Warrumbungle National Park Environmental Education Centre

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Warrumbungle National Park

The Warrumbungle range is the remnant of volcanic action that occurred around 17 million years ago. The theory goes that the volcano occurred due to the northward migration of the Australian continent over a section in the earth’s mantle that was very hot. Where the crust of our continent was thin, magma broke through leaving behind a series of volcanic events from Cape Hillsborough (35 million years ago), below Townsville in Queensland to Mount Macedon (6 million years ago) in Victoria.

This theory is supported by the fact that similarly typed volcanoes (central volcanoes) occur along the east of the continent, showing a decrease in age the further south one travels.

So it is unlikely another volcano will occur here. The hot spot we travelled over is now said to be off the west coast of Tasmania and not very hot anymore. In fact it appears it was at its peak (pardon the pun) when it showed itself at Mt Warning on the NSW North Coast. This was the largest event from this hot spot.

The Warrumbungle mountains left by the volcano, are unique. Firstly, its definitely not flat like much of the surrounding country. Secondly the mountains create a microclimate where miniorographic rainfall patterns occur so we have higher rainfall and the soils are richer than the surrounding area.

The mountains are a place of refuge to many species of plants and animals from both the east and the west of NSW.

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