Travelling north along the Newell Highway towards Narrabri the sight of Mount Kaputar rising abruptly from the surrounding plains is an invitation that’s hard to ignore. At 1,489 metres above sea level, Mount Kaputar is part of the Nandewar Range stretching from its eastern reaches near Uralla to Mount Kaputar to the north-west.
Getting to Mount Kaputar is a scenic drive that starts approximately 30 minutes out from Narrabri. You’ll pass most of the park’s walks and lookouts on the way up an unsealed road that winds its way to the summit some 30 minutes later.
We stayed in the National Park’s cabins at Dawson Springs (camping also available). This is an extremely convenient location from which to explore the park. Many short walks are accessible from here and even the summit is only a 20-minute stroll.
The summit of Mount Kaputar is a wonderful location to take in the views of the surrounding ranges and plains. For the photographer it offers opportunities for shooting both sunrise and sunset.
On this particular morning, I managed to drag the family along with me. Luckily for us all we’d picked the perfect sunrise. A passing storm was lit by the first light of the day making for an amazing scene. Storm clouds gathered, a rainbow burst into life perfectly framing the surrounding peaks. An unforgettable sunrise shared with the whole family. A perfect start to the day.
West Kaputar Lookout
West Kaputar Lookout offers great views across the plains and surrounding ranges. It’s a little cut off from the sunrise but can offer a different perspective when juxtaposed with the summit’s ridgelines. It’s hard to beat those early morning hues that colour our eastern ranges at dawn.
Lyndsay Rock Tops
Close to the summit is Lyndsay Rock Tops plateau. Another great way to view the ancient volcanic landscape and peer over the ranges to the distant Liverpool Plains. Unfortunately, we didn’t see any of the famed Mount Kaputar rock skinks that are only found in this location, however we did see some of the more abundant pink slugs again only found on Mount Kaputar.
Close by – still in the Mount Kaputar Nation Park are Sawn Rocks. They’re only a 15-minute walk from the car park and are a great example of ‘organ-piping’. The basalt columns are formed by volcanic activity and are best viewed during the height of the day, as the rocks really do glow when reflecting the sun rays.
Mount Kaputar maybe a little out of the way for most but I can highly recommend a visit if you’re in the region. The walks aren’t long but offer amazing views of the surrounding ranges and plains. There’s plenty of wildlife around if that’s your thing. For the landscape photographer there’s plenty of amazing views on offer and let’s face it, who can resist those summit views especially when they’re so conveniently located.