Short (kid-friendly) Walks in the Warrumbungle National Park
Warrumbungle National Park is an incredible place, full of spectacular scenery and some epic walks, like the Breadknife and Grand High Tops (14.5km), the Bluff Mountains Circuit (17km) and the Mt Exmouth walking track (26km).
But not everyone is able to do these massive hikes, so we have put together a list of our favourite short walks in the national park, perfect for little legs and anyone who is not up for a hugely long walk, but still wants to explore this extraordinary national park.
Wambelong Nature Walking Trail (1km circuit)
This is the shortest walk in the park, but don’t let its length worry you - it was our absolute favourite!
Starting at the Canyon Picnic Area, the walk is only 1km long, but it is pretty steep to get to the top and then down again, and so took us close to an hour - although we did spend a long time at the top admiring the view!
It is a circuit, so you can do it in either direction, however we started by walking up the massive dome rock (see photo), which I think is easier than doing it the other way around, where the downhill rock climb could get slippery.
It was so much fun walking up and along the huge volcanic rock, where we shouted “the floor is lava!” far too many times!
Once you get to the top of the dome, you are treated with incredible views over the valley to the Siding Springs Observatory and across to Belougery Split Rock. It’s a perfect spot to sit and enjoy the rocky outcrops that make the park famous.
The track along the rock is marked by yellow cat’s eyes, which make their way along the top to where the path heads down through the bush to the creek, before heading back to the picnic area.
If you love bird watching, this is supposed to be a fantastic walk to spot them, but as usual, we were too noisy to see any wildlife!
Spirey View Lookout (6.6km return)
The Breadknife and Grand High Tops walk is one of the most famous hikes in Warrumbungle, but at 14.5 km, it was much too long for us.
We decided to start the walk and see how far we could get, and we were very happy to find the beautiful Spirey View lookout at the 3.3km mark.
Park at the Pincham car park, and then follow the signs for the Breadknife and Grand Hightops walk. The walk follows Spirey Creek, crossing it several times as you make your way through the beautiful bushland.
It is an easy walk, paved in several sections and I think you’d be ok pushing a stroller as far as the turn off to the Spirey View Lookout.
The walk from the main path to the lookout is a short, steep uphill climb, not suitable for strollers, but definitely worth the climb. When you get to the top you will get an awesome view of the iconic Breadknife, Belougery Spire and the Grand High Tops rock formations.
It is a perfect spot to rest and have a snack before heading back to the carpark.
The Belougery Flats walk is a 5km loop, starting from the Blackman campground, following a fire trail through the valley, with impressive views of the Grand High Tops, Mt Exmouth and Belougery Split Rock.
We started the walk in Blackman Camp 3, and it was great to be able to do the walk right from our van.
Please note that the “flats” part of the walk doesn’t have any shade, so make sure you avoid doing it in the middle of the day, like we did - although ice creams from the Warrumbungle Visitor Centre were a nice treat afterwards!
This is also the only spot in the park that our drone permit allowed us to fly.
If you enter from Coonabarabran, the Whitegum Lookout walk is one of the first things you will come across, about 2km into the park.
It is an easy 1km return walk and gives you expansive views over the Grand High Tops, Bluff Mountain and Mt Exmouth, and is a great introduction to the beautiful park.
It is supposed to be a spectacular spot to watch the sunset, although be careful of kangaroos as you drive back to camp.
Other short walks in the park
We didn’t have enough time to do all of the short walks in the park, so here are a few that we are excited to check out next time we visit:
From the Burbie Canyon Carpark, this can be either a 2km or 4km return walk, depending on if you walk from the carpark to the fire trail and back (2km), or continue to the Split Rock Carpark and loop back along the road (4km).
This is classified as an easy / moderate walk, along a (usually) dry creek bed through a sandstone canyon. It is apparently spectacular in spring, when the area is covered in wildflowers.
This is a 3.4km return walk from the Old Woolshed Picnic Area. The walk goes along an elevated boardwalk towards the cave, which has incredible views of the park.
The cave itself is a rock shelter that has been used by the Aboriginal people for thousands of years. It is a place of special significance, with a large deep chamber and a tool-making site at the front. Axe grinding grooves and traditional Aboriginal stone tools have been found within the cave.
This short 1km track links the Visitor Centre to Camp Blackman, and gives you views across the flats to the peaks. Probably a nice one to stretch your legs when you first arrive at camp and don’t want to drive to the Visitor Centre!
We absolutely loved our time at Warrumbungle National Park!
Next time we want to visit in spring to see the wildflowers, but autumn was also a magical time to be there.
The beautiful Warrumbungle Visitor Centre is also worth visiting - and not just for maps and ice creams! It was built after a catastrophic fire in 2013 (which ravaged 90% of the park) destroyed the old building, and is now home to interesting exhibitions about the park, including a topographical model, as well as the park’s information office and a small gift shop.
When our kids are older we will do some of the longer, overnight walks, but for now these short walks were enough to show us the awesome beauty of this special place.