Coonabarabran and Warrumbungles

Coonabarabran has a 24 hour fuel station, supermarkets, good shopping centre and a wide variety of restaurants and accommodation.

The Newell Highway runs through Coonabarabran. On the southern side Coonabarabran Visitor Information Centre houses the Australian Museum Diprotodon Exhibition. The skeleton and skull of a Diprotodon, the largest marsupial ever to have lived is on display. Be sure to buy a map of the Pilliga at the Centre before venturing into the forest.

On the northern side is the Crystal Kingdom, a unique collection of more than 500 local minerals and fossils, including rare zeolite crystals. Learn about the two extinct local volcanoes from experienced staff and educational displays or browse through the ‘Crystal Shop’ and learn your character through the gems you choose.

From Coonabarabran drive along Timor Road towards the famed Warrumbungle Mountains shaped by thousands of years of volcanic activity then eroded by time. Check out the beautiful scenery and the creative mail boxes along the way.

Warrumbungle National Park’s attractions include the 90m high Breadknife, numerous walking tracks and camp grounds. Visit the Warrumbungle Visitor Centre for more information.

Whitegum Lookout – see below

Warrumbungle National Park is Australia’s only Dark Sky Park, the perfect spot for stargazing. Siding Springs Observatory – operated by the Australian National University is open during the day for tours. See their Facebook page for up to date information. The observatory is not open during the night as it is a research facility. You can book night time stargazing at
Milroy Observatory – with Donna the Astronomer – about 10km from Coonabarabran
Warrumbungle Observatory – with Peter Starr

During high rainfall, water gushes down the Warrumbungle Mountains, forming an alluvial fan system. Some of this water fans out over the western plains and soon disappears. This is partly how the sandy east Pilliga section of the Coonamble Embayment of the Great Artesian Basin recharges.

A bit further along Timor Road from the Siding Springs turnoff is Whitegum Lookout where you’ll see a magnificent view of the Warrumbungle Mountains and the distant plains. The 500m walk to the lookout is on a paved pathway. 

Photographs are best taken in the morning with the sun behind you as you look out to the west or at sunset. This lookout is usually assessable as it is on a through road.