A family friendly event under the stars of the Warrumbungle Ranges.
It’s hard to imagine a more spectacular location for an outdoor concert than the Warrumbungle National Park. Revered for its striking volcanic mountains and its dazzling night sky, this is a very special destination indeed. And the concert, thrown by the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service, is a favourite annual event for locals and travellers alike.
Located a half hour drive west of Coonabarabran, the Warrumbungle Range rises tall from the surrounding plains like an ancient razorback reptile.
The stage for the concert is set in the thick of its crumbling and uniquely shaped peaks at a sprawling grassy campsite within the national park. Punters bring their own picnics, drinks and chairs and set themselves up for an evening of Australian music under the stars.
And what stars they are. Home to the world-class Siding Springs Observatory, the Warrumbungle National Park is regarded as Australia’s premier location to view the stars and ponder the mysteries of the great beyond. The air here is crisp and clear and most nights are clear, which is why this site was chosen for the observatory.
It’s the first ‘Dark Sky Park’, where light population is kept to a minimum to ensure scientists from all over the world can study their fascinating craft night after night. And, of course, we Joe-average campers get to capitalise on that too as we cosy together outdoors to watch the show, both celestial and musical.
As the sun sets behind the imposing mountain that frames the stage, the crowd pops the champagne and lays out the cheese plate while kids free range gleefully or find amusement in the carnival-themed entertainment area. The night’s first stars are illuminated and the balmy spring air is heady with laughter and good vibes.
After a lineup of excellent local music, the 2016 concert culminated in the hilarity of The Pigs, whose hillbilly reimagining of popular songs had the crowd off their picnic blankets and letting loose in what can only be described as a proper hoe-down.
Shoes were kicked off, beers were spilt in the pursuit of new moves and the grassy dance floor was compressed by several hundred rambunctious, stomping feet. If this ain’t livin’ nothing is.
The Crooked Mountain Concert is held in November each year. Camping is available within the national park, including powered sites with hot showers. Shuttle buses run from Coonabarabran for those who prefer to stay in a little more comfort.
But of course, it’s hard to beat billion star accommodation, isn’t it?