFest is on the October long weekend when the Siding Spring Observatory opens its optical telescope to the public. The Exploratory exhibition at Siding Spring is open all year.

For an earthly journey into the past, visit the Australian Museum Diprotodon Exhibition in Coonabarabran and see the skeleton of the largest marsupial to have ever lived. A short drive northeast of here is the vast Pilliga Forest. Pop into Pilliga Pottery for lovely gifts or a master class.

Aboriginal guided tour of sandstone caves, Pilliga National Park

The nickname capital is Coonamble, northwest of Coonabarabran. The town hosts Australia’s biggest combined rodeo and campdraft every June long weekend. Billboards on the main street are adorned with portraits of local characters with their nicknames – the unconventional Nickname Hall of Fame.

Accommodation ranges from camping and caravan parks to motels, B&Bs and pubs such as the Hotel Dunedoo in Dunedoo, home of the Dunedoo Bush Poetry Festival and 65 minutes’ drive from Dubbo. Nearby is Coolah, a popular stop on the way to the Coolah Tops National Park’s mountain bike trails.

THINGS TO DO AND PLACES TO STAY

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Events

  1. Dunedoo Show

    Saturday 09 February 2019 to Sunday 10 February 2019 , Dunedoo

    The Dunedoo Show is a spectacular event - one of the best shows in the west! Come along and enjoy a great day and night of entertainment in a great country atmosphere. There will be steer and poddy calf riding, dog jumping, whip cracking,…

    09 Feb - 10 Feb
  2. Binnaway Show

    Event dates to be confirmed: February 2019 , Warrumbungle Area

    A beaut little country show. A great day out for families with free entry for kids under 12, free face painting, animal nursery, reptile show, rides and all of the show favourites.…

  3. Dunedoo Bush Poetry Festival

    Thursday 28 February 2019 to Sunday 03 March 2019 , Dunedoo

    This weekend of Bush Poetry has something for everyone - kids and adults alike. Commencing with the allocation of Poets Brawl titles and plenty of time to work out your piece, registration and Meet and Greet on Thursday at the Dunedoo…

    28 Feb - 03 Mar