Warrumbungle National Park

Landscape and Geology

How the landscape was formed

The Warrumbungles are a spectacular landscape shaped by an ancient volcano which has eroded over millions of years. The story of today's landscape began 180 million years ago when the region was covered by large shallow lakes. At the bottom of these lakes sediment was slowly compressed over millions of years to form sandstone. This bedrock is now known as 'Pilliga sandstone' and it forms the base of the region today.

About 17 million years ago hot magma exploded through the surface. Over millions of years of volcanic explosions, a huge shield-shaped volcano was formed. The volcano has since been weathered and today the complex interior of the original volcano is exposed.

Look out for old vents where magma once erupted at Crater Bluff and Belougery Spire. You can see old lava flows at Mt Exmouth and Siding Spring Mountain, just outside the boundary of the park. Lava domes where molten rock has bubbled to the surface and clogged up the source vent can be seen at Belougery Split Rock and Bluff Mountain.

The Breadknife, a 90m high rock wall, is known in geological terms as a 'dyke'. Dykes are formed when magma is forced through a fault or crack in the earth's surface. Because the rock surrounding the Breadknife was softer then the solidified magma, erosion has left a long sliver of stone exposed today.

Where to see some of the park's landscapes and features

Balor Hut campground

Fire/closure alerts currently apply to this location. See details below.

Balor Hut campground features a historic walkers’ hut that was built between 1958 and 1962 when much of the park’s walking track network was being constructed. Balor Hut was one of five huts that were built along the Grand High Tops and is the last one that remains.

Accessed along the Breadknife and Grand High Tops walk, you can choose to spend the night inside the heritage hut on one of the slab bunks, or you can pitch a tent in the adjacent campsite. Apart from the resident wildlife in the park, you might get lucky and have the place to yourself.

This campground is not for everyone, as it can only be accessed on foot and the hut itself is fairly rustic. However because of this, it's a tranquil place to reflect, relax and admire the view of the Breadknife and Grand High Tops and the stars. No doubt after a peaceful night’s sleep at your own private campground, you’ll be ready to spring out of bed to start exploring.

Activities: walking, camping, astronomy and star gazing, picnics and barbecues

Location:  shown on Breadknife - Grand High Tops map

Getting there: Balor Hut campground is in the Breadknife and Grand High Tops precinct of Warrumbungle National Park. The campground is only accessible by foot. To get there:

From Coonabarabran:

  • Follow John Renshaw Parkway into Warrumbungle National Park
  • Turn left into Pincham Road approximately 100m past the Visitor Centre turnoff
  • Leave the car at Pincham carpark and follow Breadknife and Grand High Tops walk
  • Balor Hut campground is approximately 6km walk uphill with a couple of steep pinches.

Road access: Sealed road - 2WD vehicles.

Facilities: wood barbecues (bring your own firewood)

Water supply: Rainwater tank.

Camping fees: $5 per adult per night. $3 per child per night.

Bookings:

  • Bookings are essential and can be made by contacting the Warrumbungle National Park Visitor Centre on (02) 6825 4364
  • Hirers will need to collect the hut key from the Visitor Centre

Contact: Coonabarabran (Warrumbungle National Park), Phone: 02 6825 4364


Events, activities and alerts at this location
Closure

Walking track closures

Some areas of this park are closed due to severe fire weather conditions. This closure may be extended and any extension will be posted as soon as possible.  A Total Fire Ban is in place. Closed areas include Pincham carpark, Camp Pincham, Fan's Horizon, Gould's Circuit, Breadknife Grand High Tops, Bluff Mountain, Cathedral & Arch, Mount Exmouth, Belougery Split Rock Circuit, Burbie Canyon and Gunneemooroo Campround. Penalties apply for non-compliance. Please note, other alerts may also apply to Warrumbungle National Park.  For more information, please contact the Warrumbungle National Park Visitor Centre on (02) 68254364 or the Coonabarabran Area Office on (02) 68421311 or visit the NSW national parks safety page.

Ends Friday 31 October, 11:59PM

Burbie Camp

Fire/closure alerts currently apply to this location. See details below.

Also known as Burbie Springs, this walk-in campground is a great stopover on a longer hike or perfect for a weekend of wildlife spotting and birdwatching. Accessed on foot along Burbie Canyon track and Burbie trail, Burbie Camp is located between iconic Mount Exmouth and Belougery Split Rock, in Warrumbungle National Park.

When you arrive at your rustic campsite, take in the rugged mountain views and crystal clear air. Inhale deeply and savour the spicy cocktail scent of cypress pine, eucalypts, and the sticky daisy bush. At dusk, you might catch a glimpse of a swamp wallaby, red-necked wallaby, or wallaroo. The sight of a majestic wedge-tailed eagle soaring high on the cliff thermals is an inspiring sight which adds to the atmosphere. The Warrumbungles are famous for the darkness of its night skies, so when the sun goes down, settle back for an evening of stargazing.

Activities: camping, astronomy and star gazing, birdwatching, picnics and barbecues

Location:  shown on Burbie Trail map

Getting there: Burbie Camp is in the Burbie precinct of Warrumbungle National Park. The campground is only accessible by foot. To get there:

From Coonabarabran:

  • Follow John Renshaw Parkway into Warrumbungle National Park
  • Leave the car at Burbie Canyon carpark, shortly after passing Camp Wambelong.
  • Burbie Canyon track starts opposite the carpark and joins Burbie trail
  • Burbie Camp is approximately 3km (one-way) walk

Road access: Sealed road - 2WD vehicles.

Facilities: wood barbecues (bring your own firewood), non-flush toilets, drinking water, carpark

Water supply: Untreated spring water – requires treatment for drinking.

Camping fees: $5 per adult per night. $3 per child per night.

Bookings: To book, contact the Warrumbungle park office on (02) 6825 4364.

Contact: Coonabarabran (Warrumbungle National Park), Phone: 02 6825 4364


Events, activities and alerts at this location
Closure

John Renshaw Parkway road closure

Some areas of this park will closed due to planned closure of the John Renshaw Parkway (the main road running through the park).

Major roadworks being implemented by Gilgandra Shire Council, will force the closure of the western entrance, along with west-bound traffic past the Pincham carpark turnoff.  

Closed areas include Camp Wambelong, Split Rock walking track, Burbie Camp and Burbie Canyon walking track. 

Gilgandra Shire Council will re-open this road between Friday 7 November 2014 to Sunday 9 November (inclusive) to cater for the Crooked Mountain concert scheduled for Saturday 8 November 2014.

Camp Blackman, the Visitors Centre, Canyon picnic area, and Pincham carpark are unaffected by this closure and remain open.

For more information, please contact the Warrumbunge National Park Visitors Centre on (02) 6825 4364 or visit the NSW national parks safety page.

Ends Friday 19 December, 4:00PM
Closure

Walking track closures

Some areas of this park are closed due to severe fire weather conditions. This closure may be extended and any extension will be posted as soon as possible.  A Total Fire Ban is in place. Closed areas include Pincham carpark, Camp Pincham, Fan's Horizon, Gould's Circuit, Breadknife Grand High Tops, Bluff Mountain, Cathedral & Arch, Mount Exmouth, Belougery Split Rock Circuit, Burbie Canyon and Gunneemooroo Campround. Penalties apply for non-compliance. Please note, other alerts may also apply to Warrumbungle National Park.  For more information, please contact the Warrumbungle National Park Visitor Centre on (02) 68254364 or the Coonabarabran Area Office on (02) 68421311 or visit the NSW national parks safety page.

Ends Friday 31 October, 11:59PM

Camp Walaay

Wheelchair access: easy

This area is fully wheelchair accessible.

Ever dreamed of running workshops among the gum trees? Specifically designed for large groups, from 30 to 200 people, Camp Walaay is a campground that's ideal for school groups, conferences and educational workshops in the heart of Warrumbungle National Park. The adjacent classrooms at Warrumbungle Environmental Education Centre facility make it a great location for specific activities with an educational, environmental, or cultural focus.

When class is finished, there’s a range of nearby walking tracks to enjoy. At night, after a barbecue feast, everyone can gather around the campfire for singalongs and stories, or stargaze together. If you hear a rustle in the darkness, it might be a curious yellow-footed marsupial mouse.

Activities: camping, birdwatching, picnics and barbecues, astronomy and star gazing

Location:  shown on Visitor centre map

Getting there: Camp Walaay is in the central precinct of Warrumbungle National Park. To get there from Coonabarabran, travel along John Renshaw Parkway. Upon entering the park, take the turn off to the visitor centre and travel past it to the campground.

Road access: Sealed road - 2WD vehicles.

Facilities: picnic tables, wood barbecues (bring your own firewood), non-flush toilets, carpark, drinking water, education centre, amenities block

Water supply: Untreated water is available - we recommend you boil it before drinking.

Camping fees: $5 per adult per night. $3 per child per night.

Other fees: School groups pay $2.70 per student

Bookings: To book, contact the Warrumbungle park office on (02) 6825 4364.

Contact: Coonabarabran (Warrumbungle National Park), Phone: 02 6825 4364

Camp Wambelong

Fire/closure alerts currently apply to this location. See details below.

Set on the banks of the tranquil Wambelong Creek with spectacular views of Belougery Split Rock, Camp Wambelong is the perfect spot to unwind and immerse yourself in nature. It's an ideal base for you to explore the network of walking and bike riding trails of the Warrumbungles.

With three walking tracks starting right here, you’ll be spoilt for choice. Pack a backpack and head off to enjoy the sights along Belougery Split Rock circuit, Burbie Canyon walking track, or Mount Exmouth walking track.

Or simply sit back and enjoy the tranquillity of this remote camping spot. Keep your eyes out for a group of passing kangaroos or wallabies and listen carefully for the sounds of pobblebonk frogs set amongst the chorus of birdsong. You could even try your luck fishing or yabbying in the nearby creek.

Activities: walking, camping, mountain biking, fishing, birdwatching, astronomy and star gazing

Location:  shown on Tara Cave - Wambelong - Split Rock map

Getting there: Camp Wambelong campground is in the Camp Wambelong precinct of Warrumbungle National Park. To get there:

  • After entering the park from Coonabarabran, continue along John Renshaw Parkway past the visitor centre for approximately 2km, then turn right into Camp Wambelong.
  • From Tooraweenah, follow John Renshaw Parkway for approximately 33km, then turn left into Camp Wambelong.

Road access: Sealed road - 2WD vehicles.

Facilities: picnic tables, wood barbecues (bring your own firewood), non-flush toilets, trackhead/access point, fire rings (bring your own firewood)

Water supply: Untreated water is available - we recommend you boil it before drinking.

Camping fees:

  • Peak: $5 per adult per night. $3 per child per night.
  • Shoulder: $5 per adult per night. $3 per child per night.
  • Off-peak: $5 per adult per night. $3 per child per night.

Bookings: Bookings are not available for this campground.

Contact: Coonabarabran (Warrumbungle National Park), Phone: 02 6825 4364


Events, activities and alerts at this location
Closure

John Renshaw Parkway road closure

Some areas of this park will closed due to planned closure of the John Renshaw Parkway (the main road running through the park).

Major roadworks being implemented by Gilgandra Shire Council, will force the closure of the western entrance, along with west-bound traffic past the Pincham carpark turnoff.  

Closed areas include Camp Wambelong, Split Rock walking track, Burbie Camp and Burbie Canyon walking track. 

Gilgandra Shire Council will re-open this road between Friday 7 November 2014 to Sunday 9 November (inclusive) to cater for the Crooked Mountain concert scheduled for Saturday 8 November 2014.

Camp Blackman, the Visitors Centre, Canyon picnic area, and Pincham carpark are unaffected by this closure and remain open.

For more information, please contact the Warrumbunge National Park Visitors Centre on (02) 6825 4364 or visit the NSW national parks safety page.

Ends Friday 19 December, 4:00PM
Closure

Walking track closures

Some areas of this park are closed due to severe fire weather conditions. This closure may be extended and any extension will be posted as soon as possible.  A Total Fire Ban is in place. Closed areas include Pincham carpark, Camp Pincham, Fan's Horizon, Gould's Circuit, Breadknife Grand High Tops, Bluff Mountain, Cathedral & Arch, Mount Exmouth, Belougery Split Rock Circuit, Burbie Canyon and Gunneemooroo Campround. Penalties apply for non-compliance. Please note, other alerts may also apply to Warrumbungle National Park.  For more information, please contact the Warrumbungle National Park Visitor Centre on (02) 68254364 or the Coonabarabran Area Office on (02) 68421311 or visit the NSW national parks safety page.

Ends Friday 31 October, 11:59PM

Gunneemooroo campground

Fire/closure alerts currently apply to this location. See details below.

Gunneemooroo campground is a picturesque creekside campground set in the shadows of Mount Naman. Located in the southern side of Warrumbungle National Park, it’s a remote bushland setting where tranquility and a relaxing outback retreat awaits.

Collect the key for the gate at the visitor centre, then you’ll be on your way to this peaceful back-to-basics campground. Find a campsite, then wander down to the nearby creek to explore. Or why not head off to enjoy one of the many nearby walking and bike riding tracks?

After a day immersed in nature, sit back and savour the flavours of a hot tucker around the campfire. Step away from the warmth of the fire to enjoy stargazing and be mesmerised by the abundance of stars sprayed across the night sky. You might also hear the sounds of boobook owls in the trees and tawny frogmouths from the nearby creek.

Activities: walking, mountain biking

Location:  shown on park map

Getting there: Gunneemooroo campground is in the Gunneemooroo precinct of Warrumbungle National Park. To get there:

  • Travel on John Renshaw Parkway over the western boundary, taking the turn towards Tooraweenah.
  • Turn onto the unsealed Mount Terrace Road which takes you into Gunneemooroo campground

Road access: Unsealed road/trail - 2WD vehicles. Dry weather only.

Facilities: picnic tables, wood barbecues (bring your own firewood), non-flush toilets, fire rings (bring your own firewood)

Water supply: There is a spring water tap - it's spring-bore water and requires treatment.

Bookings: Bookings are not available at this campground, but you’ll need to get a key from the visitor centre to access the camping area.

Contact: Coonabarabran (Warrumbungle National Park), Phone: 02 6825 4364


Events, activities and alerts at this location
Closure

Walking track closures

Some areas of this park are closed due to severe fire weather conditions. This closure may be extended and any extension will be posted as soon as possible.  A Total Fire Ban is in place. Closed areas include Pincham carpark, Camp Pincham, Fan's Horizon, Gould's Circuit, Breadknife Grand High Tops, Bluff Mountain, Cathedral & Arch, Mount Exmouth, Belougery Split Rock Circuit, Burbie Canyon and Gunneemooroo Campround. Penalties apply for non-compliance. Please note, other alerts may also apply to Warrumbungle National Park.  For more information, please contact the Warrumbungle National Park Visitor Centre on (02) 68254364 or the Coonabarabran Area Office on (02) 68421311 or visit the NSW national parks safety page.

Ends Friday 31 October, 11:59PM

Hurleys campground

For an inspirational nature getaway, head along to the remote bush campsite deep in the ranges of Warrumbungle National Park, near Coonabarabran. The walk-in Hurleys campground, in the craggy shadow of Belougery Spire, is in the southern section of the park.

Follow in the historic footsteps of renowned photographer Frank Hurley, who based himself here while taking iconic photographs of the Warrumbungles. Be sure to bring your camera to try your hand at capturing scenic images of the dramatic landscape views.

Keep a look out for red-necked wallabies on the nearby steep slopes and the rare brush-tailed rock wallaby. Listen out for the call of the rufous whistler as well as the multicoloured fairy wren. Peregrine falcons are known to nest in the rocky outcrops of the spire. After a day of walking, birdwatching or rock climbing, relax around your campsite and watch the impressive lightshow over the ‘crooked mountains’.

Activities: camping, picnics and barbecues, birdwatching

Location:  shown on Breadknife - Grand High Tops map

Getting there: On entering Warrumbungle National Park, travel along John Renshaw Parkway and turn into Pincham carpark. From there, walk along Pincham trail for 1.5 hours, following signs to Hurleys campground.

Road access: Sealed road - no motor vehicle access.

Water supply: There is a nice little waterfall a little further upstream where there may be water, but always carry a supply.

Bookings: For booking information, contact Warrumbungle Visitor Centre on (02) 6825 4364.

Contact: Coonabarabran (Warrumbungle National Park), Phone: 02 6825 4364

Ogma Gap campground

This rustic walk-in campground provides a back-to-basics experience, in the remote mountain ranges of Warrumbungle National Park. Located between Grand High Tops and Mount Exmouth, Ogma Gap campground offers you the chance to really unwind and enjoy the best of this remote wilderness.

You can reach this remote camping spot from a range of walks in the park, including Breadknife and Grand High Tops walk and West Spirey track. No matter which direction you face, you’re guaranteed a breathtaking view over the dramatic spires and outcrops that make this park so famous.

Upon reaching the campsite, you’ll be ready to take the weight off and relax. Boil up the billy and take in your panoramic surroundings. As night settles in, imagine the possibility of other worlds while stargazing, before falling asleep to the sounds of the bush.

Activities: camping, picnics and barbecues, birdwatching

Location:  shown on Burbie Trail map

Getting there: Ogma Gap campground is in the Breadknife and Grand High Tops precinct of Warrumbungle National Park. The campground is only accessible by foot. To get there:

From Coonabarabran:

  • Follow John Renshaw Parkway into Warrumbungle National Park
  • Turn left into Pincham Road approximately 100m past the Visitor Centre turnoff
  • Leave the car at Pincham carpark and follow the signs to Ogma Gap campground.

Road access: Sealed road - 2WD vehicles.

Water supply: There's no water available at this campsite; you'll need to carry from Balor Hut or from the beginning of the walk.

Bookings: Bookings are not required for this campground.

Contact: Coonabarabran (Warrumbungle National Park), Phone: 02 6825 4364

Tara Cave

Fire/closure alerts currently apply to this location. See details below.

Aboriginal Discovery Ranger demonstrating the use of a boomerang on the Tara Cave Disocvery tour in Warrumbungle National Park (Image: Daniel Trudgeon/DECCW)Booking yourself on a guided tour of Tara Cave with an Aboriginal Discovery Ranger is a great way to discover the history of the park from an Aboriginal perspective. In the Gamilaroi language of the traditional owners of Warrumbungle National Park, Warrumbungles is the word for ‘crooked mountain’.

Discover this ancient landscape and learn how it’s been Aboriginal Country for thousands of years. On the Discovery tour, enjoy a bush tucker morning tea, visit an historic Aboriginal site and gain insight into the relationship between the Gamilaroi and this unique landscape. See ancient axe grinding grooves, which are bound to transport you back in time. These rocky outcrops of sandstone and granite were used as cave-shelters, and there are numerous historic campsites throughout the park.

Journey further into Warrumbungles on a self-guided walk. Try the challenging Breadknife and Grand High Tops or the easy Wambelong Nature track - it’s the perfect way to see the land of this ancient culture.

Activities: walking

Location:  shown on Tara Cave - Wambelong - Split Rock map

Getting there: On entering Warrumbungles National Park, head to Warrumbungle Visitor Centre to book your Tara Cave Discovery Tour. The visitor centre is just off John Renshway Parkway in Warrumbungle National Park.

Road access: Sealed road - 2WD vehicles.

Bookings: For tour bookings contact Warrumbungle Visitor Centre on (02) 6825 4364.


Events, activities and alerts at this location
Closure

Closed facilities

Some areas of Warrumbungle National Park are closed due to a bushfire in January 2013. This closure may be extended and any extension will be posted as soon as possible. Please register with the Visitor Centre if you are planning on walking or climbing off-track. Falling trees remain a hazard in fire effected areas.Penalties apply for non-compliance. Other alerts or closures may be in place. For more information, please contact the Warrumbungles Visitor Centre on (02) 6825 4364 or visit the NSW National Parks safety page

Closure

John Renshaw Parkway road closure

Some areas of this park will closed due to planned closure of the John Renshaw Parkway (the main road running through the park).

Major roadworks being implemented by Gilgandra Shire Council, will force the closure of the western entrance, along with west-bound traffic past the Pincham carpark turnoff.  

Closed areas include Camp Wambelong, Split Rock walking track, Burbie Camp and Burbie Canyon walking track. 

Gilgandra Shire Council will re-open this road between Friday 7 November 2014 to Sunday 9 November (inclusive) to cater for the Crooked Mountain concert scheduled for Saturday 8 November 2014.

Camp Blackman, the Visitors Centre, Canyon picnic area, and Pincham carpark are unaffected by this closure and remain open.

For more information, please contact the Warrumbunge National Park Visitors Centre on (02) 6825 4364 or visit the NSW national parks safety page.

Ends Friday 19 December, 4:00PM
Closure

Walking track closures

Some areas of this park are closed due to severe fire weather conditions. This closure may be extended and any extension will be posted as soon as possible.  A Total Fire Ban is in place. Closed areas include Pincham carpark, Camp Pincham, Fan's Horizon, Gould's Circuit, Breadknife Grand High Tops, Bluff Mountain, Cathedral & Arch, Mount Exmouth, Belougery Split Rock Circuit, Burbie Canyon and Gunneemooroo Campround. Penalties apply for non-compliance. Please note, other alerts may also apply to Warrumbungle National Park.  For more information, please contact the Warrumbungle National Park Visitor Centre on (02) 68254364 or the Coonabarabran Area Office on (02) 68421311 or visit the NSW national parks safety page.

Ends Friday 31 October, 11:59PM

Whitegum lookout

Wheelchair access: easy
This area is fully wheelchair accessible.

Spectacular views of the volcanic landscape of Warrumbungle National Park await you at Whitegum lookout. Be sure to take a hamper or thermos flask with you, there are picnic tables where you can enjoy a picnic or cuppa while taking in the view and snapping some photographs.

It is a 500m stroll from the carpark to Whitegum lookout along a sealed pathway. Although there is a slight incline, the path is suitable for wheelchairs and prams and it is an easy walk for children.

Activities: walking, picnicking, playing and socialising, birdwatching

Location:  shown on park map

Getting there: Whitetree lookout is located just off John Renshaw parkway approximately 2km from the eastern entrance to the park when travelling from Coonabarabran. 

Road access: Sealed road - 2WD vehicles.

Facilities: picnic tables