Santos is drilling for coal seam gas in the Pilliga Forest, situated between Coonabarabran and Narrabri in NSW. The company has applied to sink a further 850 wells in the recharge area of the Great Artesian Basin.
Working gas wells, flares, spill sites and other infrastructure can all be seen during a tour of this area. Guided self-drive tours are available or plan your own tour. As some sites are difficult to find, a Quick Gas Tour is recommended for drivers without a guide. It is easy to get lost in The Pilliga.
Drive slowly at dawn and dusk as kangaroos are more likely to be on the move at these times.
Click on the Destinations tab for information on places to visit. See below for information on fuel, wet weather, communications, packing, maps, books and leaflets and visitor information centres.
Maps, Books & Leaflets
A book The Plundering of Pilliga & Leard Forests and the Surrounding Farmlands by Pat Schultz gives detailed maps and good information on these areas and on self-guided tours. Purchase in Visitor Information Centres or from Pat direct at Ph: 0428 725 852 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
It is highly recommended that you purchase a map The Pilliga Forest published by NSW National Parks and Wildlife before entering the forest.
A free visitor guide leaflet, Pilliga forest National Parks & other reserves is also available but the map does not include the roads where gas mining infrastructure is built.
Fuel available 24 hours at Coonabarabran and Narrabri. Baradine Service Station is open business hours only and there is no fuel available from Pilliga township. Buy a full tank of petrol before entering The Pilliga Forest.
Travelling around the forest in wet weather is not recommended. Unsealed roads may be impassable.
Some areas in the Pilliga have no mobile reception.
Winter – very cold frosty mornings with usually warm days
Summer – very hot days and nights
Appropriate seasonal clothing for day and night.
Wet weather gear
Plenty of water
Camping gear if required
Public vs Private Land
Roads, roadsides and the Pilliga Forest are publicly owned and you have the right to drive and walk on this land. Fenced areas are private land and you could be charged for trespassing if you go onto this land.
However, gas company employees frequently film and intimidate anyone viewing their sites from public land. Wave, smile for the camera, take a photo of them to show your friends back home and do what you set out to do. Don’t be bullied into leaving. You have done nothing illegal.
DO NOT TRESPASS ON PRIVATE PROPERTY. HEAVY FINES APPLY.