Mt Kaputar National Park
Mount Kaputar National Park is located around 50km to the east of Narrabri on the North West slopes of New South Wales. Much of the surrounding countryside is flat farmland, including extensive cotton and wheat farms, so the Park represents an island of natural biodiversity protected by the steep slopes and native forests of the Nandewar Range. The drive up to the two camping grounds in the Park is steep and winding - there are glimpses of wild mountain views through the trees along the way but there aren't many safe spots to stop the car for a good look until you get towards the top. I bypassed Bark Hut campground and found a great spot to set up camp among the snow gums at Dawson's Springs.
There are a lot of exciting photographic options within a short distance of Dawson's Springs. The campground is set among subalpine snow gum/mountain gum/ribbon gum woodlands that are especially beautiful in the mist, or if you time it right, after a dusting of snow. I didn't get much of either unfortunately - the little mist there was came with a cold rain, and the only snow was a very light flurry just as I was leaving. There are also short to medium length walks to some high lookout points - at Mt Lindsay, along the Bundabulla Circuit and to the summit of Mt Kaputar itself. All of these offer cliff-top views down over forested valleys and receding lines of hills and are ideal for sunrise or sunset photo sessions - Mt Lindsay and the eastern part of the Bundabulla Circuit face easterly and are better suited to sunrise, but the southern part of the Circuit and the Kaputar summit catch the light from both sunrise and sunset.
A short drive from Dawson's Springs are lookout points to the Governor, west Kaputar cliffs and Euglah Rock. The Governor is an exposed rock outcrop that is quite easy to climb and offers 360 degree views from the top - I ended up spending several sessions there photographing the grand views and exploring among the boulders and crevices. For the fit and able, there are more grueling walks to Scutt's Hut and the Yulludunida Crater - they are on my bucket list for next visit.
So here is a selection of my personal favourites from Mount Kaputar. I've also put together a short movie with video footage and still images from the trip...you can view it here.
The view from the top of the Governor looking towards Mt Coryah.
Mount Kaputar's western cliff face.
A snowgrass-lined gap in the cliffs.
Euglah Rock catching the morning sunlight.
On top of the Governor.
The Kaputar wilderness.
Afternoon rays at Mount Kaputar.
Last light .
Spotlights on distant farmland.
Sunset from the Governor lookout.
Mt Kaputar summit 1
Mt Kaputar summit 2
Mt Kaputar summit 3
Lindsay rock tops.
Snow gum and mist.