The final leg on our three week trip was to a region we had heard much about: The Warrumbungles. The area was a pleasant relief from the dry land of Lightning Ridge but the heat and flies did continue to bother us. However, we made sure we saw as much as our three nights permitted.
The area boasts not one but two extinct volcanos and the ranges the colourful zeolite crystals are the rarest in the world; formed over 45 million years ago. We did not find anywhere to see examples of these crystals or volcanic opal and I wonder what the opal from that region looks like. The visitors’ centre had a lot of information, and interactive displays, about the area as well as the fossilised bones of a Diprotodon that have been ‘reconstructed’ to show off the size of the animal often mistaken as a dinosaur. Technology has given us so much and the displays reimagining the world of the Diprotodon was excellent.
Coonabarabran is the town nearest to the national park and we restocked the pantry before heading in to the park. The first thing to strike us was the devastation still evident of the 2013 fire that swept through the national park destroying more than 75% of the wilderness. The wonder of nature can be seen in the regeneration of white gums and iron barks which stand tall on the slopes of the craggy peaks alongside sandstone outcrops still imposing despite millenia of wind and rain.
The bird listing has more than fifty varieties and the staff member requested if we spotted something not on the list to let them know and to record the sighting. Not being “twitchers” (seriously serious bird watchers) we were lost: no pictures and names we had not heard before. Unfortunately the two new to us species that we did see were not easily photographed; one was the apostle bird and I forget the other birds name – black body with red eye.