Coonabarabran is known as the astronomy capital of Australia due to its proximity to observatories including Siding Spring, home to Australia’s largest telescope.
The population of Coonabarabran is just over 3,000 people, the median age of residents is 47 years. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people make up 14% of the population.
Coonabarabran, known locally as ‘Coona’, is a town in Warrumbungle Shire that sits on the divide between the Central West and North West Slopes regions of NSW. It is about 455 kilometres from Sydney.
The township is on the Newell Highway and the Oxley Highway, approximately halfway between Melbourne and Brisbane and can be reached in about six hours by car from Sydney. It is on the main inland truck route between Queensland and Victoria.
The closest regional domestic airport is Dubbo, approximately two hours from Coonabarabran, offering regular flights to Sydney. There are also regular flights to Sydney from Tamworth, just over two hours drive from Coonabarabran.
Countrylink provides services from Sydney stopping at Dunedoo, Coolah, Mendooran, Binnaway, Coonabarabran and Baradine. Trains depart Central Station in Sydney and connect with a coach service at Lithgow Station which travels to Coonabarabran.
The major sources of employment in Coonabarabran are:
- retail trade
- health care and social assistance
- education and training
- public administration and safety
- accommodation and food services
- agriculture, forestry and fishing.
Coonabarabran Health Service is a small rural public hospital of less than 50 beds and health service that provides a range of services.
The hospital provides emergency care and general sub-acute care admissions. Services provided are heart, drug and alcohol, gastroenterology, general medicine, general surgery and respiratory care. Transfers of more acutely unwell patients are to the larger tertiary facilities at Dubbo, Orange, Tamworth and Sydney.
Coonabarabran is supported by an ambulance service.
Coonabarabran offers young families long day care, after school hours & vacation care, family day care and preschool services.
Coonabarabran is a small country town with a Woolworths and IGA supermarkets. There are small cafe restaurants, take away food stores, hotels and licensed sporting clubs as well as a newsagent, hardware store, bakery and catering service.
Churches in Coonabarabran include St. Lawrence’s Catholic Church, Anglican Church, Presbyterian Church, Uniting Church and Seventh Day Adventist Church.