The village Capertee, north of Lithgow is is the gateway to the spectacular and panoramic Capertee Valley, the widest enclosed canyon in the world. Capertee surrounded by World Heritage listed national parks including Wollemi, Gardens of Stone and Turon National Park. The Capertee Valley has some awesome cliff faces, industrial archaeology and protected natural areas create a very important and special corner of Lithgow.
Photo © Destination NSW
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 fauna, providing the perfect opportunity to encounter nature in a natural environment. 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, beckons the keen walker to climb its summit. From the top is a 360-degree panorama of the dramatic and breathtaking valley. MORE INFORMATION
The Capertee Valley is an Important Birding Area (IBA) and is home to many endangered species. Whenever you stop you’ll hear the feathered locals conducting their conversations via the original twitter. The valley was classified by BirdLife International as an Important Bird Area because it is the most important breeding site for the endangered regent honeyeater. The Regent Honeyeater is listed as rare. A habitat replanting program is being carried out by the community in the Capertee Valley where it is known to breed.
Regent Honeyeater – Photo © Tourism Lithgow
The Valley also supports populations of the painted honeyeater, rock warbler, swift parrot, plum-headed finch and diamond firetail. A remarkable 236 species of birds have been recorded in the Capertee Valley. The altitude and soil types result in a diversity of plant species which attract different bird communities – the makings for a truly remarkable bird watching experience. In the US published book Fifty Places to Go Birding Before You Die, author Chris Santella lists Capertee Valley as one of only two locations in Australia selected in his top 50 world bird watching locations.
Some of the roads in the valley are unsealed but worth exploring as the scenery is wonderful. All you have to do is drive carefully and look out for animals and slippery corners.
Photo © Emirates OneandOnly Wolgan Valley – Destination NSW
Driving through the valley will take you through rural pastures and forests to the village of Glen Davis. Glen Davis was an important strategic resource during World War 11.
Photo © Tourism Lithgow
Since 1865 Glen Davis had produced oil from coal like oil-shale. With the outbreak of World War 11 this resource became critical for the nation and from 1940 to 1952 the Glen Davis Shale Oil Works operated a shale oil extraction plant to provide fuel for essential transport needs. Remnants of this history can be seen in the village layout. Tours of the shale oil works are available by arrangement. Historians should also visit Glen Alice with its church and cemetery. MORE INFORMATION
Photo © Destination NSW
CAPERTEE NATIONAL PARK
Capertee National Park is located inside Capertee Valley and offers spectacular bird watching, walking, camping as well as heritage homestead accommodation. Capertee National Park protects a range of wildlife and plants found nowhere else on earth. Independent campers and adventurous families enjoy walking and mountain biking through this unique region while discovering both Aboriginal and European heritage. Renowned for some of the best birdwatching in NSW, 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. Access to the park is administered by the Mudgee office of National parks and Wildlife. You will need and access code from this office to open the locked gate to the Park. To drive to the park from Glen Davis, turn east onto Glen Davis Road, travel 29km to the junction with Glen Alice Road and veer left, then drive another 21km through Glen Alice, towards Rylstone, and turn left onto the unsealed Port Macquarie Road. Follow Port Macquarie Road to the locked gate at the park boundary (access code can be obtained from Mudgee office).
National Parks and Wildlife
27 Inglis Street, Mudgee NSW 2850
Ph 02 6370 9000
Open 9am to 4pm, Monday to Thursday
Main photo top of page © Tourism Lithgow