Hiking the Warrumbungles: The Best Hikes in Warrumbungle National Park

Wow. Hiking the Warrumbungles was an experience to say the least! That’s all I have to say about the Warrumbungle National Park. I have been dreaming of heading to the central west and exploring the Warrumbungle National Park for about a year now when I saw a moody photo of these incredible mountains. It was captivating and I was hooked.

I remember seeing the dramatic cliffs, the crooked mountains, and a big storm cloud behind a hiker and thinking ‘I’m going the climb that’. And so I did. The plan was to head to the Warrumbungle National Park in June this year, but due to the floods here on the coast, we ended up heading there in March, completely unprepared for the fitness that would be required since we initially planned on 4 months of training first. Despite being unprepared for the hikes, my partner and I conquered the big hikes and I’ll be outlining them below. These hikes are a must when visiting. I’ll also share a few little tips to make your hikes a little easier, so you don’t make the same mistakes as us. So make sure you buckle in and take notes on the best hikes in the Warrumbungles.

Below I’ve listed what I would name the best hikes Warurumbungle National Park has to offer and any tips I found useful for the hikes. These hikes aren’t for the faint-hearted and a decent level of fitness is required for them.

Before heading out, make sure you check out my article on everything you need to know about camping in the Warrumbungles before you leave.

Grand High Tops Loop.

Grade: Moderate Length: 14kms
Grand High Tops
Grand High Tops at sunrise

The most iconic hike in the Warrumbungle National Park is Grand High Tops to see Breadknife. Most people do this hike as an out-and-back of 10 km. However we decided to do this as a loop, and we are glad that we did. As an out-and-back trail, you’ll be going up and down over 1000 steps which is exactly why we decided against this. Based on all the research we did before we left we decided to do the loop anti-clockwise, this meant that we went down the stairs, up the rocky dirt tracks on the side of the mountain and most importantly, by the time we summited we were past the halfway point.

The hike isn’t for someone new to hiking. I’ll be honest, it wasn’t easy. But the views are 100% worth it. There are plenty of viewpoints and luckily there are multiple camp spots along the trail to have a few rest breaks. We organized our breaks to be at these spots as there is usually somewhere to sit.

hiking the warrumbungles
At the summit of Grand High Tops

I’ll be honest, the summit is the easiest part of this hike too. There are many long tedious ascents and false summits. But once you reach the summit you’ll be in awe. You can see for hundreds of kms in every direction. And If you’re lucky you’ll be the only one there.

When we did this hike we ran into a total of 4 people, which was a nice change for a popular hike.

This hike took us a total of 7 hours and we completed 14kms on the loop, but with that being said we spent 1.5 hours at the summit taking photos and having lunch. Could we have done it quicker? Absolutely. But at the end of the day, we don’t like to do it quickly, we hike to take in the views, and doing it quicker would have meant less time at lookouts and exploring.

Belougery Split Rock

Grade: Hard Length: 4.5kms
Belougery Split Rock walking track
Hiking Belougery Split Rock

Don’t let the length fool you. This hike isn’t for the faint-hearted. The Belougery Split Rock walking track hike is one of the hardest and most adventurous hikes Warrumbungle National Park has.

My dad said I was dumb for doing this when I showed him the photos, but I like to think I’m adventurous. My partner and I decided to summit this hike for sunrise, not realising the summit for this one wasn’t like Grand High Tops. If you are not steady on your feet, good with heights, and have navigation skills this might not be the hike for you.

Camp Blackman warrumbungle national park
The hike will have you summiting this mountain

When we visited the park half of this track was closed, naturally, it was the easy section. So at 3am we woke up and started the ascent from the car park. There is little signage on this track (but maybe the dark didn’t help) and almost the entire trail was uphill. It was hard. But hiking among the stars was also phenomenal.

Once we got to the summit we were met by an ominous gate across the track which told us what we were in for, loose rocks, unstable cliff edge no biggie we thought. We climbed the ladder and looked up and even with just the moon and our head torches we could tell we were in for a tough summit. The wind was blowing, it was cold and the first light was creeping up on us. Looking up it was nearly vertical with a few metal handles placed randomly along the rocks. If it wasn’t dark it might have been worse, because at least we couldn’t see down. But after a 500m ascent to the summit, we made it.

This view is arguably better than grand high tops and was the highlight of our entire trip. It is however cold up there and windy. So we didn’t spend as much time at the summit as we had planned. I would recommend packing a windbreaker if you’re planning to summit.

Since half the track was closed when I visited it’s hard to tell you about this hike, unfortunately. However, it is definitely a hike I would recommend and do again.

Wambelong Nature Trail

Grade: Easy Length: 2.4kms
Hikes Warrumbungle national park
Wambelong Trail runs along the creek

This is a great little trail for those newer to hiking. We did this as a recovery hike to keep us moving and were delighted by the trail. It runs along a creek that needs to be crossed a few times and through the canyons. Trust me you’ll be in awe are you walk through. This trail also has the best view of Belgoury split rock, and if you’re anything like me, you’ll sit there and be like Í climbed that’ the entire hike. This is one of the Warrumbungles walks which is great for the whole family regardless of fitness level.

Belougery Split Rock
Absurd that we hiked that in the dark

If you need to know where to swim to cool off, make sure you check out our other article on where to swim at the Warrubungles


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