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2 days Itinerary

Itinerary: Pilliga Forest and the Warrumbungles

Overview

Take a couple of days – or longer – to immerse yourself in the timeless Aboriginal stories and ancient landscapes of Pilliga Forest and Warrumbungle National Park. Taking a tour with an Aboriginal Discovery ranger is the perfect way to connect with this iconic landscape.

Read more about Itinerary: Pilliga Forest and the Warrumbungles

Dreaming stories offer a deeper understanding of this rugged north-west corner of NSW, its ancient rock engravings and startling geological features. In Aboriginal legend, the Dandry Gorge was gouged out of the ground by the rainbow serpent of the Gamilaroi Dreaming, and visiting Warrumbungle National Park, you’ll see why the Gamilaroi people gave these crooked mountains their name.

Getting there:

  • Coonabarabran, located 452 km north-west of Sydney, is the gateway to the Warrumbungle National Park and Pilliga Forests. There is good road access to the national parks, but you’ll need to check road conditions before entering.
  • It is approximately a 7 hour drive from Sydney, 6 hours from Newcastle and 5 hours from Port Macquarie.
  • Trains link towns in the region. Please visit NSW TrainLink for timetables, fares and online bookings.
  • There are three airports in the surrounding region that have regular flights from major cities:
    • Dubbo is located to the south of the region and has regular flights from Sydney
    • Tamworth, within a 2 hour drive east of the region, has regular flights from Sydney, Brisbane and Canberra.
    • Narrabri, approximately a 1 hour drive north of the region, has regular flights from Sydney, Brisbane and Newcastle.

Outback safety

Day 1: Connect with centuries of culture

Start your exploration of the area’s Aboriginal cultural heritage at the Pilliga Forest Discovery Centre in Baradine. Here, you can book a guided Discovery tour to hear ancient stories of the Sandstone Caves. Or if you’d prefer to do it at your own pace, take the self-guided Sandstone Caves walking track past the cave’s ancient rock engravings.

In the afternoon, stroll along the Sculptures in the Scrub walking track at Dandry Gorge, where you’ll discover more about the traditional land of the local Gamilaroi people. Be sure to pack a tent and sleeping bag so you can spend the night, under a blanket of stars, in the remote Sculptures in the Scrub campground.

Day 2: Trek through an age old landscape

Explore the ancient, volcanic landscape of Warrumbungle National Park with an Aboriginal Discovery Ranger, visiting the sites of Aboriginal camps and learning about the three Aboriginal language groups which bordered the area. Stretch your legs on all or part of the steep Breadknife and Grand High Tops hike where you’ll see awe-inspiring views of this iconic national park. When the sun sets, unpack your tent in Camp Blackman or the heritage Balor Hut campground.

Two women hike the Breadknife and Grand High Tops walk in Warrumbungle National Park. Photo: Robert Mulally/OEH

Warrumbungle National Park

Warrumbungle National Park near Coonabarabran in NSW is Australia’s only Dark Sky Park, making it the perfect spot for stargazing, amateur astronomy and camping under the starriest of skies.

Fees

Park entry fees apply.

Things to do
12
Places to stay
8
Where
Country NSW
Length
2 days
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Salt Caves Picnic Area, Pilliga National Park. Photo: Rob Cleary