On the Castlereagh River in the Warrambungle Mountains, half way between Dubbo and Narrabri and 465 kilometres north-west of Sydney, Coonabarabran styles itself as the 'Astronomy Capital of Australia' due too its proximity (24km) to Siding Springs, home to the largest optical telescope in the southern hemisphere. The Sidings Springs Observatory is open daily.
In keeping with the astronomical connection, the town also hosts the Skywatch Observatory where you can explore the universe through powerful telescopes, indulge in computer space games or play a mini-golf course with a planetary layout.
The nearby Warrumbungles National Park, which protects a 113km spur of the Great Dividing Range, is one of Australia’s more spectacular and popular reserves. The park, which supports a huge and varied colony of fauna, welcomes both dedicated bush-walkers and family groups and is at its colourful best in spring and early summer when the wildflowers are in bloom.