North West

The North West is the area surrounding the three inland highways in north New South Wales, Castlereach Highway, Mitchell Highway and Newell Highway.

From Gilgandra you can access all of these highways. You can also visit the observatory which has some interesting exhibitions. North of Gilgandra is Coonabarabran separated from Gilgandra by the Warrumbungle National Park. The rock formations in the park are amazing, and if you enjoy rock climbing you should definitely go (although a permit is necessary). On the edge of the park is Sliding Spring where you will find the Skywatch Observatory and one of the largest optical telescopes in the world. There are plenty of accommodation places around the park, which offer spectacular settings and scenery.

North west of the park is Coonamble, leading upto the opal land to the north and the spectacular birdlife around the Macquarie Marshes. A large opal field is in Lightning Ridge which is close to the Queensland border. The popular but uncommon black opal can also be found in the fields.

Heading north you will find Narrabri, a town with a large cotton growing industry. Further north again is Moree with some therapeutic hot baths, worth testing out. Between these places is the Mt. Kaputar National Park which offers some great camping spots s well as excellent walking trails and rock climbing.

Driving west towards the Mitchell Highway from Gilgandra you will pass through Warren where you can visit the nearby Macquarie Marshes where there are plenty of varieties of birdlife. Just south of Warren is Narromine, which is a large citrus-growing area.

North West Gallery (Visitor Photographs)

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