Overview

Belougery Spire, one of the magnificent volcanic plugs in Warrumbungles National Park

Belougery Spire, one of the magnificent volcanic plugs in Warrumbungles National Park

Warrumbungle National Park lies about 500km north west of Sydney, near Coonabarabran, on the north west slopes of NSW. The park covers an old volcanic region which has been eroded over many millions of years to leave a spectacular landscape of rock formations, the most famous of which is the Breadknife, a 90m high, 4m wide blade of rock that juts out of the surrounding bush. The park also protects a wide variety of flora and fauna, including the endangered Brush Tailed Rock Wallaby. There is a well developed network of bushwalking trails in the park, and rock climbing is also popular on the volcanic peaks that rise from the landscape.

Access

The main access to the park is from the John Renshaw Parkway, which runs through the middle of the park from Coonabarabran towards Coonamble and Gulargambone. Most of the walks start from the Pincham car park, which is a short distance off the road. The visitors centre, Camp Blackman, Camp Elongery and the Canyon Picnic Area are also short drives from this road. The other access to the park is from the Gunneemooroo Fire Trail on the south side of the park, accessible from Tooraweenah.

Activities

Bushwalking

The park has a wide variety of walks available, from short flat walks accessible by wheelchair, to overnight walks with steep climbs and magnificent views. The tracks are mostly well maintained, and while there is some opportunity for off track walking, most popular places have a well marked track leading there. The most popular walk for a day is the Pincham Trail, to the Grand High Tops and Breadknife. This can be extended to do a full circuit including a detour to Bluff Mountain, which is a solid day of walking. Other side trips can be made to Mt Exmouth, which probably requires an overnight walk if the previous features are visited, and Macha Tor, which has good views of Belougery Spire. Shorter, but still steep walks, include to Fan's Horizon and Bress Peak.

Climbing

The Warrumbungles offer a lot to the experienced rock climber, with big adventure routes on many of the exposed volcanic peaks. While the Breadknife and Chalkers Mountain are out of bounds to climbers, most other peaks can be climbed. The biggest is Bluff Mountain, with numerous routes over 300m. Other popular peaks include Belougery Spire and Crater Bluff, with Timor Rock and Tonduron Spire also worth checking out. Note that route finding is very difficult, and the available guides have limited information.

Mountain Biking

There is limited mountain biking in the park, as it is permitted only on fire trails. Most of the tracks in the park are walking trails only. It is worth checking out the fire trails on the north side of the park, around Brownes Creek and Scabilon Creek.

Walks

Bluff Mountain Circuit

Time: 6 hrs; Distance: 16km; Fitness: MH; Skill: EM; Ascent: 700m

A challenging day walk with spectacular views of most of the Warrumbungles landmarks.

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