The Capertee Valley: A Gem in the Blue Mountains
Nestled in the heart of New South Wales, Australia, lies a natural wonder that is a testament to the power of time and the beauty of nature: the Capertee Valley1. Located just above the Blue Mountains, this valley is noted to be the second widest canyon in the world, exceeding even the Grand Canyon1.
At 30 kilometres wide, the Capertee Valley is purportedly the world's second largest canyon. One kilometre wider than the Grand Canyon but only about half as deep.
At 907 metres high, Pearsons Lookout rises 627 meters from the lowest part of the valley floor.
Surrounded by the wonders of World Heritage listed wilderness, the Capertee Valley is the world's widest enclosed canyon. Capertee Valley is one kilometre wider than the Grand Canyon but not quite as deep.
The Valley’s Formation
The Capertee Valley is a large canyon that was formed over millions of years. The valley follows the Capertee River as it cuts through the Sydney Basin, a sedimentary basin consisting of Permian and Triassic sedimentary rock west of the Blue Mountains1. Sandstone cliffs and limestone formations predominate the escarpment, descending into a deep chasm sculpted into the environment over millions of years12.
The valley and nearby village of Capertee form part of the traditional lands of Wiradjuri nation and take their name from the Capiti band, who lived in the valley.
The valley is rich with history of pastoral settlement which commenced soon after the European explorer James Blackman traversed the area on his way to the Mudgee area in 1821. The valley later became renowned for producing quality wool.
@kieran.wicks #question from @kieran.wicks #OneTownataTime #CaperteeCanyon #GrandCanyon #Canyon #TouringMusician #TourDiary #Tourguide #ExtinctVolcano #Roadtrip #BlueMountains #Didyouknow ♬ original sound - Kieran.Wicks
In common with settlement stories from elsewhere, contract between the Wiradjuri and settlers sometimes led to conflict and there are documented reports of a number of killings and a massacre of Wiradjuri in the 1820's.
The valley and nearby village of Capertee form part of the traditional lands of the Wiradjuri nation and take their name from the Capiti band, who lived in the valley.
The valley is rich with the history of pastoral settlement which
commenced soon after the European explorer James Blackman
traversed the area on his way to the Mudgee area in 1821. The valley
later became renowned for producing quality wool.
In common with settlement stories from elsewhere, contact between
the Wiradjuri and settlers sometimes led to conflict and there are documented reports of a number of killings and a massacre of Wiradjuri in the 1820s.
The Reverend Samuel Marsden, one of the early landholders in the Capertee Valley, took up 1,000 acres at Bogee which was recognised early for the high quality and abundance of its pasturage.
Early settlement based around sheep and cattle developed in the Glen Alice area at Glen Alice Station and Umbiella Station.
The valley also has a rich industrial history with Glen Davis once being home to a thriving shale mining community. Established during World War Il to produce petrol, Glen Davis reached a population of approximately 2,500 in its heyday. The Glen Davis oil shale site is available to
restricted groups on weekends.
From 1883 to about 1913, Kerosene shale (torbanite) was mined in the vicinity of Airly with some spectacular cable haulage inclines employed to cross Airly Mountain. Today just a few remarkable relics remain, in fairly secluded bushland. Torbane and Airly Villages were significant centres in their day but are now ghost towns.
With tranquil vistas and serene mountain landscapes, the Capertee Valley has an abundance of flora and fauna. 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.
London-born artist Conrad Martens (1801-1878) first came to Australia in 1835 as the ship's artist on ; Charles Darwin's voyage of the HMS Beagle. In December 1874 he produced a series of drawings showing the former Crown Ridge Inn, Crown Ridge and the picturesque Shere Valley
he developed into three large watercolours. Two of these works are now in the Mitchell Library.
ORIGINS OF THE NAME PEARSONS LOOKOUT
Not a great deal is known of the origins of the naming of Pearsons Lookout. During time of Conrad Martens visit (1874) the area was known as Crown Ridge. Later, Blackmans Crown, named after the explorer John Blackman (1792-1868). It Has been suggested that the lookout may have been named after Thomas Pearson (1853-1946) who moved to the Mudgee area in 1910 or his brother Joseph Pearson.
EXTRACT FROM HENRY LAWSON'S - SONG OF THE OLD BULLOCK DRIVER
Then slowly we crawled by the trees that kept ally
Of miles that were passed on the long journey down
We saw the wild beauty of Capertee Valley,
As slowly we rounded the base of the Crown.
But, ah! the poor bullocks were cruelly goaded
While climbing the hills from the flats and the vales
"Twas here that the teams were so often unloaded
That all knew the meaning of "counting your bales".
Flora and Fauna
The Capertee Valley is abundant in flora and fauna, providing a perfect opportunity to encounter nature in a natural environment45. The valley forms part of the catchment area of the Hawkesbury River3. The township is surrounded by National Parks and grazing land3.
The Capertee Valley offers a range of activities for visitors. From birdwatching to walking trails, camping sites to heritage homestead accommodations, there’s something for everyone6. One can also enjoy scenic helicopter flights for an aerial view of this magnificent valley7.
The Capertee Valley is more than just a geographical marvel; it’s a testament to Australia’s rich history and diverse ecology. Whether you’re an adventurer looking for your next hiking trail, a birdwatcher seeking new species, or simply someone who appreciates natural beauty, the Capertee Valley in the Blue Mountains has something to offer you.
- en.wikipedia.org2. bellebois.com.au3. en.wikipedia.org4. visitnsw.com5. sevenvalleys.com.au6. nationalparks.nsw.gov.au7. tripadvisor.com.au8. greaterbluemountainsdrive.com.au9. visitnsw.com10. yilawura.com.au11. bing.com12. nationalparks.nsw.gov.au13. caperteevalleyhelicopters.com.au14. inaturalist.ala.org.au