Warrumbungles and Pilliga
This tour sees you travel north west from Sydney, over the mountains and up to the iconic Warrumbungles and Pilliga Forest.
If you are interested in the geology of this area, download this free app, Warrumbungles geotrails, to help explore and understand the area.
Day 1 sees us travelling by luxury coach from central Sydney stopping off to view some silo art at Portland, a wetlands lunch spot at Mudgee, a nursery stop at Bilby Blooms and overnight for 2 nights in Coonabarabran.
Day 2 starts with a NPWS ranger-led walk to view the sandstone caves and learn about not just the flora and fauna of this area, but the aboriginal history. After a picnic lunch in the bush, explore the sculptures in the scrub before heading back to our accomodation with a stop at the Pilliga Forest Discovery Centre.
Day 3 will allow for 3 different, short walks in the amazing Warrumbungle National Park to view not just plants, but birds and animals too. Two nights in Narrabri.
Day 4 Drive to the lookout atop Mt Kaputar (1,489m) where, apart from the fantastic view out over the surrounding countryside, you might be able to find some of the endemic invertebrates and plant species which have existed here for millions of years. These include the Mount Kaputar pink slug, the only place in the world this species is found, as well as one of 3 species of large, carnivorous land snails!
Mt Kaputar is home to a sub-alpine zone known as the Kaputar Plateau of which the main vegetation type is open eucalypt forest dominated by Snow Gum, Ribbon Gum and Mountain Gum, as well as heathland species near the windswept summit. The hardy and adventurous types can take a 1km walk down through this vegetation and meet the less mobile members who elect to stay on the bus, at Dawsons Spring picnic area, where there is another short nature trail option.
After lunch in Narrabri, we travel to Sawn Rocks for another interesting short walk to view one of the best volcanic rock features in the park of ‘organ piping’.
This is a big day and not over yet, as we travel back into the Pilliga and spend an hour outside a fenced area to check-out the native vegetation.
Then we enter the 5,800-hectare feral predator-free fenced area constructed by Australian Wildlife Conservancy as part of the NSW Saving our Species program. Inside, we will do some botanising to see if there is any noticeable change in the vegetation due to the absence of feral grazing animals.
Eating our picnic dinner, we will have a lecture from AWC scientists and ecologists to explain the project and then a guided spotlight tour at dusk to see if we can spot any of the 6 introduced species, being the Bilby, Western Quoll, Western Barred Bandicoot, Brush-tailed Bettong, Bridled Nailtail Wallaby and Plains Mouse.
We then head back to our Narrabri accommodation, tired but happy!
Day 5 sees us start to head back to Kiama, stopping in Dubbo for lunch and a walk on Mt Canobolas before overnighting in Orange.
Day 6 Leaving Orange, we drive to Bathurst and, for any rev-heads on board, we drive around the race circuit on Mt Panorama (slowly). The coach will then stop in the Blue Mountains with time for a walk and then onto Kiama arriving around 4.00pm.
The tour includes all meals and accommodation for the 6 days.
Queries about the conference and tours can be directed to:
Heather Miles, Secretary@austplants.com.au, 0408 696 356
Ralph Cartwright, Conf2022@spin.net.au, 0416 030 872
To register an expression of interest, click below:
Images: Ralph Cartwright, Destination NSW