Everything you need to know about Camping in the Warrumbungle National Park

Grand high tops at sunrise at the warrumbungle national park
Grand high tops at sunrise

Before we even get started. We just want to say you’re in for an absolute treat! After recently spending a week camping in the Warrumbungle National Park we can easily say this is without a doubt one of the best National Parks in NSW. There is just something special about the moment you drive into the park for the first time and see the Warrumbungles, which means ‘crooked mountains’ in case you were wondering. All we could think and say was ‘Wow’ as we drove in. We were honestly lost for words. And after a week, we can say that feeling doesn’t go away.

The park features countless flora and fauna including kangaroos, wallabies, crested cockatoos, kookaburras, eagles, goats and wattle and is perfect for spending some time adventuring with friends and family.

Before heading out to the Warrumbungle National Park there are a few things you need to consider. Firstly, the accommodation near Warrumbungle National Park. Secondly, the hiking Warrumbungle National Park has to offer. Thirdly what to do in the Coonabarabran area, and lastly hiking safety. We’ll be covering all of these in this article so you can make the most of your adventure!

If you’re interested in more national park guides, make sure you check out this guide on Mungo National Park!

Just quickly before we get started on any hikes or camping trips we do recommend the following.

  • First Aid Kit – We recommend this emergency first aid kit as it is designed for travel and can easily be placed in your day pack.
  • Water – For obvious reasons.
  • An offline map – not everywhere has access to the internet and you need to be prepared.
  • Snacks – for extra energy.
  • Camera – so you can capture some memories.
  • Multi tool – So you’re prepared for anything.

breadknife warrumbungle national park
Breadknife Warrumbungle National Park
Warrumbungle National Park Camping options

Across the park, there are countless remote campsites, many of which are only accessible by foot. However, we won’t be going into these and will be weighing up the pros and cons of the main campsites in the park and ultimately why we chose what we did. Camping in the Warrumbungles is the main form of accommodation in the area, we will be showing you the best campsites Warrumbungle National Park has to offer and the facilities and prices at each.

Camp Wambelong

Cost – $16 per night for 2 people + National Park Fees $8 per vehicle a day


  • Drop toilets
  • Fire pits
  • no assigned campsites
  • No powered sites
  • Suitable for tents, campervans and caravans

Camp Wambelong is considered a remote campsite in the Warrumbungles but is only just off the John Renshaw PKW. The reason this campsite is considered remote is due to the lack of reception, and lack of facilities at the campsite

One of the perks of this site is the lack of people. This campsite only has 35 campsites, which means there will be fewer people around, which let’s be honest isn’t a bad thing when you’re camping.

The site also sits right underneath Belougery Split Rock and has easy walkable access to The Belougery Split Rock Circuit, Burbie Canyon and Mount Exmouth.

Camp Blackman


  • $16 per night for 2 people + National Park Fees $8 per vehicle a day for an unpowered site
  • $25+ per night for 2 people + National Park Fees $8 per vehicle a day for a powered site

  • Powered/Unpowered Sites
  • BBQ Facilities
  • Hot Showers
  • Flush toilets
  • Drinking water
  • Wash bay for dirty dishes and laundry
  • Public phone
  • Suitable for tents, campervans, and caravans
  • Assigned campsites

Camp Blackman sits within the Dark Sky boundary which means that you need to make special arrangements lighting-wise at your campsite to avoid polluting the sky with your light. This means lights must always face downwards and warm-coloured lights are recommended rather than white lights. Whilst this may be a little frustrating and you might need to make adjustments to your camping set up, you’ll be in for a treat. The night sky is unapparelled and is honestly surreal.

Another pro of this campsite is the amenities block. One thing we found very helpful on this trip, was not having to use the water we brought with us for laundry (you’ll want to do it if you’re hiking) and dishes. We budgeted for 45 litres of water for 2 of us for 7 nights and if we were using our water for other purposes other than cooking and drinking it wouldn’t have even been close. This block became a lifesaver. They also have free drinking water in the amenities block.

Many of the campsites in Camp Blackman have views of Breadknife and Grand high tops, whilst others have views of the split rock. This campsite also features many walking tracks and hikes so can easily be used as a base camp. This well-equipped campground is suitable for motorhomes, caravans, and tents.

Camping in the Warrumbungle national park. View from Camp Blackman
our campsite in the warrumbungles

One issue for this site is the assigned campsites. If you don’t like your neighbours you can’t just pack up and move. You do get to choose the site at the time of booking which is handy though.

Another con of this site is if you’re planning on using solar power, there are a lot of trees, so you need to be very careful on what site you choose, as many receive very little sun.

The site also has 109 campsites, which means it has the potential of getting very busy. However, we imagine as long as it isn’t school holidays it shouldn’t be overwhelming.

Ultimately, if it isn’t already obvious, we chose to stay at Camp Blackman. Whilst we are set up for off-the-grid camping. We couldn’t justify spending the same money on a campsite which offered little when the latter has hot showers and free water. Trust us, you’ll want both after a long day of hiking. This is what made Camp Blackman the best campsite Warrumbungle National Park has to offer.

Camping in the Warrumbungles is a must-do and is a great experience as long as you do your research on the campsites. The camping experience is even better if you manage to snag a campsite with a view as we did.

What to do

We’d put money on if you’re planning on camping in the Warrumbungle National Park, then you’re probably planning on hiking. Most people that head out that way, have the intention of doing some hikes or sightseeing.

View of Grand high tops from split rock in the warrumbungles
View of Grand high tops

There are many geo-trails from millions of years of volcanic activity in the area, most of these trails are well-signposted and offer informative insight into the area. The park also prides itself on having something for everyone. Whether you’re after a mammoth hike through the mountains or an easy stroll on a concrete path, you’ll be able to find it here.

All the trails also come with an abundance of wildlife.

Some of the, most popular hikes in the park are the Grand High Tops Circuit, Wambelong Nature Loop and the White Gum Trail. All of these trails show diverse and impressive rock formations which the Warrumbungles are famous for.

You can check out the best hikes in the park here.

What’s nearby

Pilliga Sandstone Caves

Only an hour away is this little unsung gem. The Pilliga Sandstone caves offer an easy hike into the caves which were used as shelters by the indigenous Australians in the past and are currently being used as shelters by local wallabies. The caves are maintained by the local council and have had heavy input from the indigenous elders of the area. Along the trail there are many informative signs about how the caves were formed, the indigenous Australians of the area and the local flora and fauna.

Piliga sandstone caves walk
Easy hike in the Pilliga
Pilliga Bore Baths

If you’re feeling a little sore after your hikes, heading up to the Pilliga bore baths might be an idea. These artisanal baths are known for their mineral properties and potential health benefits. Many people head to the baths to soothe their aching muscles, and their arthritis and improve circulation.

The temperature of the baths sits at a balmy 37 degrees, so we can imagine how great they would be on a cool day.

The baths are also free and include a toilet block and bbq facilities

Hickeys Falls

Blink and you’ll miss it! Just south of the Warrumbungles, you’ll find Hickeys Falls just off the Newell HWY. If it’s rained recently you’ll find it’s the perfect spot to cool down and have a swim on a warm day. Just be mindful of snakes who are known the frequent the area. If you’re interested in the falls, we have instructions on how to find them here. This is also a great free camp near the Warrumbungle National Park.

hickeys falls photos. This secret waterfall near the warrumbungles is perfect for a swim in a hot day.
Siding Spring Observatory

This observatory is the reason that the dark sky park exists, and the reason that the sky is so spectacular at night. It is the largest optical telescope in Australia and is an incredibly important part of Australia’s contributions to astronomy and astrophysics.

They have a range of interactive exhibits for the kids and the kids at heart (c’mon, who doesn’t want to know how much they’ll weigh on the moon?) and the majority of the information is easy to read and accessible for those without a scientific background.

This is also the closest place to get food near the Warrumbungles. They have burgers, pasta, and pub-style food and a very reasonable price which is great if you’re getting sick of camp food every day.

It was also to our delight to find out that visiting the observatory is free.

How to stay safe

Reception in the park can be spotty. So it is important not to rely on this. If you’re planning a trip out this way, we recommend having a rough itinerary written up and given to people back home who you plan to check in on. This is important in case you do not reach out and they cannot get in contact with you they have a general idea of where you intend of being in case they need to contact authorities.

We also recommend filling out a trip intention form with NSW National Parks. This is a similar idea to the last, however registering your intent on travel, your number plates and providing the authorities with what equipment you have gives them the best ability to help you if something happens, or you don’t finish the hike in the intended time.

Lastly, in case you didn’t know. NSW National Parks also provides free Personal Location Beacons at certain parks. Warrumbungles National Parks is one of these parks and you can hire them at the visitor centre either when you arrive or when you’re going on certain hikes. We recommend hiring one for the duration of your stay and keeping it in your day pack. The beacon only sends out GPS signals when activated and helps authorities find you quickly and accurately in a worst-case scenario. These could be a lifesaver and should be taken advantage of when in remote areas.

If you’re interested in having your own, take a look at our article on the best plb’s on offer.

sunrise at warrumbungle national park

We hope that you enjoy your time in the park, and make the most of these beautiful mountains! Please remember not to leave a trace and respect the land while you are there.

If you’re interested in our trip you can check it out here

Heading down to the Great Ocean Road soon? Make sure you check out our 1-day itinerary!


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