Dows camp

Warrumbungle National Park

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Overview

Dows camp is a remote campground for self-sufficient hikers, located along the Breadknife and Grand High Tops walk, in Warrumbungle National Park, near Coonabarabran.

Accommodation Details
Number of campsites 3
Camping type Tent, Remote/backpack camping
What to bring Drinking water, fuel stove, toilet paper, torch, food supplies, first aid kit, personal locator beacon, insect repellent, sunscreen
Price There are no camping fees at this campground but a $6 booking fee applies.
Entry fees Park entry fees apply
Bookings Bookings are required. Book online or call the National Parks Contact Centre on 1300 072 757.
Please note
  • There are no marked sites
  • This is a remote campground, please arrive well prepared. If you’re bushwalking it’s a good idea to bring a topographic map and compass, or a GPS.
  • This campground is within the Dark Sky Park boundary. Please see our guide for suitable camping lights and use in this park, available at the visitor centre.

This basic, walk-in campground is a perfect getaway for experienced bushwalkers to immerse themselves in the spectacular volcanic landscape of Warrumbungle National Park.

Located around 8km from Pincham carpark, along Breadknife and Grand High Tops walk, it’s a great stopover if you want to hike to the summit of Bluff Mountain. Allow 3-4 hours to walk from the carpark.

Pitch your tent in the shelter of tall trees and enjoy endless photo opportunities. A short walk gives you breathtaking vistas of the Warrumbungle Range. Watch the sun rise or set on Bluff Pyramid, as eagles soar past the imposing cliff face of Bluff Mountain.

Cook up a tasty camp dinner, keeping an eye out for red-neck wallabies and swamp wallabies bounding through the eucalypts. Then settle in for a night of stargazing beneath crystal-clear skies.

Wake up to a chorus of kookaburras, rufous whistlers and Jacky winters. If you’re feeling energetic, catch sunrise from the summit of Bluff Mountain, a steep and challenging 2.4km hike. Or, simply enjoy daybreak from the comfort of your peaceful camp.

Spring and autumn are the best times to visit, when wildflowers are at their finest, and the days aren’t too hot or cold. 

 

For directions, safety and practical information, see visitor info

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 https://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/camping-and-accommodation/campgrounds/dows-camp/local-alerts

Bookings

Operated by

Park info

See more visitor info

Visitor info

All the practical information you need to know about Dows camp.

Getting there and parking

Dows camp is in the southern area of Warrumbungle National Park. To get there from Coonabarabran:

  • Follow John Renshaw Parkway into Warrumbungle National Park
  • Turn left into Pincham Road around 100m past the visitor centre turnoff
  • Park your car at Pincham carpark then walk clockwise along Breadknife and Grand High Tops walk for about 3-4hours (8km) to reach Dows camp.

Road quality

The sealed roads are suitable for 2WD vehicles to the carpark. It is a walk-in campsite. 

  • Sealed roads

Vehicle access

  • 2WD vehicles

Weather restrictions

  • All weather

Parking

Parking is available at Pincham carpark.

Facilities

  • Dows camp has no facilities. 
  • Campers need to be self-sufficient. You’ll need to bring all your equipment and supplies with you.
  • There are no rubbish bins available, so you’ll need to take all rubbish away with you. 

Maps and downloads

Safety messages

Adventure sports

Adventure sports like climbing, caving, canyoning and abseiling offer a thrilling opportunity to explore our unique environments. Before you head out, be aware of the risks and stay safe during adventure sports.

Bushwalking safety

If you're keen to head out on a longer walk or a backpack camp, always be prepared. Read these bushwalking safety tips before you set off on a walking adventure in national parks.

Camping safety

Whether you're pitching your tent on the coast or up on the mountains, there are many things to consider when camping in NSW national parks. Find out how to stay safe when camping.

Fire safety

During periods of fire weather, the Commissioner of the NSW Rural Fire Service may declare a total fire ban for particular NSW fire areas, or statewide. Learn more about total fire bans and fire safety.

Mobile safety

Dial Triple Zero (000) in an emergency. Download the Emergency Plus 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).

Accessibility

Disability access level - no wheelchair access

Permitted

Camping

Please camp in the designated Dows camp area. Camping is not permitted on walking tracks.

Prohibited

Drones

Flying a drone for recreational purposes is prohibited in this area. Drones may affect public enjoyment, safety and privacy, interfere with park operations, or pose a threat to wildlife. See the Drones in Parks policy.

This area may be a declared Drone Exclusion Zone, or may be subject to Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) rules for flying near airports, aerodromes and helicopter landing sites. See CASA's Drone Flyer Rules.

Commercial filming and photography

Commercial filming or photography is prohibited without prior consent. You must apply for permission and contact the local office.

Gathering firewood

Generators

Pets

Smoking

Visitor centre

Learn more

Dows camp is in Warrumbungle National Park. Here are just some of the reasons why this park is special:

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.

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.

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.

  • Bluff Mountain walking track Bluff Mountain walking track rewards experienced, fit bushwalkers with Warrumbungle National Park’s best views. This very long and challenging steep hike climbs past spectacular rock spires and domes—up to the summit of Bluff Mountain.
  • 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 - Baradine - Warrumbungle drive Explore the spectacular landscapes, historic towns, picnic spots and walks of the Warrumbungles and Pilliga, near Coonabarabran and Baradine, in NSW.
  • 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.
  • Goulds Circuit walking track Goulds Circuit walking track is a wonderful way for day trippers and overnight campers to capture sweeping views of Warrumbungle National Park’s volcanic features.
Show more

Wish upon a star

Whitegum lookout, Warrumbungle National Park. Photo: Rob Cleary

Warrumbungle National Park is Australia’s only Dark Sky Park. Nearby Coonabarabran is known as the 'Astronomy Capital of Australia'. Stargaze from your campsite, or if you want to see right up to the heavens, visit the Siding Springs Observatory. 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, which is now back in its original location. Get great suggestions and tips for walking and camping in Warrumbungle 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.

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: Rosie Nicolai

    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.

  • Closeup of a laughing kookaburra's head and body. Photo: Rosie Nicolai/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)