Coonabarabran Travel Guide

  • Dramatic contrast
    Dramatic contrast
    by iandsmith
  • Climbing through the charred remnants
    Climbing through the charred remnants
    by iandsmith
  • The dead and the living
    The dead and the living
    by iandsmith

Coonabarabran Things to Do


    The observatory is used by Professional Astronomers to study the southern skies. It is AUSTRALIA’S LARGEST OPTICAL ASTRONOMY RESEARCH CENTRE, with a total of 11 telescopes housed here.This IS THE HOME of the giant 3.9metre ANGLO AUSTRALIAN TELESCOPEYou can visit the observatory during daylight hours. We took the walk up the hill to the 37metre...


    TRAVEL THROUGH SPACE FASTER THAN THE SPEED OF LIGHT!You can, when you tour ..........."THE WORLD'S LARGEST VIRTUAL SOLAR SYSTEM DRIVE."A different idea has been adapted to road travel in this area.It's called "whirl through space," a scenic road journey taken by car, following different Planet signs until you end up at the Siding spring...


    Unbelievable, but this EXCELLENT small Museum was FREE!Well worth going into for a look, there is a well set out display of local minerals and fossils, plus displays of Crystals from the U.S.A., China, Africa and Europe. Lots of Crystals in all shapes and beautiful colors are on display. "The WORLD'S MOST COLOURFUL CRYSTAL" - "ZEOLITE" is on...

  • Warning - not for general exhibition

    This photo should frighten the kiddies!It's all very well for you to sit there in you chair in front of your computer screen and wonder why I am in such a state.For Belougery Split Rock the guide says - 4.6km return, 3 hours, steep grade.Frankly, when you're hanging on to a chain hauling yourself up bare rock knowing that just one slip could be...

  • Search for the best coffee shop

    A NSW Country townWell in the end we saw 4 places to buy coffee and enjoy a snack to break our journey. But we are a bit fussy and after looking at two we had almost decided to move on....The first two had that 'greasy spoon' smell of cheap takeaway when you opened the door... even looked quite nice from outside.But in 2012 the Lunch Box...

  • Tourist Information centre

    The 1st stop you should make is at the Coonabarabran information centre located on the Newell Highway. Another excellent centre, the lady on duty was most helpful, helping us with our accommodation, and telling us about events and attractions in the area.There are plenty of brochures and maps, all for FREE, Souvenirs and gifts are available here...

  • Walk Coonabarabran

    When I visited the Coonabarabran Information centre, I picked up the "Easy Walks in Coonabarabran" leaflet.I always think this is a good way to see a Town.The walk here, wasn't very long, about 1.3kms, and probably took less than an hour for me to do. The leaflet gave me information on the buildings I were seeing, so I have listed a few I took...


    Yes, a tip about Cartons of Milk, but not actually filled with Milk!Located in the Siding spring observatory museum, is a row of Milk Cartons. All of them are different weights, representing the weights that the different planets are made of. You will be amazing at the differences, one I could hardly pick up it was that heavy!


    Found at a location near Coonabarabran, Diprotodon is the largest marsupial ever to have lived. It is often likened to a giant sized wombat.The remains of the Diprotodon were found in the creek bed of Cox’s Creek near Tambar Springs in 1979. Although the remains are believed to be about 33 000 years old, it is thought that the Diprotodon roamed...


    On the John Renshaw Parkway that takes you into the National Park from Coonabarabran, watch out for some unusual Letterboxes. Some people have been pretty creative in this area.These are on private property before you reach the national park.

  • A little bit of history

    At the local excellent tourist information centre you can get a brochure on the historical buildings of the town. The pamphlet is supported by the Dept. of Ageing Disability and Home Care. Far be it from me to belittle their efforts but one suspects that there isn't too much money in the kitty and, for an outlay of a little more, the Coonabarabran...

  • Yes Virginia, there is a town also

    Situated on the Castlereagh River, the name Coonabarabran is a corruption of the original sheep run called "Cooleburburan" which became "Coolabarabyan" when it was owned by James Weston in the 1840's. He planted wheat and established a mill. The name came from the Kamilaroi aborigines who inhabited the area but its exact meaning in their language...

  • Siding Spring

    This is one of Australia's most famous astronomical sites. Though you can't view anything from the telescope shown here atop the mountain, there is an excellent facility in Coonabarabran called "Skywatch" that I can heartily recommend.If you have ever had any inclination to see what all the fuss about the stars is, then Skywatch is for you. It...

  • Around the camp

    You don't have to go far from your accommodation at Camp Blackman to come across some wildlife. In fact, it will come right to you! Remember, don't feed the animals. What may seem cute and innocent all too easily ends up in aggression and nastiness.Besides, you're sure to kangaroos as they are literally in plague proportions and one of their...

  • Belougery Split Rock

    Belougery Split Rock is one of the closest walks to the National Parks office where you pay your $7 entry fee to access the park.A word here about our National Parks. Entry fees differ greatly. You'll pay more than triple that to get into the Snowy Mountains Park and, in some other places, nothing at all. It's all dependent upon the popularity of...

  • A walk in the park

    It was fairly early and I was ready. Rosemarie, on the other hand, wasn't feeling too well at all. Very sick in fact. Thus it was decided that I would go for a walk around the campsite at Camp Blackman, the only camp with powered sites for my motorhome.So I wandered off and ascended a nearby crag that rises behind the new sites and environmental...

  • At the top

    The rocky road is fairly well defined until you get about 80 metres from the summit, then it was a bit of a bush bash for me until I attained the heights. Scrambling onto the crest the panorama opens up and what heights they were.“Warrumbungle” is aboriginal for “crooked mountain”. From this outlook it is all so clear how it got its name. The...

  • The Bress Peak experience

    The Bress Peak track is listed as 7.4 or 8 kms long for the return trip depending on which publication you read. It's also listed as "...very steep ungraded track, suitable for fit walkers only. Very rewarding."The first 2.5km, which is actually the Pincham Trail, is deceiving. Even stopping and taking photos I was at the turnoff in around 40...

  • Time for a breather

    Hey, I earnt it. I was second to the top on this particular day. Fast Eddie just beat me there but only because I stopped a few times to take photos.Not that it was a race or anything, it was just nice being first car in the carpark on a gorgeous spring day and being where hardly anyone else will venture for some time.Here I've just finished my...

  • The views

    As you ascend and the trail starts to bite into your leg muscles (remember, heart on the way up, knees on the way down) little puffs of dust rise from your footprints as you part walk, part stumble along the well-defined track from the carpark.Toiling ants traversing the trail, scurrying lizards departing the warming rocks, twittering *** (a type...

  • Timor Rock

    As you near the entrance to the National Park, one of the first things that gets in-your-face is Timor Rock, a fragmented shattered volcanic plug that sits astride some cultivated fields making it even more dramatic.It is but a foretaste of things to come in the Warrumbungles.

  • The Split Rock Walk

    This is labelled by the National Parks and Wildlife Service as "A great introductory walk to the park". I heartily agree.This shot is not actually of the "Split Rock" but is taken on the walk where another section has become eroded away from the main bulk of rock.Also shown in this picture in the cleft are "blackboy" trees. Surprisingly they're...

  • The Breadknife

    In Australia, this is one of the most famous rock outcrops after Uluru. Its dramatic form, just over a metre wide, is never better viewed than when you have reached the apex of the Pincham Trail and are sitting on the Grand High Tops congratulating yourself on having made the hard 2-3 hour slog up the steep path.The longer you sit there, the more...

  • Warrumbungles Glass House

    Looking for a cuppa or just want to see some art? This place has my vote.On a glorious spring day I pulled in to this place and sat on a classic Aussie verandah to partake of some victuals.The food was delicious, the atmosphere superb and the host interesting. Sipping a soothing Earl Grey accompanied by the sounds of the ornitholigical wonders of...

  • On the Pincham Trail

    From here it's over 5 kms back to base. Starting from the carpark it's 4.7kms to Breadknife and 5.5 to Grand High Tops and from there you can come around the other side of the Breadknife (which is where I'm at right now) and make a 2 km loop at the top which saves you going back the same way entirely and gives you a totally different aspect on the...

  • Spring into the Warrumbungle

    The tenacity and toughness of the Australian native flora is exemplified here by a wattle (mimosa overseas) that barely manages to cling to life in a crack in the side of the ancient volcanic plug. Eventually its root system will crack the rock or the tree will die (they only average about 7 years' life). Either way it's part of a crumbling...

  • The horizon

    Looking west you can see across vast tracts of western N.S.W.The yellow of the wattle in the foreground is duplicated by the bright canola crops in the distance, growing in the washed away remnants of the volcanoes.


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Coonabarabran Off The Beaten Path

  • The bushfires at Warrumbungle

    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...

  • Alternative

    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...

  • Fan's Horizon Trail

    Plant communities: dry eucalypt forests, grassy woodlandsOne 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...


Coonabarabran Favorites

  • Spire on fire

    In 2013 there were some bad fires in the Coonabarabran area. They burned for days, weeks even. Some were in inaccessible areas so they continued to burn. Homesteads and properties bordering the park went up in smoke as did a large area of the national park, including, sadly, the excellent tourist centre. These shots were taken from the western...

  • Wambelong Track

    This short loop walk begins from the eastern side of Canyon Picnic Area and follows Wambelong Creek through a small, sheltered gorge. This area is a haven for birds, particularly in drier times. As you walk along the track you will see interesting rock formations in the river shaped by volcanic activity millions of years ago. The track rises to a...

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Fans Horizon
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