Ancient shield volcano's of the Warrumbungles

in PHOTOGRAPHY [DAC]2 months ago (edited)

I love the Warrumbungles; one of the most under rated landscapes in Australia IMO. I thought I would put together a post outlining the main shield volcanic plugs from different angles from around the grand high tops. It's quite a hike up there and I hiked though most of the night with head torch to get these sunrise shots from up among the high tops.

The fist shot has some soft pre-dawn light bathing Crater Bluff with Tonduron Spire just a distant peak in the background. The first European to sight and explore the area was John Oxley in 1818 who named the range the Arbuthnot Range. The Aboriginal name 'Warrumbungles', from the Gamilaroi tribe meaning 'crooked mountains', soon took over as the most frequently used name. Lieben, on Crater Bluff, was the most difficult rock climb in Australia for many years after its first ascent by Bryden Allen and Ted Batty in 1962.

Crater Bluff.jpg

The next shot is as first light of the day kisses the Breadknife. The shot was taken looking down from the Grand High Tops. The Breadknife is a volcanic dyke nearly 90 metres high but only 4 m wide which is particularly rare. The Breadknife is composed of peralkaline trachyte and was once part of a large shield volcano.

Warrumbungle Light Breadknife.jpg

The third shot is sunrise behind Belougery Spire. First ascended by Eric Dark and Osmar White in 1932 the spire is is also composed of peralkaline trachyte and part of the same large shield volcano. The volcano first erupted about 17 million years ago and stopped about 13 million years ago.

Belougery Spire Sunrise.jpg

The next shot is sunset looking up to Belougery Spire, the Breadknife, and Crater Bluff in the Warrumbungles from back down in the valley at our base camp on the same day.


The last shot is the milky way as it rises over a solitary tree. The area has little light pollution to disturb astronomical viewing and is home to the Siding Spring observatory which is has more than a $100 million in scientific equipment including 44 telescopes.

Warrumbungle Night.JPG

Warrumbungle National Park is in New South Wales, Australia

If you would like to learn a little bit more about my background in photography you can read the interview @photofeed did with me here.

Robert Downie
Love Life, Love Photography

All images in this post were taken by and remain the Copyright of Robert Downie -


Warrumbungle is my new favorite word! 😂

It is a cool word. I can see why it has stuck.

Which planet is it? 🙃

So much to see on our tiny rock

Australia still surprises me

Well its a big place

It looks like an absolute gem of a place, and they're a stunning set of photos.

Thanks. If you ever make it to Australia its worth having a look out there.

I visited Australia once, a long time ago, and had an fantastic holiday. I haven't travelled anywhere outside the UK since everything kicked off, so goodness knows if I'll ever go back. I'll put it on my list though. :)

It's a huge place. You need year here to see even small segments of it (and that's years travelling not working)

I might be in the UK in Feb. Not sure oz borders are a bit shaky again with the new variant.

If you're in the London area, and want a tour of Richmond Park, I'll try and organise some misty conditions for you. :)

I will let you know if I book some tickets