Warrumbungle Shire straddles the Newell and is a place of many contrasts with great ways to fill your days… and nights. Coonabarabran is the Astronomy Capital of Australia and hosts Australia’s largest optical astronomy research facility, Siding Spring Observatory.
A visit to Siding Spring will show you that this is the home of not just one telescope, there are 14 different facilities on site with the new iTelescope housing 16 telescopes all aimed at the southern night skies and most of them remotely accessible from the northern hemisphere. This visit to Siding Spring shows the work of the astronomers. But an evening at one of three privately owned and operated observatories, open to the public for night sky viewing, is your chance to try your hand at observing and completes the total astronomy experience, perhaps having you thirst for more.
With three very different national parks, there is something for everyone – camping, picnicking, treks or strolls and simply breathtaking scenery.
Take a short break or travel the universe, order a long black or a tea bag… educational, inspirational, challenging, relaxing and experiential… this is the life of Warrumbungle Shire… we’ve got it all!
Crystal Kingdom and the “Minerals of the Warrumbungles”
16 Chappel Avenue (Newell Highway) P: 02 6842 1927
Crystal Kingdom is a fascinating mineral museum and displays a world-class collection of LOCAL crystals and fossils. A visit is the ideal introduction to the geology of the “Warrumbungle Range”, which includes Australia’s most spectacular extinct volcano, the Warrumbungle volcano, and the remnants of the much older Garrawilla volcano.
Containing some of the world’s rarest zeolite crystals and rare local fossils, it is a “must see” for all lovers of the treasures of the earth.
The well stocked Crystal Shop has a range of gemstone jewellery, crystals, gemstones, mineral specimens, fossils from all over the world and a range of gift lines and healing stones, at very affordable prices.
Pre booked tours for coach groups and school excursions are available.
We are open daily (except Christmas Day) from 8am to 5pm. Free entry.
The Pilliga Forest Discovery Centre, 50–58 Wellington Street (the main street) P: 02 6843 4011
Discover the hidden secrets of The Pilliga and the stories of yesteryear with this fun and entertaining exhibition. This architecturally designed, environmentally sustainable centre will captivate the imagination of visitors of all ages. Featuring the latest in interactive displays and technology, your “walk in the forest” will reveal fauna, flora and Aboriginal cultural heritage – the Pilliga like you’ve never seen before. While there ask the staff about the wildflowers or “Sculptures in the Scrub” – a hidden gem featuring five amazing sculptural pieces along spectacular Dandry Gorge, bringing the Aboriginal cultural history of The Pilliga to life.
Blackgate Distillery, 72 Forest Road. P: 02 6886 1123 or 0427 978 882
This newly established distillery is located on the edge of the Goonoo National Park just minutes from Mendooran. Established in 2009, they handcraft small batch, cask matured malt whisky, dark rum and fruit infused vodkas.
Production is undertaken in a traditional copper pot still with no added colours or flavours.
Tastings are available most days but it is recommended that you phone ahead to avoid disappointment. This is your chance to sample something that is different but exclusive to the
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