We spent a fantastic couple of days in the Warrumbungle national park staying in Camp Blackman. The views and peaceful setting were amazing and the camp ground amenities were excellent, even hot showers and flushing toilets in the main amenities block, so camping luxury. We even had a powered van site, so did not have to run the battery down on the pod. 

The camp is a Dark Sky Park so we were shown an amazing view of the night sky during our visit, only occasionally impaired by clouds. The nearest town, Conabarabran, has taken steps to reduce light pollution because of the dark sky status. Viewing the full grandeur of the Milky Way with your own eyes is something most people will never see, unless you visit somewhere like this. We now live in an age where light pollution is all pervasive and unless you visit a park like this or some of the more remote areas of Australia, the full glory of the night sky is something denied to most of us trapped in urban areas. Viewing the milky way here lets you clearly identify the emu in the sky, “the best known aboriginal constellation”, (Norris, Emu Dreaming, http://www.emudreaming.com/book.htm ).

Tara cave

Awesome walks, though we stuck to the easier walks, like the Burbie canyon walk, the White gum lookout and the Tara cave walk.  Burbie canyon was a fairly gentle stroll but still over some rough ground but nothing to dramatic.  The Tara cave involved some hill climbing but over a fairly gentle circuitous route much of which was actually paved. White Gum is a short, wheelchair friendly walk and has a fantastic view of the Warrumbungles at the end. The park has other fantastic walks, some challenging with significant climbing and rough terrain.

Wildlife is abundant and while wary of humans, do move through the camp areas. Did have a kookaburra sitting in a tree within five meters. Other birdlife, lots of apostle birds, seemed unconcerned about humans, while hunting for food around the camp. Did see a small copper coloured snake, uncertain of species, on our walk to the Tara Cave as well. Kangaroos grazed around the camp and came in through the night.

The park is still suffering from the effects of a fairly catastrophic fire in 2013, trees are still falling as a result of the damage done, it was the same fire that threatened the Siding Springs Observatory and the effects of that event are still visible everywhere. The park is punctuated with signs warning about the danger of falling trees and branches, but despite the past fire event the park is green and apparently flourishing. Wattles were blooming, filling the air with their warm, dusty scent.

An awesome few days and the Siding Spring observatory is just a few minutes drive up the road, so easy access for another excursion.

Siding Springs Observatory from Camp Blackman

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