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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Events

  1. Tour de Warrumbungles Weekend of Cycling

    Saturday 25 August 2018 , Coonabarabran

    *** Postponed 2017- Future dates to be confirmed at a later date *** Join the locals for a full weekend of cycling, fun and friendship. Start on Saturday with a 30 kilometre coffee ride and then the fast and furious time trial at 2pm that…

    25 Aug
  2. Riding the Lightwave of Technology

    Wednesday 26 September 2018 to Friday 28 September 2018 , Coonabarabran

    Riding the Lightwave of Technology brings scientists, researchers, community stakeholders, policymakers and industry leaders together to discuss the many aspects and impacts of light pollution and artificial light. During this three day co…

    26 Sep - 28 Sep
  3. Science in the Pub

    Event dates to be confirmed: September 2018 , Coonabarabran

    Join Professor Fred Watson and a line up of stellar guest panelists for a fun filled evening discussing the mysteries of the Universe including the much anticipated Astro Song live on stage!…

    28 Sep