Sydney & Surrounds – Grand Canyon Ride (sort of)
Australia is famous for ‘Big Things’ … The Big Apple, The Big Banana, The Big Merino, and so on … but did you know we also have some of the widest things in the world?
I found out about the valley via word of mouth and was told “it’s the widest valley in the world, yet no one knows about it – go check it out!”
Well damn straight I will!
I packed my bike that weekend and headed for Capertee Valley, a part of the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area, located 200km North West of Sydney. According to local tourism info it’s “the widest enclosed canyon in the world” and said to be 1km longer than the America’s Grand Canyon!
Once I got to the township of Capertee, I headed down Glenn Davis Rd which took me through the heart of this grand, majestic valley. I was immediately struck by the rugged beauty and the sheer width of space between the tall sandstone walls.
After about 35kms of pastoral lands and forests, and just enough dirt road to keep me happy, I found myself at Glenn Davis – an abandoned village which was built in the 1930s to service an oil shale industry that failed after just 15 years. There are still a few old buildings left standing, including the old post office.
After a quick bit of sightseeing around this ghost-town I was pleased to find some nice camping facilities with sheltered picnic tables – this is exactly what I needed after a long, wet ride … AND I had the whole place to myself!
I spent the next day exploring the valley; there are some cool dirt roads, easy rides but still fun … until they suddenly turn into grass paddocks and you realise “oh crap – I’m lost!” … all part of the adventure!
At the end of the day, after some really, really bumpy riding on corrugated dirt, I landed at a brilliant camping spot called Dunns Swamp on the banks of the Cudgegong River.
This sort of camping is my favourite kind … water to swim in (with no crocs or sharks!) and nice shaded spots for your tent and gear: just the perfect sort of place to stretch your legs, grab a glass of red and catch up on some bike mags. Yep, that’ll do nicely thank you very much!
Total kms: 550km
Fuel Cost: $35
Camping cost: Glenn Davis $10 ; Dunns Swamp $5