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 town sits on the divide between the Central West and North West Slopes regions about 480 kilometres (nearly 6 hr drive) from Sydney. It is approximately halfway between Melbourne and Brisbane, on the main inland route.
Coonanbarabran, known as ‘Coona’, is located on the banks of the Castlereagh River, and the edge of Warrumbungle National Park – the first dark sky park in Australia.
The closest regional domestic airport is Dubbo, approximately 2 hr drive from Coonabarabran, it offers regular flights to Sydney and other destinations with Qantas, Regional Express (REX), JetGo or FlyPelican. There are also regular flights to Sydney from Tamworth, just over two hours drive from Coonabarabran.
Countrylink provides services from Sydney stopping at Coonabarabran. Trains depart Central Station in Sydney and connect with a coach service at Lithgow Station which travels to Coonabarabran.
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 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.
There is an Ambulance Service of NSW station in Coonabarabran