The ‘broken crooked mountains” of Warrumbungle
A little over 1.5 hours north of Dubbo, the remnants of ancient volcanoes make the Warrumbungle National Park simply a spectacular experience.
The name is taken from the Aboriginal meaning ‘broken crooked mountains’. The park covers more than 23,300 hectares .
The Breadknife is 90 meters high and often only 4 meters wide.
The park is the remnant of a shield volcano that was active 13 to 17 million years ago. A shield volcano is one that has slow moving lava which when erupting forms a shield shape and in this case one that has been estimated as 1,000 meters high and 50 kilometers wide.
What you see in the park are the volcanic plugs, dykes and domes (all formed when molten lava fills spaces in existing rock or the neck of a volcano). These features then cooled and in this case most consisted of rocks extremely resistant to erosion – the actual volcano shield has eroded over millions of years but the plugs, dykes and domes of the erosion resistant material is now what can be seen still standing in a large roughly circular shape.
The many volcanic features are set among thick forest and particularly white box eucalypt trees. White gum, iron bark and white and black cypress grow in the drier sandstone soils and in the higher points, heath and snow gum.
There have been more than 180 different species of birds that have been observed in the park including many brightly colored parrots, lorikeets and cockatoos.
The park has been declared a Dark Sky Park, meaning their are restrictions on the use of night lighting to reduce light pollution but with the result of exceptionally starry nights.
The park has a visitor centre with lots of information regarding the walks in the park and you can book a guided tour there too. Camping is available at several spots in the park, some bush camping, and many with barbecues and picnic facilities.