Our second stop after Blue Mountains was Mudgee, a small town 260 kms north-west of Sydney and known for its colonial buildings and wineries. For those of you, who haven't read my post on Blue Mountains, I was on a road trip in New South Wales with my Swedish friend Sofia (@i_play_sofiamax) who has been living in Sydney for a few years now.
While we were in the Blue Mountains, somebody had suggested us to go to Mudgee via Capertee. Capertee is a mountain village located 45 kms north of Lithglow. It is 800 metres above sea level and surrounded by National Parks and grazing land. The Capertee Valley is the world’s second largest canyon. It is surrounded by the wonders of World Heritage Listed wilderness. The valley is 1 kilometre wider than the Grand Canyon, but not as deep. Pearson's Lookout which is located just 2 kms before the village of Capertee, affords one of the best views of the Capertee Valley. The mesa-shaped mountain that you can see from the lookout is called Pantoney's Crown.
After driving for 35 kms on the Mudgee road, past the villages of Cullen Bullen and Ben Bullen, we reached the small town of Capertee. We took the Tourist Drive 2 which was the road on our right to Glen Davis that descended into the valley. The road was so scenic that it was really well worth the diversion. The latter half of the road (about 8 kms) is unpaved but suitable for most four wheel drives. It was almost late in the afternoon as we drove through the valley enjoying spectacular views of mountains, cliffs, farmland and the valley floor to the tune of Australian country music playing in our rather comfortable SUV! The road was completely deserted and we passed only one other car which belonged to a couple whom we had met earlier in the day at the Govetts Leap Visitor Center in Blue Mountains! We were forewarned about kangaroos, wallabies and wombats in the area, although we did not see any. My friend told me that they usually came out at dawn or dusk and were a potential driving hazard. We did see them later on, while driving from Mudgee to Quirindi!
Tourist Drive 2 leaves the Capertee Valley at Mt. Marsden (point of the Great Divide) and then enters the broad valley of the Cudgegong River. Taking a left turn at Dabee Road, it enters the town of Kandos and then to the historic 19th century Rylstone, known for its buildings, shops, cafes and pubs. It continues via the Lue Valley to Mudgee.
The total distance from Capertee to Mudgee is 137 kms and can be covered in 2 hours. A good thing to keep in mind is that all pubs and restaurants in this part of the world close around 2:00 p.m. so if you are passing a town around noon, it might just be your last chance of getting a decent lunch! We had to wait till 4:30 p.m. till we finally arrived in Mudgee for a proper meal which was a pizza in a pub! We then happily checked into Ingenia Holidays, a budget motel with great rates and great reviews, where we were booked for the night. Another great place to stay in Mudgee is the Horatio Suites and Motel that offers a more luxury boutique experience.