After the fires, the landscape has changed. Yes, the hills are still there but the view of them is different. Charred bark remains as evidence of the horror of the flames yet, in time it will fall off the tree and new shoots will emerge, as they are already just a few months after the holocaust.
I had a personal interest in the information centre that was razed because a CD of some of my pictures was there but that's but a pin prick compared to what the National Parks and Wildlife people had to go through, not to mention the nearby landowners.
I returned just one month after a small part of the park was re-opened and, as ever, it's surprising just how much more you can see when the leaves aren't on the trees.
Here are some pictures I took from that visit in June 2013.
Though it's a little distance from Coonabarabran, Mount Kaputar is often overlooked by those visiting the Warrumbungle so I've put in one of the walks here to maybe spark your interest.
This is only one of many it should be noted however.
"This return track begins at The Governor carpark and takes you to the peak of a large volcanic plug. The first section of this walk (The Governor Lookout Walk) is an easy stroll along a sealed path to The Governor lookout, which provides views of the The Governor as well as the surrounding rugged wilderness and rural setting of Bullawa Creek.
The second stage is more challenging as the track continues another 750m across a lava terrace to the summit of The Governor. There is a short scramble up a marked route, past stunted shrubs to the flat top of the volcanic plug. From the top you can bask on the exposed lava flow and enjoy 360 degree views of the Nandewar Range.
The summit has many exposed cliff faces and is not suitable for small children." That's from the National Parks site and is accurate though it doesn't mention that the second section includes ladders as well as the scramble which, though only short, can be tricky.
Read more: http://members.virtualtourist.com/m/p/m/21e301/#ixzz1r70wRUvw
Plant communities: dry eucalypt forests, grassy woodlands
One of the things I couldn't help but notice was the prolific bird life on this walk. It should be mentioned here that I was there in spring when you would expect lots of birds to be around.
I also couldn't help but notice that they were relatively tame inasmuch as you could get reasonably close without spooking them.
I plan to return late in 2012 to get some more shots; in the meantime, enjoy these.
"Fans Horizon Lookout is a 2 hour walk, the shortest distance to see the Grand High Tops area up close"; so says the blurb. However, you're not really all that close to the Grand High Tops.
It's an excellent introductory walk beginning from Pincham car park. Though the track is a steady climb including over 1000 steps, from Spirey Creek to Balgatan, it's not as hard as others in the park.
The views at the lookout cover most of the Grand High Tops including the Breadknife, Belougery Spire and Crater Bluff. If you're comfortable on this walk then you are ready to explore the longer tracks in the park!