Warrumbungle Area

Big sky country

Think you’ve seen the sky? You ain’t seen nothing until you visit the Warrumbungle region, home of Australia’s first Dark Sky Park (an honour bestowed on only 13 places in the world) – where zero light pollution means the night sky is beyond vivid. Add in the jagged volcanic landscapes of Warrumbungle National Park, and you have Mother Nature at her very best. 

Things to do

Created over millions of years from an extinct shield volcano, the jagged volcanic silhouette of the Warrumbungles rises sharply from eucalypt-dotted ridges amid surrounding plains. Free from artificial light, the national park offers fantastic bushwalking and stargazing opportunities.

The town closest to the wilderness is Coonabarabran, known as the astronomy capital of Australia. Visit the Siding Spring Observatory to see Australia’s largest optical telescopes or gaze at the stars at the Milroy Observatory and the Warrumbungle Observatory.

 

Head to the Australian Museum Diprotodon Exhibition to 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.

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

Breadknife and Grand High Tops Walk - Warrumbungle

Breadknife and Grand High Tops Walk,  Warrumbungle, Country NSW

On the other side of the national park is the historic town of Gilgandra and the tiny village of Tooraweenah, which is the southern gateway to the Warrumbungles. Gilgandra is famous for its windmills and its significant WWI history. Take a scenic drive through the region and into the national park.

Getting there

The Warrumbungles is around a 2hr drive northeast of Dubbo, which is a 5hr 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.

 

Plan your trip

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