During our journey west we planned to explore some of the National Parks along the way. Sawn Rocks Mt Kaputar National Park was high on our list of places to visit. The park is located just 40km north of Narrabri in country NSW and is home to a spectacular columnar rock formation.
Sawn Rocks is a 40 metre high cliff face with an unusual honeycomb rock structure. The area was formed by two volcanoes more than 21 million years ago. The Basalt lava flow formed hexagonal columns known as ‘organ piping’.
The Sawn Rock picnic area is absolutely gorgeous! We parked the car and took a look at the information boards. The boards explained the history of the area and featured a map directing hikers to the Sawn Rocks viewing platform.
The hike was only a short 700 metre stroll along a wide tar pathway. There were seats along the way and more informations boards explaining the various flora and fauna.
The kids ran ahead whilst I took my time to enjoy the beautiful surroundings. Everything was so lush and green, even the smell of the bush was evocative and inviting. When we arrived at the viewing platform the rocks were even more amazing in real life than the pictures I’d seen.
Each of the columns looked as if they’d been painstakingly chiseled from the rock cliff. They were so perfectly formed it didn’t seem possible they could have been made in nature.
The second part of the hike takes visitors down to the creek bed below the cliff face. We descended the stairs and found more of the spectacular columns at the base of the cliff. These were columns that had fallen of the dramatic rock face.
We were all in awe of these stacked honeycombed rocks. We were able to walk right up to the rocks for a closer look, the kids even climbed on them as some of them had fallen in a way that made a perfect staircase.
Brett took a picture of the kids sitting on this perfectly squared off piece of stone. Organ piping structure occurs when basalt lava cools slowly. This slow cooling allows the individual crystals within the basalt to align perfectly. The rock then cools from the outside inwards which causes shrinkage fracture cracks that produce a hexagonal pattern.
Hexagonal rock formations from lava flows are not rare, but Sawn Rock Mt Kaputar is one of the best examples of this geological wonder.
We walked back to the picnic area and decided to make use of the BBQ facilities. We were really impressed by the standard of facilities at the Sawn Rock Picnic area. There are plenty of shaded picnic tables. gas BBQ’s, well maintained composting toilets and beautifully landscaped native gardens.
There is no overnight camping in the Sawn Rocks picnic area but there are two camping area’s in Mt Kaputar National Park. The first is Dawson Springs Campgound which is accessible to campers, vans and tents and also has cabins available to rent. A more remote camping area is the Barkhut picnic area and campground. Bark hut is located halfway up Mt Kaputar and has just 15 camp sites.
Sawn Rocks Mt Kaputar Picnic AreaKillarney Gap Rd