Mount Kaputar National Park

Mt Kaputar National Park is a rugged island of wilderness, towering high above the surrounding Western Plains. It's the footprint left behind by a series of volcanic eruptions that moved across this area between 17 and 21 million years ago.


Millions of years of erosion have carved this volcanic pile into the Nandewar Range, with its dramatic landscape of lava terraces, volcanic plugs and ring dykes. At the peak of the range is Mt Kaputar, which reaches an altitude of 1200m. There are superb views from the summit, as well as from many other lookouts in the park.


The park protects a wide variety of plant communities, including semi-arid woodlands, wet eucalypt forests and subalpine heaths. It's home to a host of animal species, and provides a haven for many threatened species - including bats, birds, wallabies, quolls and a unique large pink slug, which often appears after rain.


Getting there

This park is near...
Narrabri (57 km, 60 minutes)


Best access routes
The park's access roads may be closed for indefinite periods following heavy rain and rock falls, or during winter after heavy snowfalls.


To get to the Kaputar summit section of the park (including the summit, Dawsons Spring and Bark Hut areas), head south from Narrabri on the Old Gunnedah Road. Turn left about 4km out of town and follow the Mt Kaputar Road to the park. The road to the summit area of the park is steep, narrow and winding, and is part bitumen, part gravel. You'll need to be particularly careful, and keep weather conditions in mind when driving. Caravans are not permitted on this road.
Road quality: unpaved sections


To get to the Sawn Rocks area, head north from Narrabri towards Moree for about 3km, crossing the railway line, then turn right onto the Bingara Road. Travel along this road for around 35km and you will come to the Sawn Rocks sign indicating the carpark on the right side of the road.
Road quality: unpaved sections


To visit the Waa Gorge area, take the road to Moree from Narrabri and turn towards Bingara after about 3km. Head along this road until you come to Courada, then take the Moree turn off (15km) and follow for around 28km until you come to the Waa Gorge sign where you turn right. Along the last 8km you will have to go through several gates.
Road quality: unpaved sections


Facilities & things to do
>>Walking tracks
>>Wheelchair facilities
>>Car touring
>>Picnics & barbecues
>>Camping grounds

Safety in the park


Water is available at Dawsons Spring, Bark Hut and Sawn Rocks, but it should be boiled or treated before use. However, NONE of the watercourses in the park provide reliable year-round water - you must take your own with you when walking.


The weather on Mt Kaputar can turn from fair to foul very quickly - carry wet weather gear and warm clothes.


When going 'off the beaten track' for any activity, remember to let someone know before you go.


There are no public phones on Mt Kaputar, and CDMA is the only functional mobile coverage in some areas (no digital).


Natural environment

Native plant communities
>>Eucalypt forests

Native animals
>>Reptiles and amphibians


Culture & history


History in the park

The park area since colonisation
Before becoming a national park the area of Mt Kaputar was used largely for grazing. Throughout the park you'll find remnants from the pioneering families who lived in extremely harsh conditions.


One such family were the Scutts who lived in the area above Kurrawonga Falls in a hut that still stands today. The Parry family (Mrs Parry and Mrs Scutt were sisters) lived near the Scutts but their hut was burned down in a bushfire in the 1950s.


Sheep and cattle grazed the plateau area up until the 1950s, with stockmen sometimes spending weeks at a time scouting around for their stock and keeping watch over them. It was a lonely life for these stockmen and sometimes months would go by without them seeing another human being.

History of the park
In 1925 an area of 775 hectares around Mt Kaputar was proclaimed a Reserve for Public Recreation. Two years later the local shire council gave control over to the Mt Kaputar Trust, which was a group of very interested and dedicated local people. This group gave advice and guidance on management issues within the reserve.


In 1959 the reserve became Mt Kaputar National Park but remained under the management of the trust. In 1967 the park came under control of the newly-established National Parks and Wildlife Service. A regional advisory committee now gives advice and guidance.


In 1965 two cabins were constructed providing accommodation at Dawsons Spring. A permanent water supply was provided and shower, toilet and picnic facilities built.


The Bark Hut site has been developed for picnicking and camping, including showers and toilets.


Information for this National Park has been supplied courtesy of  The New South Wales National Parks and Wildlife Service



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