The Warrumbungles

The second destination on our road trip was a small town nestled in the Warrumbungle Shire, Coonabarabran. Home to the world-famous Siding Spring Observatory, it is known as the astronomy capital of Australia because of its constant clear skies. It goes without saying that when we visited, it rained almost the entire time!

At least the locals, having endured a drought for at least several years, were happy to get their first rain in months. The cloudy skies made star-gazing virtually impossible, but at least it cleared up in the afternoon on our last day there just long enough for a ride and short bushwalk through Warrumbungle National Park. The ride was incredible, weaving through fields of grazing kangaroos (heaps of them!) and stirring up flocks of startled tropical birds, with the road practically to ourselves. And the clouds made for some dramatic vistas on our hike:

At the end of our bushwalk, we were ecstatic to realise that a certain lump high up in a tree was in fact our first sighting of a koala in the wild! We got some good shots of it, which although not as good as the adorable ones from the Taronga Zoo, were much more rewarding:

And to top it off were some wild emu sightings– in the parking lot!

Here is the slideshow.

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