Warrumbungle National Park

Overview

Warrumbungle National Park near Coonabarabran in NSW is a great place for camping, walking, birdwatching and, as Australia's only Dark Sky Park, it's perfect for stargazing.

Read more about Warrumbungle National Park

Whether you’re into camping, walking, birdwatching, or even astronomy, Warrumbungle National Park, near Coonabarabran in NSW, is a great place for a weekend getaway or longer holiday.

Wildfires in 2013 marked yet another chapter in this great park’s history. NPWS has worked hard to rebuild its facilities for generations to come. Walking tracks, campgrounds and other visitor sites have been rebuilt with new modern facilities. Drop into the Warrumbungle Visitor Centre for park information or buy a star chart to enjoy our starry nights. A brand new visitor centre is expected to open in 2017.

The Breadknife, easily the most recognisable feature within the park, towers 90m above the valley floor and is a symbol of the park’s enduring importance and resilience. The Breadknife and Grand High Tops walk is recognised as one of the best walks in NSW, with close up views of the park's iconic rock formations.

Current alerts in this area

There are no current alerts in this area.

Local alerts

For the latest updates on fires, closures and other alerts in this area, see http://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/visit-a-park/parks/warrumbungle-national-park/local-alerts

Contact

See more visitor info

Visitor info

All the practical information you need to know about Warrumbungle National Park.

Getting there and parking

Get driving directions

Get directions

    From Coonabarabran, take John Renshaw Parkway.

    From Gilgandra:

    • Take the Newell Highway north towards Coonabarabran
    • Turn left off the highway into the village of Tooraweenah
    • Follow the brown Tourist Drive 1 north through Tooraweenah
    • Continue for 26km to the T-intersection at Gummin Gummin homestead
    • Turn right onto John Renshaw Parkway and continue for 8km

    From Coonamble, take Castlereagh Highway and turn left into King Street. Continue along Coonamble Tooraweenah Road for about 72km.

    From Gulargambone, take Gulargambone Road for about 31km. Continue along John Renshaw Parkway, then veer right onto Coonamble Toorweenah Road.

    • Turn off the Castlereagh Highway
    • The turnoff to the park is signposted
    • Some of this road is unsealed

    Park entry points

    Parking

    Road quality

    • Unsealed roads

    By bike

    Check out the Bicycle information for NSW for more information.

    By public transport

    For information about public transport options, visit the NSW country transport info website.

    Best times to visit

    You may experience a great range of temperatures on any day in the park. In summer it's generally hot in the daytime and temperatures often exceed 30C. In contrast, winter can be very cold and the temperature drops below freezing at night. Rainfall is also highly variable, ranging from drought to prolonged wet periods. Less rain falls on the western side of the park than on the eastern side. It rains most from December to February and the annual average rainfall is 720mm. Thunderstorms are common in mid to late summer.

    Spring

    During early spring wildflowers are in bloom, including a huge variety of golden wattle flowers With a more moderate climate, spring is a great time to get out and camp under the stars .

    Weather, temperature and rainfall

    Summer temperature

    Average

    15°C and 30°C

    Highest recorded

    42.6°C

    Winter temperature

    Average

    0°C and 15°C

    Lowest recorded

    -9°C

    Rainfall

    Wettest month

    January

    Driest month

    September

    The area’s highest recorded rainfall in one day

    176.3mm

    Facilities

    Maps and downloads

    Fees and passes

    Park entry fees:

    $8 per vehicle per day.

    • All Parks Pass - For all parks in NSW (including Kosciuszko NP) $190 (1 year) / $335 (2 years)
    • Multi-Park Pass - For all parks in NSW (except Kosciuszko) $65 (1 year) / $115 (2 years)
    • Country Parks Pass - For all parks in Country NSW (except Kosciuszko) $45 (1 year) / $75 (2 years)
    • Single Country Park Pass - For entry to a single park in country NSW (except Kosciuszko). $22 (1 year) / $40 (2 years)

    Annual passes and entry fees (http://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/passes-and-fees)

    Safety messages

    However you discover NSW national parks and reserves, we want you to have a safe and enjoyable experience. Our park and reserve systems contrast greatly so you need to be aware of the risks and take responsibility for your own safety and the safety of those in your care.

    Trees in Warrumbungle National Park have been impacted as a result of the 2013 bushfire and may fall without warning or drop branches.

    Visitor areas and walking tracks have been assessed to ensure the safety of visitors. Areas outside these precincts, which do not have safety notices, have not been assessed and should not be entered.

    For your safety do not sit, stand or camp under large trees or overhanging branches, especially during windy or wet conditions.

    For more information contact the Coonabarabran Area office on (02) 6842 1311.

    Mobile safety

    Dial Triple Zero (000) in an emergency. Download the Emergency + app before you visit, it helps emergency services locate you using your smartphone's GPS. Please note there is limited mobile phone reception in this park and you’ll need mobile reception to call Triple Zero (000).

    Prohibited

    Pets

    Pets and domestic animals (other than certified assistance animals) are not permitted. Find out which regional parks allow dog walking and see the OEH pets in parks policy for more information.

    Smoking

    NSW national parks are no smoking areas.

    Visitor centre

    Nearby towns

    Coonabarabran (24 km)

    Coonabarabran is the closest town to the craggy peaks and spires of the Warrumbungle Ranges. Warrumbungle National Park is popular for bushwalking, camping and encountering wildlife amid breathtaking scenery.

    www.visitnsw.com

    Gilgandra (60 km)

    Just a 50-minute drive north of Gilgandra are the majestic Warrumbungles - an area of forested ridges, barren spires, deep gorges and walking tracks. Warrumbungle National Park has some excellent day walks, such as the Breadknife and Grand High Tops walk.

    www.visitnsw.com

    Coonamble (95 km)

    Coonamble is a delightful country town, the gateway to the wetlands of the Macquarie Marshes and the rugged scenery of Warrumbungle National Park. Nearby are opal fields to the north, and the Pilliga State Forest, with its stands of eucalypts.

    www.visitnsw.com

    Learn more

    Warrumbungle National Park is a special place. Here are just some of the reasons why:

    Aboriginal dreamtime

    The view across the mountain range, Warrumbungle National Park. Photo: Rob Cleary

    Warrumbungle is a Gamilaroi (also written Gamilaraay) word meaning crooked mountain, and for many thousands of years it has been a spiritual place for the custodians of this land, the Gamilaroi, the Wiradjuri and the Weilwan. The landscape, plants and animals of the park are a constant reminder of its sacred significance to Aboriginal people today. Take an Aboriginal Discovery guided tour to find out more about the Aboriginal cultural heritage.

    Landscape and geology

    Rocky pinnacle, Warrumbungle National Park. Photo: Steve Alton

    The landscape of Warrumbungle National Park has been shaped by thousands of years of volcanic activity; spend some time looking at Crater Bluff and Belougery Spire and imagine the vents of magma that once erupted to create these formations. Old lava flows created at Mount Exmouth and Siding Spring Mountain, just outside the boundary of the park and Belougery Split Rock and Bluff Mountain are great examples of volcanic action. The most iconic feature in the park, The Breadknife, is a volcanic dyke which stands a massive 90m tall.

    • Breadknife and Grand High Tops walk Breadknife and Grand High Tops walk in Warrumbungle National Park, regarded as one of the best walks in NSW, offers close up views of the park’s iconic rock formations.
    • Burbie Canyon walking track Burbie Canyon walking track in Warrumbungle National Park offers a gentle 2km stroll through a sandstone gorge, and is particularly popular for birdwatching.
    • Coonabarabran - Warrumbungle - Tooraweenah drive Coonabarabran – Warrumbungle – Tooraweenah drive offers car touring through scenic mountain views with picnicking, walking, and wheelchair accessible facilities in Warrumbungle National Park.

    Wish upon a star

    Whitegum lookout, Warrumbungle National Park. Photo: Rob Cleary

    Nearby Coonabarabran is known as the 'Astronomy Capital of Australia' and Warrumbungle National Park is the ultimate place to see infinite stars. Admire the view from your campsite, or if you want to see right up to the heavens, visit the Siding Springs Observatory, or take your own telescope for a spectacular view of the Milky Way. The park's big sky, amazing light and dramatic yet fragile rock formations make Warrumbungle National Park an outstanding place for amateur and professional photographers alike. The dramatic mix of volcanic spires and domes, plateaus, forested ridges and tall volcanic dykes are bound to make even the youngest of photographers look good, so whatever you do - don't forget your camera.

    • Canyon picnic area Canyon picnic area is a fully accessible, family friendly picnic area in Warrumbungle National Park. Not far from the visitor centre, it features barbecues and tables.
    • Warrumbungle Visitor Centre Visitor information is available at the Warrumbungle Visitor Centre. Get great suggestions and tips for walking and camping in the national park. 
    • Whitegum lookout Whitegum lookout in Warrumbungle National Park features spectacular views of the landscape and picnic tables. It is wheelchair accessible and an easy walk for children.

    Diversity of wildlife

    Kangaroos, Warrumbungle National Park. Photo: Rob Cleary

    Warrumbungle National Park has a rich diversity of landforms and microclimates, and provides a habitat for hundreds of plant and animal species in the area. Flourishing with vibrant Warrumbungle Range wattle, geebung and broad-leaf hop-bush, there's an abundance of rich birdlife in the area, including species such as emus, wedge-tailed eagles and boobook owls - just a few of over 190 bird species recorded in the park. If you're lucky, you may also spot wildlife such as the ringtail possum, greater glider and brush-tailed rock wallaby. Be sure to also keep an eye out for blue-tongue lizards and lace monitors rustling through the bush.

    • Burbie Canyon walking track Burbie Canyon walking track in Warrumbungle National Park offers a gentle 2km stroll through a sandstone gorge, and is particularly popular for birdwatching.

    Plants and animals you may see

    Animals

    • Wedge-tailed eagle. Photo: Kelly Nowak

      Wedge-tailed eagle (Aquila audax)

      With a wingspan of up to 2.5m, the wedge-tailed eagle is Australia’s largest bird of prey. These Australian animals are found in woodlands across NSW, and have the ability to soar to heights of over 2km. If you’re bird watching, look out for the distinctive diamond-shaped tail of the eagle.

    • Superb fairy wren. Photo: Ingo Oeland

      Superb fairy wren (Malurus cyaneus)

      The striking blue and black plumage of the adult male superb fairy wren makes for colourful bird watching across south-eastern Australia. The sociable superb fairy wrens, or blue wrens, are Australian birds living in groups consisting of a dominant male, mouse-brown female ‘jenny wrens’ and several tawny-brown juveniles.

    • Southern boobook. Photo: David Cook

      Southern boobook (Ninox novaeseelandiae)

      The southern boobook, also known as the mopoke, is the smallest and most common native owl in Australia. With a musical 'boo-book' call that echoes through forests and woodlands, the southern boobook is a great one to look out for while bird watching.

    • Tawny frogmouth. Photo: Rosie Nicolai

      Tawny frogmouth (Podargus strigoides)

      Found throughout Australia, the tawny frogmouth is often mistaken for an owl due to its wide, powerful beak, large head and nocturnal hunting habits. The ‘oom oom oom’ call of this native bird can be heard echoing throughout a range of habitats including heath, woodlands and urban areas.

    • Kookaburra. Photo: OEH

      Kookaburra (Dacelo novaeguineae)

      Of the 2 species of kookaburra found in Australia, the laughing kookaburra is the best-known and the largest of the native kingfishers. With its distinctive riotous call, the laughing kookaburra is commonly heard in open woodlands and forests throughout NSW national parks, making these ideal spots for bird watching.

    Environments in this park

    Education resources (1)

    What we're doing

    Warrumbungle National Park has management strategies in place to protect and conserve the values of this park. Visit the OEH website for detailed park and fire management documents. Here is just some of the work we’re doing to conserve these values:

    Preserving biodiversity

    NPWS works to protect biodiversity in all parks, and Warrumbungle National Park is no exception. Revegetation programs are ongoing in this park, and can include seed propagation, tree planting, controlled ecological burning, extensive research and monitoring. Fencing and pest management strategies also take place within this park.

    Conservation program

    BioNet

    Uniting technology with the vast collection of information on biodiversity in NSW, BioNet is a valuable database open to any user. From individual plant sightings to detailed scientific surveys, it offers a wealth of knowledge about ecology and threatened species in NSW. 

    Managing weeds, pest animals and other threats

    Pests and weeds have a significant impact to the ecosystems within Warrumbungle National Park. NPWS carries out pig, fox, goat, wild dog and weed control as well as risk assessments for new and emerging weeds to protect biodiversity in this park.

    Conservation program

    Feral Animal Aerial Shooting Team (FAAST) training

    The NSW government has an obligation to control feral animal populations in NSW national parks. One of the most effective and humane techniques for achieving this is aerial shooting, carried out by experts who have been accredited by the Feral Animal Aerial Shooting Team (FAAST) training program.

    Managing fire

    NSW is one of the most bushfire prone areas in the world as a result of our climate, weather systems, vegetation and the rugged terrain. NPWS is committed to maintaining natural and cultural heritage values and minimising the likelihood and impact of bushfires via a strategic program of fire research, fire planning, hazard reduction, highly trained rapid response firefighting crews and community alerts.

    Conservation program

    After-fire Warrumbungle National Park

    The bushfires that ravaged Warrumbungle National Park in 2013 have become the focus of a major research and recovery program by NSW National Parks. The program has multiple components including studies on fire behaviour, cultural heritage, soils and water, native Australian animals, vegetation and fire management, and will include citizen science.

    View from Fan's Horizon lookout, Warrumbungle National Park. Photo: Rob Cleary