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2 days Itinerary

Itinerary: Pilliga Forest and the Warrumbungles


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.

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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 Gamilaraay Dreaming, and visiting Warrumbungle National Park, you’ll see why the Gamilaraay 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 Gamilaraay 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

Warrumbungle National Park

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


Park entry fees apply.

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Country NSW
2 days
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