Warrumbungle Area


From stargazing to bushwalking, discover the Warrumbungle region’s ancient volcanic mountain range, beautiful national parks, abundant wildlife and observatories. You’ll also find friendly towns, a spectacular rodeo and the largest marsupial ever to have lived.

  • Guided tour, Pilliga National Park
  • Horizon lookout, Warrumbungle National Park

About the Warrumbungle region

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

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 Warrumbungle National Park

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, Central NSW

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.

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Local areas

  • Coolah Enjoy cycling and camping in Coolah Tops National Park, with its waterfalls, tall eucalypts and abundant wildlife.
  • Coonabarabran Home to Warrumbungle National Park and the Siding Spring Observatory, this is Australia’s stargazing capital.
  • Coonamble Coonamble is a delightful country town, the gateway to the wetlands of the Macquarie Marshes and the rugged
  • Dunedoo A pretty town on the banks of the Talbragar River, it’s a perfect stopover and home to a lively bush poetry festival.