After leaving the Bungles we headed to Coonabarabran for a couple of nights to recover from the walking and before more walking in the remote Pilliga Forest.
We had booked an evening at one of the small private observatories, a short distance out of town. We were blessed with a clear cloudless night. Very cold though. Coonabarabran is a ‘night sky park’ and has all sorts of rules to stop light pollution. You can’t have sky lights in your house because of light escape. Anyway the stars were sparkling but the show was a bit disappointing, only two scopes and 24 people including a couple of screaming kids. We saw 6 objects (in an hour and a half) up there including some nebula, Jupiter and Saturn. Jupiter is very close now and it’s bands could be seen clearly, Saturn’s rings also clear. Good experience.
Back in town the Information Centre is a must see. They have the bones, including the skull, of a local Diprotodon. Very impressive display and information boards. Homealone has a stuffed Diprotodon back home, we got it out at Eromanga in western Queensland. Hers is much smaller than this Coonabarabran one and is only a bit bigger than a rabbit, we use it as a doorstop.
Obviously, different species.
It is now off for three nights to the Pilliga Forest or scrub as the locals call it.