I am always looking out for new experiences, wherever I may find myself.
Published September 24th 2012
When I visited the Warrumbungle National Park with a friend, I was determined that I wouldn't just pass through it. I wanted to get up high and get a good look at this spectacular place. It was a plan that was almost thwarted by the rain that followed our car as we left the Newell Highway and drove along the Tourist Drive to the Siding Spring Observatory, but we still managed to make it to the Whitegum Lookout while the landscape was still visible.
The walk to this lookout begins in a carpark off John Renshaw Parkway (the Tourist Drive), about two kilometres from the Coonabarabran end of the National Park (a vehicle entry fee of $7 is required). You don't have to go far, with the track only 500 metres long. In fact, it's the easiest lookout to access in the national park. The walk is also relatively flat and completely sealed, making it a pretty easy stroll that is even wheelchair accessible.
When I finally made it to the lookout, the rain was moving across the scene, but it was still an impressive sight. Perhaps the weather added to the atmosphere. Included in the panoramic view of the national park are some of the main features of these ranges.
On the left there is Needle Mountain, the Breadknife and Belougery Spire and Crater Bluff. Next is Bluff Mountain and Dows Tops. On the right is Mt. Exmouth and the Beloghery Split Rock. All of these are remnants of a volcano that was active here 18-15 million years ago.
There are picnic tables here for those who want to use the location as a place to rest on a long drive through the area or those just making a day trip to the park. The whitegums that gave the lookout its name are also rooted in nearby crevices. I didn't have time to stay myself; as we went back to the car, there were drops of rain spotting the dark grey path, but we'd managed to get our glimpse and were ready to move on.