Explore Narrabri & Wee Waa's National Parks
Last updated August 8, 2023
Mount Kaputar National Park
Whether you’re a thrill seeker or seeking blissful solitude, take the time to discover this rugged island of wilderness. The Nandewar Ranges rise dramatically from the flat agricultural plains below, with the elevation resulting in a great variety of vegetation, landscape and temperature. The park is home to rare and threatened fauna, including bats, birds, koalas, quolls and wallabies. See if you can spot a giant, bright pink slug, which is unique to the area and can grow up to 20cm!
Kaputar is perfect for camping, bushwalking, mountain biking, rock climbing, wild swimming, horse-riding…the options for adventure are endless. Contact the Narrabri Region Visitor Information Centre before venturing out to check current road conditions. Highlights of the park include:
- Mount Kaputar Summit lookout - spectacular, panoramic 360-degree views taking in an extraordinary 10% of the state, there’s no higher peak between the summit and South Africa! If you’re keen for a hike, start at Dawson’s Spring picnic area and follow the trail along the Mount Kaputar Summit Walk (2km return).
- Waa Gorge Walking Track – millions of years of weathering has formed the deeply etched gorge, its gullies are strewn with enormous boulders and the ghost of ancient rivers and streams. Follow the track (2.5km return through the Grattai Wilderness Area) deep into the rock formation and be dwarfed by the towering tangerine-streaked walls up to the volcanic plug. Wildflowers carpet the area in springtime and it’s a cool and quiet spot for a picnic in summer. Picnic tables and bush toilets near the carpark at the base of Mt Waa. Allambie Rd, Berrigal
- Kaputar Scenic Drive – 20km route through dramatic landscapes, ascending 1,100m in altitude as it snakes up the mountainside, offering access to lookouts, picnic spots and walking tracks.
- Sawn Rocks Walking Track - Soaring, 40m tall pillars reminiscent of church organ pipes, Sawn Rocks is a perfect example of the park’s volcanic past - the striking wall of pentagonal basalt pipes is the result of slow and even cooling of molten lava. From the carpark, a 1.5km return walking track offers an easy stroll through fragrant eucalypts, fig and wattle trees to an observation platform, providing the perfect view of this intriguing geometric formation. You can then take the steps down for a dip in the tranquil pools of Bobbiwaa Creek. BBQ, picnic tables and bush toilets. Killarney Gap Rd, Narrabri
Deriah Aboriginal Area
On the western slope of the Nandewar Range, adjacent to Mount Kaputar National Park discover a unique insight into the traditions and culture of the Gamilaraay Nation at the Deriah Aboriginal Area. Co-managed by the National Parks and Wildlife Service and the local Aboriginal community, this fascinating area offers breathtaking scenic views across the sweeping Liverpool Plains to the south-west and Mount Kaputar to the north-east, as well as perfect picnicking, walking and birdwatching opportunities. Learn about the natural history of this ancient landscape from an Aboriginal perspective and the rare ooline dry rainforest which is a flashback to when megafauna roamed the lands. Carinya Rd, Eulah Creek
Pilliga National Park
A vast, ecologically diverse forest spanning more than half a million hectares with 2,000km of public access trails. Renowned for its unique, rugged and ancient landscape and featuring dense woodlands, towering sandstone ridges, and expansive salt lakes. One of the iconic landscapes of inland Australia, Pilliga Forest (or sometimes called the Pilliga Scrub) is made up of Pilliga Nature Reserve, Timmallallie National Park, Pilliga West, and East State Conservation Areas.
The area serves as an important habitat for a wide range of flora and fauna, including koalas, diverse bird species, and rare reptiles. It is a popular destination for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts, offering opportunities for bushwalking, birdwatching, camping, and stargazing… be sure to keep an eye out for the mysterious Pilliga Yowie! Highlights include:
- Pilliga Forest Discovery Centre – stop into the architecturally designed, environmentally sustainable centre before kicking off your adventures in the park. Discover interactive ways to understand the area's natural wonders and learn about its rich Aboriginal heritage. Guided tours of the park available.
- Pilliga Artesian Bore Baths – for well over a century, the bore has been a popular spot to soak away those aches and pains, with the therapeutic value of the mineral-rich, 37-degree pool long recognised by locals and visitors alike. Narrabri Rd, Pilliga
- Pilliga Pottery Creative Farmstay and the Blue Wren Bush Café – unique, gorgeous earthenware creations, lovingly created on-site from local clays and collected worldwide. The Blue Wren Café hosts afternoon tea and serves delicious meals in a relaxing, bush oasis - enjoy espresso coffee, freshly baked scones, scrumptious woodfired pizza, or house-made Pilliga Gelato. Regular workshops and special events, plus farm stay accommodation available.
- Sculptures in the Scrub - deep in the forest lies exquisite Dandry Gorge and the magnificent Sculptures in the Scrub. This once secret location of the Gamilaroi People is now an extraordinary place for all to share. Take a walk around the award-winning sculptures - each unique piece is the result of an artist collaborating with local Elders and young people to tell a story of the area’s Aboriginal history and culture.
- The Salt Caves - the Caves are an important Aboriginal site and are an excellent example of shelters used by the traditional Gamilaroi people. According to legend, they were once thirty metres deep, with salt hanging in columns like stalactites from the roof and local women collected the salt to cure meat. The picnic area is a great base from which to hike up the escarpment to the Pilliga Forest lookout tower, where you’ll be treated to breathtaking views across the vast Pilliga Forest. On a clear day you can see all the way to the Warrumbungle National Park to the south-east, and Mount Kaputar National Park to the north-east. For a shorter stroll, take the 1km walk to Salt Caves Dam, a popular watering hole for the native wildlife and a great spot for birdwatching.
- The Sandstone Caves - walk in the ancient footsteps of the Gamilaraay People along the short Sandstone Caves track, and wander through scenic forest to the majestic sandstone hills which feature Aboriginal rock engravings. Please be respectful when visiting this site and refrain from touching rock art and engravings. Guided tours of this site are a wonderful way to gain deeper insight into this special, ancient place – bookings through the Pilliga Forest Discovery Centre.
- Scutts Hut –slice of early pioneer history well worth the walk-in adventure. Set on the scenic banks of Horsearm Creek and built by grazier Archie Scutt in 1938, the hut has been fully restored to show how the early pioneers once lived. You can still see the earth floor, open fireplace, cypress logs and stringybark slabs.
Stretching north of the Mt Kaputar National Park, the area encompasses many significant cultural sites for the local Gamilaroi people (Gamilaraay, Kamilaroi, Gomeroi) and protects ceremonial and tool-making areas, burial and art sites and hunting grounds. The picnic area features fascinating interpretive signage, BBQs, picnic shelters and is the beginning of the Yana-y Warruwi Walking Track - a scenic 3.2km loop through the beautiful landscape surrounding the township of Terry Hie Hie. Terry Hie Hie Rd, Terry Hie Hie
As Australia’s only Dark Sky Park (zero light pollution), the Warrumbungles are the perfect spot for stargazing, amateur astronomy and camping under the starriest of skies. The park is famous for its wildlife and vistas of rugged volcanic landscape, plus the Breadknife and Grand High Tops walk is renown as one of the best walks in NSW, with close up views of the park’s iconic rock formations.
Tucked away in the rugged foothills of the Nandewar Range is this patch of relatively undisturbed old growth forest, where nature lovers can explore the waterfalls, swimming holes and gorges of Horton Falls National Park. Make the short 100m stroll to Horton Falls lookout which is the ideal vantage point to see Horton River cascade into the deep valley below. If you fancy an invigorating dip, head past the Upper Falls picnic area and follow the scenic track to the most perfect little swimming hole. Picnic tables, BBQ facilities and toilets.
One of the most significant inland wetlands systems in NSW and home to at least 75 waterbird species – spot threatened, endangered and migratory species from the bird hide at the 'Waterbird Lagoon'. Contact the Moree Visitor Information Centre on 02 6757 3350 before venturing out to check current road conditions. Gingham Road, Moree
Scenic area covering 1,057 hectares, with low hills and large dramatic boulders, home to protected local wildlife and rare plants. Enjoy an easy stroll or longer trek with 10 km of marked walking tracks though woodlands and alongside meandering creeks. Within the reserve, on Jukembal Land, is the Nhunta Karra Kara Track commemorating the Aboriginal families who made the Goonoowigal area (known as the Inverell "fringe dwellers" camp) their home from the 1940s until the 1970s. To listen to their fascinating and moving stories as you walk the track, download the free Soundtrails App then open Goonoowigal Soundtrail. Tingha Road, Inverell
Striking landscape with massive boulders set above the valley’s tranquil pools where you can fish, swim or picnic. Bush camping, picnic tables, BBQ facilities and toilets. Warrabah Trail, Warrabah