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The Warrumbungles

The Warrumbungle Range at Sunrise

The main peaks labelled

Looking down on the Breadknife from Grand High Tops - Belougery Split Rock visible at center.

Belougery Split Rock in the morning sun

The Warrumbungles is an amazing volcanic range with some breathtaking - in all senses of the word - hiking and scenery. The trip up around the breadknife and back took me about 3.5 hours, with half an hour added for photo snapping - Grand High Tops sits at 930 meters above sea level, and the climb, while facilitated by good paths and strong stairways in places, is quite strenuous. But worth every step for the spectacular views.

From Grand High Tops, the Siding Spring Observatory containing the Anglo-Australian telescope is just barely visible without magnification.

Within the observatory is the Anglo-Australian telescope. With this instrument, some of the most popular pre-Hubble astronomy photos were taken, not to mention all the hard science done there. From the observatory, through Coonabarabran, and down to Dubbo, one can also see the world's largest outdoor virtual solar system, at about 1:38,000,000 scale. With the Siding Spring dome representing the size of the sun, each planet is represented in actual scale and distance, with Pluto residing just off the center of Dubbo - a 2.5 hour drive - in a small park.

The Siding Spring Observatory Dome

The Earth

Saturn (Newell Hwy)

Pluto (Dubbo)

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Jan. 30th, 2010 10:54 am (UTC)
Outstanding pics there Old Wolf. Which one is Thunder Bluff? (I'm kidding. Google search "Thunder Bluff").

"Pluto (Dubbo)" ? Dubbo can be reached in 6 hours by the XPT. I'm not sure that Pluto can. ;)
Feb. 5th, 2010 10:44 am (UTC)
Underground, overground, warrumbungling free,
The Warrumbungles of Western Plains Common are we...

Old Wolf, if you do come here again during my lifetime then Jenolan Caves is a must! One day at the very least!

Feb. 5th, 2010 03:52 pm (UTC)
'No, you do not understand,' said Gimli. 'No dwarf could be unmoved by such loveliness. None of Durin's race would mine those caves for stones or ore, not if diamonds and gold could be got there. Do you cut down groves of blossoming trees in the spring-time for firewood? We would tend these glades of flowering stone, not quarry them. With cautious skill, tap by tap - a small chip of rock and no more, perhaps, in a whole anxious day - so we could work, and as the years went by, we should open up new ways, and display far chambers that are still dark, glimpsed only as a void beyond fissures in the rock. And lights, Legolas! We should make lights, such lamps as once shone in Khazad-dûm; and when we wished we would drive away the night that has lain there since the hills were made; and when we desired rest, we would let the night return.'
'You move me, Gimli,' said Legolas. 'I have never heard you speak like this before. Almost you make me regret that I have not seen these caves. Come! Let us make this bargain-if we both return safe out of the perils that await us, we will journey for a while together. You shall visit Fangorn with me, and then I will come with you to see Helm's Deep.'
'That would not be the way of return that I should choose,' said Gimli. 'But I will endure Fangorn, if I have your promise to come back to the caves and share their wonder with me.'
Feb. 5th, 2010 11:11 pm (UTC)
That's very beautiful! :)

And ironically appropriate for Jenolan Caves. They once had a "large field of small crystals" in the cave some time before the 1980s. After a group of scouts had stayed overnight in the caves they discovered that the boys had stolen all the crystals. So much for scouts honour!


The Old Wolf

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