Sandstone Caves walking track

Pilliga National Park

Overview

Take a self-guided tour along the Sandstone Caves walking track to see ancient Aboriginal rock art. For more of an insight into Aboriginal history, book a guided tour.

Where
Pilliga National Park
Distance
1.7km loop
Time suggested
1hr - 1hr 30min
Grade
Grade 3
Price
Free
What to
bring
Hat, sunscreen, drinking water
Please note
  • This is a special place for the Gamilaroi people – please be respectful when visiting this site and refrain from touching the rock art and engravings. Photography is permitted, however visitors are requested not to use flash photography.
  • You can book a guided tour at Pilliga Forest Discovery Centre in Baradine.
  • It’s a good idea to check road conditions before setting out – contact Pilliga Forest Discovery Centre for up to date information.

Walk in the footsteps of the Gamilaroi people along the short Sandstone Caves walking track in Pilliga Nature Reserve. You’ll pass through scenic forest to the impressive sandstone hills, with some containing ancient Aboriginal rock engravings. Take some time to read over the interpretive signage for more of an insight into this special place.

You can take a self-guided walk, however this unique place is best experienced on a guided tour with an Aboriginal Discovery Ranger. You can book your tour at Pilliga Forest Discovery Centre in Baradine.

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/things-to-do/walking-tracks/sandstone-caves-walking-track/local-alerts

Park info

See more visitor info

Visitor info

All the practical information you need to know about Sandstone Caves walking track.

Track grading

Grade 3

Learn more about the grading system Features of this track
  • Time

    1hr - 1hr 30min

  • Quality of markings

    Clearly sign posted

  • Gradient

    Gentle hills

  • Distance

    1.7km loop

  • Steps

    Many steps

  • Quality of path

    Formed track, some obstacles

  • Experience required

    No experience required

Getting there and parking

Directions can be obtained by visiting or contacting Pilliga Forest Discovery Centre. The walk is not signposted as requested by the Aboriginal Elders.

Parking

Parking is available at the start of Sandstone Caves walking track.

Weather, temperature and rainfall

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 40C. In winter nights can be very cold, but you can enjoy clear sunny days. Rainfall is also highly variable, ranging from drought to prolonged wet periods, with the average annual rainfall around 600mm. Creeks may quickly become impassable after heavy rain.

Summer temperature

Average

15°C and 35°C

Highest recorded

45°C

Winter temperature

Average

2°C and 21°C

Lowest recorded

-6.1°C

Rainfall

Wettest month

January

Driest month

June to September

Maps and downloads

Safety messages

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.

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 (7 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

Gunnedah (120 km)

This bustling town is the self-proclaimed koala capital of the world. Go koala spotting around the town - just ask at the Visitor Information Centre for some pointers.

www.visitnsw.com

Narrabri (10 km)

Explore Pilliga Forest to see salt caves, native flora and fauna, and bore baths, or enjoy camping and bushwalking in Mt Kaputar National Park. Mt Kaputar's summit offers magnificent panoramic views, and there's excellent cabin accommodation within the park.

www.visitnsw.com

Learn more

Sandstone Caves walking track is in Pilliga National Park. Here are just some of the reasons why this park is special:

A bird watcher’s paradise

Pilliga Forest Discovery Centre, Pilliga Nature Reserve. Photo: Rob Cleary

Pilliga Forest is a mixture of eastern and western climates, making it very attractive to birds – more than 230 species have been recorded. You’re bound to see some of that range during your time at the park, and if you keep a close eye out and bring some binoculars, you’re definitely see even more. Pilliga is one of the few places left in NSW where you can catch sight of the grey-crowned babbler. It’s a bird that lives in family groups and roost together in domed nests of sticks. Other birds you may see include glossy black cockatoos, brown treecreepers, regent honeyeaters, barking owls, and red-capped robins. For more information about great bird watching opportunities in Pilliga, be sure to pick up a copy of Bird Routes of Baradine from Pilliga Forest Discovery Centre.

  • Pilliga Forest Discovery Centre The Pilliga Forest Discovery Centre is the best place for visitors and tourists to collect information about the Pilliga Forest before setting off on their adventure.
  • Sculptures in the Scrub walking track Take a short walk around the Sculptures in the Scrub in Timmallallie National Park – award-winning sculptures that celebrate Aboriginal culture and history.

Aboriginal culture

Sculpture in the Scrub, Pilliga Nature Reserve. Photo: Rob Cleary

Pilliga is traditional Country of the Gamilaroi People and much evidence of their ancient connection to the land exists in the park today. On your exploration of the park, you may see stone tools, grinding grooves, modified trees, and rock art. Find out more about the Gamilaroi People and their ancient culture on a guided tour of Sandstone Caves, a place containing Aboriginal rock art and engravings.

  • Sandstone Caves walking track Take a self-guided tour along the Sandstone Caves walking track to see ancient Aboriginal rock art. For more of an insight into Aboriginal history, book a guided tour.
  • Sculptures in the Scrub walking track Take a short walk around the Sculptures in the Scrub in Timmallallie National Park – award-winning sculptures that celebrate Aboriginal culture and history.

Koala territory

A forest view in Pilliga Nature Reserve. Photo: Rob Cleary

Pilliga Forest supports a vast number of mammals, including swamp wallabies, eastern grey kangaroos, red-necked wallabies, and eastern pygmy possums. Pilliga also has the largest koala population in NSW to the west of the Great Dividing Range – look for them in the forest’s red gums and the Pilliga box. If you are lucky enough to spot a koala, please report your sighting to the Baradine NPWS office.

  • Salt Caves picnic area and Pilliga lookout tower Pause at Salt Caves picnic area on your exploration of Pilliga Forest and Timmallallie National Park. After a barbecue lunch, take a short walk to look for birds, or a longer hike up to Pilliga Forest lookout tower.

Plants and animals you may see

Animals

  • Koala. Photo: Lucy Morrell

    Koala (Phascolarctos cinereus)

    One of the most renowned Australian animals, the tree-dwelling marsupial koala can be found in gum tree forests and woodlands across eastern NSW, Victoria and Queensland, as well as in isolated regions in South Australia. With a vice-like grip, this perhaps most iconic but endangered Australian animal lives in tall eucalypts within a home range of several hectares.

Environments in this park

Education resources (1)

Sandstone Caves, Pilliga National Park. Photo: Rob Cleary