Siding Spring Observatory is on Mount Woorat, 27 km west of Coonabarabran. You can visit the Exploratory Centre, full of interactive activities and fascinating facts about the cosmos. While you’re there, you can view the Anglo-Australian Telescope, Australia’s largest optical telescope, from behind glass on the fourth floor.
But you don’t have to go up to the Observatory to appreciate the night sky. With its altitude and its distance from the bright lights of the city, Coonabarabran is a place where the stars really shine. While driving around the Coonabarabran region, you might see billboards with 3D models of the planets of the solar system on them. This is the world’s largest solar system drive, a scale model of our universe 38 million times smaller than the real thing. The Observatory represents the sun, while planets can be found all the way in the towns of Tamworth and Dubbo.
Visit Warrumbungle National Park, the place that inspired cartoonist Ken Emerson’s comic ‘The Warrum-bunglers’. The region’s volcanic past has led to such unusual formations as ‘The Breadknife’, which came about when lava flowed through a crack in rocks millions of years ago. The park has over 40 km of bushwalking trails, from simple strolls to epic hikes. There are several camps available in the national park, so you can pack your tent and spend a night in the wild.
The Diprotodon Exhibition in the Coonabarabran Visitor Information Centre features the skeleton of the largest marsupial who ever lived (it looks kind of like an alarmingly huge, long-snouted wombat). John Street Coonabarabran’s town centre has fair-dinkum Aussie-style hotels for drinking and a diverse mix of restaurants.
The Warrumbungles are in Central NSW, about six hours from Sydney. Book a flight to Sydney with us if you need that too. You can drive to Coonabarabran or catch a train and bus from Sydney. Book your Coonabarabran accommodation with us, because the night sky has never looked better.
Hotels in Coonabarabran start at AU$70 per night. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.