News / Business / 5th May 2022
Dark Sky Park tops the list
The Warrumbungle Region has been ranked as the top destination to visit in NSW by a premiere travel organisation.
Lonely Planet released its top 500 travel experiences in the country - named the Ultimate Australia Travel List.
Throughout the guide it breaks all the amazing experiences down into the top places to visit in each state.
The number one experience for NSW is the Warrumbungle Dark Sky Park.
Warrumbungle Shire Council mayor, Cr Ambrose Doolan was excited at what the ranking could mean for the area.
“We couldn’t buy that sort of advertising,” Cr Doolan said.
“Everyone will benefit from this - accommodation, restaurants, pubs, cafes, people selling experiences; the benefits will flow through the whole community.
“We know we live in a great part of the world, it’s good that people have recognised what we can probably take for granted at times.
“This is a massive achievement for the Warrumbungle Region, and Coonabarabran is very proud to be the gateway to the stars.”
National Parks acting Visitor Centre supervisor, Matthew Piper said it will be a massive boon for not just the Warrumbungle National Park, but the Shire as a whole.
“What it means is an increase in visitation to the area. It will attract more people, especially considering it has come from such a reputable organisation that reaches a global audience,” Mr Piper said.
“COVID has had such a big impact on international visitors, but with all that pretty much behind us now and people starting to travel again, it’s perfect timing.”
Mr Piper said the park can expect to cater for more travellers and, with two new amenity blocks already planned for the Camp Blackman area.
On the retail side of things, more local products will be made available for purchase at the Warrumbungle National Park Visitor Centre.
“When people visit they like to take something home with them to remind them of their trip,” Mr Piper said.
“We stock a lot of local products already and we will continue to support them.”
In 2016, Warrumbungle National Park was declared Australia’s first Dark Sky Park.
The National Park is situated 35 kilometres west of Coonabarabran and has long been recognised not only for its beauty at ground level, but also for the wonder it holds in the night sky above.
It is an outstanding place to view the night sky and, along with the nearby Siding Spring Observatory, it plays an important role in Australian astronomical research.
In its report, Lonely Planet described the Warrumbungles as “still having plenty to offer once the sun rises”, and also stated:
“Avid bushwalkers are sure to enjoy the rugged volcanic landscape.
“The Breadknife and Grand High Tops walk will bring you close to the park’s most impressive formations.
“With over 190 bird species recorded within the park, bird watchers should be sure to look out for emus, wedge-tailed eagles and the southern boobook owl”.
Photo: Courtesy of NPWS.