Tag Archives: Warrambungles

Warrambungles and Siding Springs Observatory

A wet trip on the Oxley highway through Gilgandra to Coonabarabran, home of the Warrambungle National Park. The January 2013 bush-fires badly affected this area so several walks are still closed. However there are signs of regeneration and the sun even peeped out for these photos.
Wurrumbungles 1
Wurrumbungles 3
Visiting the Siding Spring Observatory was a special experience as we drove 28 kms up a steep and winding road through fog and light rain to the peak of Mt Woorut.
Siding Springs observatory 1
Siding Springs observatory 2
From the inspection gallery we could see the 3.9 Anglo- Australian telescope, opened in 1964 as a joint project between Great Britain, USA and Australia to better observe the southern night sky.
Since then, other international and local organisations have become involved with several new telescopes currently commissioned to open by 2015. The information in the exhibition area was rather outdated, but interesting.
Today there are 12 telescopes used by professional astronomers from all over the world who ‘probe the mysteries of the night sky‘ – isn’t that a beautiful description?!
The many megafauna finds in this area include a display of the skeleton and skull of ‘Diprotodon‘, a supersize wombat-like marsupial with enormous front teeth. Sadly(?!) he became extinct about 30,000 years ago but you can read the Australian Geographic story of discovering this amazing beast here. Maybe a palaeontology career beckons?