Capertee is a mountain village located 800 metres above sea level and surrounded by National Parks and grazing land. The Capertee district is rich in natural wonders and this has been recognized with the establishment of several local reserves, most notably Wollemi, Turon, Capertee and Gardens of Stone National Parks. The most recent addition to the protected Crown Lands portfolio in the area is the Mugii Murrum-ban State Conservation Area.
History of the Capertee Area
The Capertee Area was home to original inhabitants, the Wirdajuri people and was first traversed by European explorer James Blackman , who journeyed through to the Mudgee area in 1821. Sheep properties were later established in the Valley during the 1940’s, producing quality wool.
Over the 10 year period from 1851, the gold rush resulted in an increase in the colony’s population. Capertee Village grew from small accommodation inns, particularly Shervey’s Inn, during this time. Capertee’s wealth and importance grew as coal, shale-oil and limestone were discovered and mined in the area.
Capertee Village itself became a rest stop for tavellers to Mudgee due to the location of a good water supply. The Village grew with a few homes, an inn and a post office. In 1882 the railway construction was completed.
The Glen Davis Shale Oil Works, located in the Capertee Valley, was one of the largest employers in the area. Producing gasoline, the operation was an important strategic resource during the war era. Today, the ruins of this once thriving industry can be toured every Saturday at 2.00pm.
The great Australian balladeer, Henry Lawson paused in the Capertee Valley long enough to draw inspiration from this dramatic landscape in his poem “Song of the old bullock driver”
Then slowly we crawled by the trees that kept tally,
Of the miles that were passed on the long journey down,
We saw the wild country of the Capertee valley
As slowly we rounded the base of the Crown.
Must see’s in Capertee
Recent upgrades to Pearsons Lookout have created a world class viewing destination. The addition of a viewing platform where panoramic views may be had of the Capertee Valley and beyond, coupled with disabled friendly access make the lookout a must do for any travellers through the area. The viewing platform offers stunning views of the famous Pantoney’s Crown, south to the Gardens of Stone National Park, east to Glen Davis and the Wollemi National Park and north toward Kandos and Rylstone.
Mugii Murrum-ban State Conservation Area
Consisting of 3,650 ha of land that adjoins Capertee National Park (to the north) and the Gardens of Stone National Park (to the south). The area includes the picturesque peaks of Mount Genowlan and Mount Airly. Named after the Wiradjuri Edler, Charley Riley, Mugii is Riley’s Wiradjuri name and means a Mopoke Owl, while Murrum-ban means eldest son in the Wiradjuri language. The reserve includes more than 340 different plant species as well as distinct sandstone and shale rock formations
Turon National Park
The park has a fascinating history, both for its role in the Australian gold mining boom and its early Aboriginal occupation, which is believed to date back thousands of years. History buffs will be intrigued by the evidence of both that is still highly visible in the park. You’ll also encounter plenty of interesting birds and animals, such as powerful owls hooting away at night and red wallabies sunning themselves on the sandstone tops during the daytime before descending to the valley at dusk. Be sure to take some time to enjoy a spot of trout fishing, swimming or canoeing on the gorgeously crystal clear stream that is Turon River
Photo Below: Capertee Valley
Surrounded by the wonders of World Heritage Listed wilderness, the Capertee Valley is the world’s second largest canyon. Capertee Valley is 1 kilometre wider than the Grand Canyon, but not quite as deep.
Sandstone cliffs dominate the escarpment, drawing down into a deep chasm carved into the environment over millions of years. With tranquil vistas and serene mountain landscapes the Capertee Valley is abundant in flora and wildlife. Under the sandstone layer stretches an enormous layer of coal and oil shale.
Rising majestically out of the Valley floor is a monolith in size and spectacle, the impressive peak, Pantoney’s Crown.
The Capertee Valley is home to more species of birds, than anywhere else in the Southern Hemisphere, making the valley a bird watchers paradise.
Capertee Valley, with spectacular scenery and timeless beauty, it is a perfect piece of the Australian landscape
Photo Below: Sandstone Cliffs at Glen Davis
Must see’s in Capertee Valley
Wollemi National Park
Wollemi National Park is the largest wilderness area in NSW and forms part of the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area. The Park is a maze of canyons, cliffs and undisturbed forest.
Gardens of Stone National Park
The Gardens of Stone National Park forms part of the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area. 'Pagoda' rock formations cluster near sandstone escarpments, where erosion has sculpted beehive-shaped domes. Banksia, dwarf casurinas and other wind-pruned heathland plants give the area its garden-like appearance. Pagoda rock formations form when ironstone plates occur in sandstone. As sandstone hardens and is eroded due to weathering, ironstone is all that remains.
Glen Davis Ruins
Glen Davis Ruins are the remains of the Oil Shale Ruins which began operation in 1938 and ceased operation in 1952. The Glen Davis Ruins are on private property, but is available to visitors on a Saturday at 2pm.
Capertee National Park
Renowned for some of the best birdwatching in the state, the protected woodlands along the fertile river flats attract regent honeyeaters, woodland birds, and birdwatching enthusiasts alike. The park is also home to native Australian wildlife like kangaroos, wallaroos, wallabies and gliders
Birdwatching in the Capertee Valley
The Capertee Valley is recognised internationally as an Important Bird Area (IBA) and one of the 50 top birdwatching locations in the world. A diversity of habitats has resulted in a proliferation of bird species finding refuge here. Surrounded on all sides by spectacular sandstone cliffs, the valley is in
transition zone where the forests of the Blue Mountains give way to the woodlands of the NSW western slopes. Vegetation varies from semi-rainforest to open forest, grassy woodlands and farmland grasslands. Not as heavily cleared as many other rural areas, the valley retains large areas of the critically endangered White Box–Yellow Box–Blakely’s Red Gum Grassy Woodland and Derived Native Grassland. Many woodland bird species, whose populations have fallen alarmingly elsewhere, remain relatively common and easily seen here.
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