Pilliga Forest–“A Million Wild Acres”
Ever heard of the Pilliga Yowie? The Pilliga Forest, with its vast and unusual semi–arid woodlands spanning over 3000km², is said to be the home of this Big Foot kin. Seekers are drawn from across the globe in search of this mystical (or is that mythical?) creature. Yowies aside, the Pilliga Forest has been long recognised as one of the most important areas for biodiversity in eastern Australia, home to at least 300 native animal species and over 900 plant species including cypress pine, ironbark, eucalypt, broom plains, and beautiful spring wildflowers.
The scenery within the Pilliga Forest is distinctly unique and makes a trip into the scrub quite an adventure. As you drive across one of the many crisscrossed roads you may come across remnants of the past (chimney stacks, abandoned timber mills and a cobblestone road) and the future (gas wells).
Today, the Salt Caves area offers a recently revamped picnic area with BBQs and toilet facilities, but according to legend the caves were once thirty metres deep, and salt hung in columns like stalactites from the roof. Wild horses, wild cattle and kangaroos were often seen and local women collected the salt to cure their meat. The fire tower offers an incredible bird’s eye view of the entire Forest.
The Sandstone Caves
hidden deep in the Pilliga Forest are a delight that often go undiscovered. A 2km looped walking track circles the caves, leaving viewers speechless at the unique tunnels and formations that have evolved over many thousands of years. As you walk you will find a number of caves, including one which is closed and undergoing preservation. Keep an eye out for indications of Aboriginal habitation in this cave - grinding marks and artwork in sandstone.
The Sculptures in the Scrub
The Sculptures in the Scrub are the latest addition to the attractions you will find in the Pilliga Forest. Four magnificent sculptures overlook the spectacular Dandry Gorge. These amazing works of art reveal the cultural history of the Pilliga in most striking fashion which is not of out place is the natural setting of Dandry Gorge. The drive to the sculptures is on a maintained unsealed road, accessible for buses and 2WD vehicles, weather permitting.
Facilities include:-walking tracks, picnic and BBQ area, toilet & camping area
The Sculptures in the Scrub provide a new perspective on the vast, ancient and unique Pilliga Forest.
Pilliga Discovery Centre
50-58 Wellington Street Baradine
Ph:(02) 68 434011
Open: Mon - Frid 9am – 5pm Sat/Sun: 10am – 5pm
Discover the hidden secrets of the Pilliga Forest and the stories of yesteryear with this fun and entertaining exhibition. The architechurally designed environmentally sustainable centre will captivate visitors of all ages. Featuring the latest interactive displays and technology your “walk in the forest”will reveal fauna,flora and Aboriginal cultural heritage.
The location of this small village, deep in the Pilliga Forest, is key to its existence. Known as the “Heart of the Pilliga” it is roughly the geographical centre of the timber industries that grew and flourished in the Western Region of the Pilliga. Linked by rail to Baradine and borne from the prosperous timber trade, Gwabegar once sported no less than twelve sawmills! In the early 1900s Gwabegar was integral in the 'sleeper cutting' process that largely enabled the creation of a railway across Australia. Sleeper cutter camps and koala colonies are points of interest in the Gwabegar area. The forestry industry shut down several years ago in Gwabegar but it remains a vibrant town.
The new Community Link Centre in Gwabegar provides an excellent meeting spot for village members and visitors.