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  5. About the Shire

About Warrumbungle Shire


Population:  9,380 (2016 Census)
Area: 12,380 sq kms
Towns: Baradine, Binnaway, CoolahCoonabarabranDunedoo, and Mendooran
Villages: Bugaldie, Cobbora, Kenebri, Leadville, Merrygoen, Neilrex, Purlewaugh,
Uarbry, Ulamambri, Weetaliba and Yearinan
Localities: Rocky Glen, Goolhi and Denisontown
State Seat: Barwon
Federal Seat: Parkes


The Warrumbungle Shire is strategically positioned on the Newell Highway mid-way between Brisbane and Melbourne. A number of highways and main roads traverse the shire providing links with surrounding regional centres.

The landscape ranges from extensive plains to undulating hills, from the high basaltic plateau of the Coolah Tops in the east to the rugged mountainous peaks of extinct volcanoes in the Warrumbungle National Park, west of Coonabarabran.

The geography, flora and fauna of the Shire is where east meets west. The mountainous terrain of the Great Divide gives way to rolling hills then the inland plains. The flora and fauna of the wide open plains mix with coastal animal and vegetation progressively across the Shire. A striking example of this is on the eastern boundary of the shire we have the large grey kangaroo and on the western boundary of the shire the large red kangaroo.

The shire is also a meeting place for the nations of our traditional owners and custodian of the land. The northern part of the shire is home to the Gamilaraay people while the southern part of the shire is home to the Wiradjuri people. Also the nations of the Weilwan and Kawambarai (Werriri) come into the Shire on the western border. The history, traditions and culture are being recognised as an important part of the Shire’s history.

The stunning night skies, formed by a combination of low pollution, very low humidity and limited cloud cover have drawn astronomers and researchers to Coonabarabran in their search for what lies beyond the confines of the visual night sky.

Siding Springs Observatory, located 25kms from Coonabarabran is the site of a number of internationally owned and operated optical telescopes where major research has recorded amazing truths of the universe,  supporting Coonabarabran’s claim to the name “Astronomy Capital of Australia”.

The towns and villages of the shire comprise Coonabarabran, Baradine, Binnaway, Coolah, Dunedoo and Mendooran; all provide wonderful opportunities to experience real country Australian lifestyles. Each of the communities has their own special claim to fame. Bush Poetry Festivals, rivalry over ownership of the name The Black Stump, a Steamrail Village, The Oldest town on the Castlereagh, The Gateway to the mighty Pilliga or the Astronomy Capital of Australia – each of our villages reflects the personalities of its residents and the lifestyles.

The shire was traditionally built on agricultural pursuits with the early establishment of wool growing and beef cattle production followed by cereal cropping and today a burgeoning vine growing and horticultural industry.

The communities enjoy the services of quality schools and health services. The shire boasts a broad range of cultural, sporting and recreational activities.

Retailing in each centre provides services to those communities and the provincial centres of Tamworth and Dubbo, located within 2 hours of the centre of the Shire complements local level services.

Please visit our new tourism site for the Warrumbungle Region  

Click here to view the Economic Development and Tourism Strategy

Last Updated: 04 Dec 2019