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Attractions

Things to do, places to see

Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics

The RSAA is located at the Mount Stromlo Observatory (MSO), a 20-minute drive from the main Acton campus of ANU near the centre of Canberra, Australia’s capital city. We also operate Australia’s largest optical observatory, which is located near the town of Coonabarabran in the western plains of New South Wales, and hosts telescopes of research groups from around the world as well as those of RSAA and other Australian institutions.

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Crystal Kingdom

Crystal Kingdom is the home of one of the world’s most unique mineral collections, the “Minerals of the Warrumbungles”.

See the world’s rarest and most colourful Zeolite Crystals and learn about how the Coonabarabran area was once home to not one, but two volcanoes. Experienced staff are available to explain the fascinating origin of these extinct local volcanoes.
More than 500 examples of local minerals and fossils are on display. Not only are these treasures of the earth on show, their origin and use is explained and fact sheets are available.

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NSW National Parks

Explore the natural wonders in NSW national parks, from UNESCO World Heritage to emerald rainforest, beautiful beaches, ancient caves and extinct volcanoes. You’ll see amazingly diverse wildlife, from kangaroos to whales. You can even walk to the top of Australia’s highest mountain.

The Blue Mountains are on Sydney’s doorstep. The vast World Heritage wilderness across a number of national parks is home to a third of Australia’s bird species and dinosaur trees, the nickname for Wollemi pines whose evolutionary lineage is 90 million years. The trees were discovered in 1994.

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Pilliga Pottery

Pilliga Pottery makes unique earthenware items from local clays. Artist Julie engraves beautiful designs taken from nature and mythology onto the hand thrown items that Johannes creates. You can drop in and see them at work seven days a week.

Pilliga Pottery was created by Richard and Maria Rickert after they purchased the 15,000 acre Barkala Farm 30 years ago. Richard was master potter and Maria ran the business. Things were very traditional back then with a kick wheel and wood-fired kiln.

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Crystal Kingdom

Staff and local volunteers at the Coonabarabran Visitor Information Centre will help to make your visit to Warrumbungle Region more enjoyable and will provide you with advice on what to do, where to stay, where to eat and what’s happening in the shire; there’s also great public amenities, park-like gardens and free barbecues too. The Centre is a short walk from the central business district with plenty of parking.

While at the Centre, check out the Australian Museum Megafauna and skeleton of the Diprotodon, guided tours for pre-booked groups, LALC Keeping Place and an ArtSpace with Art Exhibitions changing on a regular bases.

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You will always be welcome at Coonabarabran –
Australia’s Astronomy Capital.