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“Great views” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Mt Kaputar National Park

Mt Kaputar National Park
Kaputar road | Nandewar Range, Narrabri, New South Wales, Australia
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Ranked #1 of 5 Attractions in Narrabri
Type: National Parks, Outdoors
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Brisbane, Australia
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
8 attraction reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Great views”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 16, 2012

Quite a few kilometers of the road to the top of the mountain is badly corrugated dirt, so take it easy. The views are worth it.
Camping is allowed. The showers/toilets are the best I've ever seen in a park.

Visited May 2012
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28 reviews from our community

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English first
Moonee Beach, Australia
Top Contributor
82 reviews 82 reviews
43 attraction reviews
Reviews in 67 cities Reviews in 67 cities
149 helpful votes 149 helpful votes
“Getting high in N.S.W.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 5, 2012

I was a sales rep on the road with an insatiable curiosity. Part of my territory was the north west of N.S.W. and when I was visiting a town called Narrabri there was a lump of rock that taunted me. I knew I would go to see it and explore but it took me a couple of years to actually achieve that aim.
That lump of rock was volcanic remnant from 21 million years ago when the overlapping plates of the earth hit a hot spot and thus the lava flowed leaving us with the prominent outcrops we see today though once it was 50 kilometres wide and 400 cubic kilometres of lava were thrust upwards.
Today this area is mostly a national park called Mount Kaputar and, if you believe the blurb from NPWS, “Without doubt the most spectacular and unique reminder of Kaputar's volcanic past is Sawn Rocks, one of the best examples of organ-piping or columnar jointing in the country.”
It’s true that it is the attraction most people aim for and, due to it being very user friendly inasmuch as it’s just a couple of minutes off a main road, quite a few visitors go there.
However, while I have viewed it on at least three occasions, it pales into insignificance for me alongside the great outcrops.
From the Narrabri area Ningadhun is the outcrop that you can see, a remnant of a much larger flow of trachyte lava that has been cut away and left isolated. Ningadhun is merely the tempter for the dramatic shape of Yulludunida however, a feature known as a cone sheet with a complicated geological history.
The overpowering presence of the rock demands your attention as you travel into the park. It’s impossible not to want to stop and take a picture of this dramatic outcrop. For me, to walk Yulludunida is to know Mount Kaputar. Here you are deep in the volcanic origins as you step across the coarse rock wall with its spectacular sheer drop dotted here and there by grass trees (Xanthorrhea Glauca). It’s still one of my top day walks that I’ve done in Australia though it is fair to suggest that being fit will be help your cause here. At 1225 metres in height it’s not the tallest point (Mount Kaputar at 1510 mts has that distinction) but it’s certainly more open and that's what you’ll remember.
Of course, one of the things that has made Kaputar a bit of a late comer in the tourist stakes is the road. The current road didn't exist until 1965, 40 years after the 775 hectare original reserve was declared (Park area is now 36,817 hectares). Before that it was horse or walk, either option being a bit strenuous.
You have to bear in mind that the gain in height is over 1,100 metres and, even today, the road may not suit allcomers. It is still part dirt and it is steep and caravans are banned, along with large rigs. Still, with steep comes expansive views over the western slopes and plains; in fact, it is claimed from the top of Mount Kaputar that you can see more of N.S.W. than from any other vantage point.
Moving up the mountain further you come to the Mount Coryah walk which is rated difficult and is a 4 km loop trail. I happened upon it once when they were just completing some updates to the steps. Here the terraces were formed by a series of lava flows and by the time you reach the top you’ll be walking on the remains of the most recent eruption.
Walking beside the cliff face among the stands of grass trees is a lovely experience on the way there though and, who knows, you might even come across an eastern grey kangaroo or two as I did.
On the way there are several lookouts, one of which I have fond memories of is The Governor. I recall afternoons watching the eagles soar on the updraft sweeping past me in search of prey. I once met a family from Narrabri who used to go there on hot days to cool off a bit due to the altitude and watch exactly the same birds, sort of like going to the beach, country style.
Up at the summit of Kaputar is Dawsons Spring where you can camp or even hire a cabin but, be warned, their popularity in school holidays and long weekends means you are well advised to book early.
There is also an easy short nature trail of 1.4 kms duration that crosses a bridge at one stage past a waterfall but, if you want to see waterfalls try other parks. This place is about expansive views across fertile plains or the remnants of the Nandewar volcano, depending on which way you look and the best place to see from is from the Mount Kaputar lookout itself, especially for sunrises and sunsets.

Visited September 2011
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Sydney
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
6 attraction reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
“Cabins were good”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 21, 2011

I booked and stayed in the smaller of the three cabins in the Dawsons Springs camping area for four nights. The 3 cabins are actually divisions of one building rather than detached cabins. Noise transmission between the cabins was not very noticeable, although that might depend on your neighbours.

The kitchen was fairly well equipped although had no wine glasses. And I always like to take a good kitchen knife of my own. There was plenty of toilet paper and some kitchen paper, but no washing up liquid. In view of the distance from town, you really should plan to arrive with everything you can't do without.

Kangaroos (eastern grey) were hanging around the cabins and tent sites every evening. If you drive up the mountain late in the day you might also see other varieties of wallabies from the road. I saw fewer of them from the walking trails, although I was on the tracks more in the middle of the day.

On my stay I did the Mt Kaputar summit path, the circuit of tracks that start from Dawsons Springs and also the Mt Kaputar Plateau circuit. My favourite part was Eckford's lookout, which I think has greatest impact if it's approached from the north (ie. doing the circuit in an anti-clockwise direction). I saw a suggestion in the visitors' book from another person who did the nature trail walk on a full-moon night. Sounds good but you would also want to have a good torch for spotlighting.

As advised, I found the temperature in the Dawsons Springs area to be easily 10 degrees cooler than in Narrabri at most times of the day.

The drive from Narrabri takes a solid hour, not including any stops along the way. While many probably visit the park as a day trip, you can certainly do more and relax more if you can have at least a full day there (by staying two nights). I'd happily go back for a week for the peace.

Many of the walking tracks have improvements like bridges, boardwalks or raised grids. I won't give an opinion on the interest level of the tracks and the views etc, except to say that in many other national parks with expansive views like this, you would not get the chance to experience them on your own. On my mid-week visit, I did two separate 2-4hour walks where I saw a total of four other walkers - all from a distance.

Visited November 2011
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Parramatta, Australia
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429 reviews 429 reviews
232 attraction reviews
Reviews in 183 cities Reviews in 183 cities
1,344 helpful votes 1,344 helpful votes
“Campsite near the summit”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 26, 2009

Mt Kaputar National Park lies within the Nandewar Ranges & is an area that had been shaped by violent volcanic activity approx 20 million years ago & first inhabited by the Gamilaroi Aboriginal people. The modern day national park however is a peaceful wilderness that is peaked by Mount Kaputar at 1510 metres & whose summit is able to be reached by car offering a great viewing platform which has a claim to offer views of 10% of NSW on a clear day. An excellent picnic & camping area is located very close to the summit also.

The Dawson Spring campsite is offers 25 un-powered sites providing excellent camping & picnic facilities such as covered picnic tables, hot showers & gas BBQ stoves. 3 cabins can be hired from the National Parks & Wildlife Service in Narrabri for approx $150 min 2 nights, winter months providing cover from snow. Being situated near the summit it is nestled amongst high gum trees & alpine plants providing plenty of firewood for the all important campfire. Many native birds & animals can be spotted within the site with kangaroos being very inquisitive of humans at dusk & dawn. Waking up to the laughs of kookaburras in the morning & having your night dreams fed by clean alpine winds is something different. The site also has access to a number of walking paths one which starts at the site leading you down to a creek below. The park has a total of 11 marked walking tracks.

The national park hosts a number of interesting natural attractions such as Sawn Rocks a 40 metre basalt rock cliff face featuring ‘perpendicular-octagonal shaped rocks, resembling a giant series of organ pipes’ & looks as though it was created by some architectural firm rather than nature. Wagg Gorge a picturesque cliff with orange-tangerine coloured streaks that has been shaped by eons of activity & weathering which requires a bit of a walk but is broken up with 2 water-holes. These 2 sites are located via Bingara Road & not in the immediate area of Mount Kaputar.

Mount Kaputar lies approx 50kms east of Narrabri off Kaputar Road & a further 25kms from the foothills of the national park on windy roads overlooking valleys & distant peaks making the slow climb up a spectacular viewing experience. Caravans are not permitted up the steep roads as it becomes too narrow at points as well as being unsealed at certain parts, however the campsite is easily accessible with a 2WD vehicle.

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