The Breadknife / Grand High Tops & Split Rock - Warrumbungles National Park
Sunset over Split Rock from White Gum Lookout
The Warrumbungles is a mountain range in the Orana region of New South Wales Australia. The nearest town is Coonabarabran - Central West NSW
Elevation: 1,206 m
Highest point: Mount Exmouth
Type of rock: Shield volcano
Age of rock: Cenozoic
Mountains: Mount Exmouth, Bluff Mountain
Managed by NSW National Parks
This region is also well known for Australia's Dark Sky Capital / Star Gazing and Astrophotography
My Recent trip to Warrumbungles National Park was only a 2 day affair wanting to revisit the Grand High Tops and the Split Rock Tracks. With a 5 to 6 hour drive from Sydney on the Golden highway via Coolah and then Finally Coonabarabran. On the way back I decided to do a loop and drive to Tamworth Via the Oxley Highway then straight down the New England Highway.
I arrived mid afternoon so it was really only about trying to capture a few photos and then set up camp for the night at Camp Blackman in the Warrumbungles.
Camp Blackman is a popular base to explore the Warrumbungles. Well serviced with BBQ'S, Showers and picnic tables/ Shelter and of course residents Kangaroos. It is also where the NSW National Parks branch office is located, you will need to obtain park/ camping fees if you haven't done so already.
Camp was set nearby a little steel fire place and as night fell the frost of the central western plains was starting to settle in - Bed as this was going to be a chilly night.
Thats right I woke to super fresh clear morning and I was up and out early for the very short drive to Princham car park, the start of the Grand High Tops Walk. Where I had a Miso Soup/ Salmon Breaky then packed my bag of snacks, camera and water.
Grand High Tops Walk -
Is regarded as one of the most iconic walks in NSW as you can get up close to the many rock formations.
Distance: 14km loop
Time: 5/6 Hours
This walk is well paved and signposted with a series of steps on your final ascent, it's Popular with families just doing the loop or individuals/ groups wanting to do the extended tracks to Bluff Mountain or Mount Exmouth to camp in the high country.
This walk Starts at Princham carpark and from the Toilet block you walk to your right on a well defined track, you will soon pass Camp Princham to your left (pack camping) then after a short distance a bridge and onto a paved section right before you get to a intersection.
Here you will walk straight ahead and you will have intersections to optionals side trip of Gould's Circuit and Spirey View which both are fantastic and Gould's Circuit being a several km detour so you will need to plan ahead for it.
You will be walking in the valley in a nice Eucalpyt forrest and never far away from the creek, before it starts to ascend on a paved track and as you will get your first glimpse of the BreadKnife.
View of the Breadknife before you rise up on a series of steps
Before you know it your again on a paved path and then after a few slight undulations or up hills, it then reaches a bench/ stop before the series of steps.
These steps rise a few levels before it gets to a intersection where you will turn left onto a narrow track before it gets to a open and exposed rocky section.
Where you will have to navigate up with the yellow markers, this section may need a little assistance, as just mentioned its a open steep rocky section until you turn right and are up on the top with a open Grand view which is literally 360 all round. Stop here for a break and enjoy the views of this ancient shield volcano.
You then shortly after descend down into the lower reaches where you will pass a intersection to Bluff Mountain - again this should only be attempted with ample time to spare, its a fantastic walk up with grand views of the South Western corner. After a few kms you will loop back to decend the stairs and simply retrace your steps back through the beautiful Eucalypt forrest to Princham Car Park.
Lovely Wildflowers of the Warrumbungles
Belougery Split rock -
Distance: 4.6km loop
Time: 2.5/ 3.5 hours
Best approached by experienced hikers as there is some very exposed steeps sections which are a little tricky to navigate and the main navigation point is a yellow marker or white paint. Be sure to take your camera because the views a magnificent once up the top. On one side you can clearly see Mt Exmouth and Bluff Mountains and the Grand High Tops/ Breadknife to the left.
Part of the rocky exposed sections shortly before the summit
Trying to fly like a bird
Yours in Adventure
"This Blog is of the Opinion of my own Personal Experiences and are not necessarily Fact.. and is written to the best of my knowledge, but there may be omissions, errors or mistakes. This blog is for entertainment and/or informational purposes only and shouldn’t be seen as any kind of advice."