Ah Capertee Valley… Cape-Tree?! CaepeRRtee?!?! Try ‘caper’ as in the delicious bud, and ‘tee,’ what you’re probably wearing at the moment, now link them together = Capertee Valley.
This place may not mount much meaning to you reading these words – Capertee Valley though, is quiet the place. See one tiring sun-soaked end to the day, see the way it showers the ancient towering cliffs with a golden hue. Close your eyes and hear the calls of the 237 bird species that call this place home. Sit on a rock and watch the sky roll through a spectrum of colours into the thickness of the starry night. Now you’re starting to get the full picture.
If Theodore Rosevelt proclaimed the Grand Canyon “The one great sight every American should see” the closest we had to a celebrity endorsement for our own Capertee Valley, officially the widest canyon in the world, comes from the celebrated Australian poet, Henry Lawson who wrote;
“Then slowly we crawled by the trees that kept tally
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.”
Vividly illuminating a by-gone era in Song Of The Old Bullock-Driver. But don’t bother asking your average Aussie about Capertee Valley, they will stare blankly at you and you will find them unusually short for words. The Valley is still not on most peoples’ radars. While it is a tad over 2.5hrs away from Sydney CBD you
don’t have to venture far to see the world that Lawson was describing all those years ago.
Wilderness, history of the brief but impressive oil shale period, the Wiradjuri peoples imprint spanning millennia, the recent tales of abundant diamond finds, bushranger exploits, glow worm tunnels, canyoning, birdwatching, splendid helicopter tours, billabongs, hiking or long leisurely drives off the beaten track with your windows down, it is a place where less is more, where its magic works on you unawares, where you yield to a different tempo, where you find the silence you were looking for. Your sanctum, Capertee Valley.
© Michelle Ryan Photography