With restrictions beginning to ease for most of us we can now at least begin to explore our own backyard, which is not a bad thing as we found out back in June of 2008. As Winter was setting in Sandra and I decided to explore some of our own backyard over a several week jaunt. The aim of this trip was to take in as many national parks in the west and north of the state as possible to really get an appreciation of what our home state of NSW has to offer. To say we were surprised would be an understatement.
So it was in early June we headed south west towards the Riverina Region and to Cocoparra National Park just outside Griffith. Here the rocky escarpment is accentuated by the Cypress Pines and original forests that once dominated this region. Historically the Whitton Stock Route that traces the western boundary of the park was once used by the famous Cobb and Co Coaches on their Melbourne to Brisbane Route during the late 1800s.
From the forests and rocky outcrops of the Riverina we ventured north west towards the former famous sheep grazing property of Willandra outside the tiny hamlet of Hillston. During the late 1800s Willandra Station played asn integral part in the country’s expanding wool industry. During the 1970s much of this former station became a national park giving a fascinating insight into the pastoral history of this region. Camping is available here and makes the perfect spot to enjoy the outback.
From the environs of an historic outback station we ventured further north clinging to the edge of the outback before pulling into the magnificent red hues of Gundabooka National Park out from the outback town of Bourke along the famous Darling River. Camping is also permitted here giving another outback camping experience.
Moving on from Gundabooka our route would take us east and into the enchanting Mount Kaputar National Park on the doorstep of Narrabri. This beautiful, picturesque mountainous park makes for a total contrast to the outback parks we had so far been exploring. Along with the aptly named Sawn Rocks we take in extensive views from atop Mount Kaputar over the surrounding farmlands and ranges before bunking down at the summit for a night shrouded in eery mist and fog.
After spending a blissful night atop Mount Kaputar we backtracked somewhat to another gem of this region of NSW, the popular Warrumbungles just out of Coonabarabran. Here we are greeted with impressive rocky crags and even more beautiful scenery. Here is also known as “Dark Sky Country” making it the perfect place for star gazing when the weather permits, not this time though. There are a couple camping areas here to choose from.
Join us next time as we continue our explorations from our home state of NSW as we venture back north again before making our way across to the coast and down through the amazing Great Dividing Range.