The Colo River that morning was misty and mysterious.
At Upper Colo, it’s hemmed in by sheer sandstone cliffs and dense bush.
By the water, it sustains more verdant species.
The river has its source deep in the Blue Mountains north of Lithgow in the valleys of Capertee and Wolgan. We visited the Capertee Valley a few years ago, and by road seems like a world away from Upper Colo.
The Colo eventually flows into the Hawkesbury, which drains in Broken Bay, so we’ve seen quite a few sides of this extensive river system.
In between, it flows wild through Wollemi National Park, until it emerges at Upper Colo, before meandering into the Hawkesbury at Lower Portland.
It reminds me of the novel The Secret River. Set by the Hawkesbury in the early days of New South Wales, it described the recreated the experiences of the first white settlers to the area. They saw the river and the bush as a mysterious, menacing creature that was just waiting to gobble them up. Sitting by the river that morning, I think I understood how they felt.
The closer we got to Rylstone, the worse the weather got, and the more rural the landscape became.
One last look at the wonderful Capertee Valley…
Some more wonderful scenes from along the Glen Alice Road.
After Glen Davis, we took the Glen Alice road towards Rylstone.
The valley soon opened up into wide pastures, but the cliffs were never too far away.
Glen Davis is a small village deep in the heart of the valley. It was established primarily to house the employees of the nearby shale mine, but when that closed the town became a ghost of its former self.
Nothing however takes away from the location. The sandstone cliffs seem to close in the closer you get to the town. This has to be one of the most beautiful, and unique, landscapes in Australia.
Unlike the most mid Blue Mountains valleys, the Capertee Valley is entirely accessible by car – meaning that we saw some very special views.
We had showers all morning, but the mist and rain made things even more special.
Now this was completely new territory for me. The Capertee Valley sits on the western edge of the Greater Blue Mountains area, and (as the tourism literature told me) has the distinction of being the widest canyon in the world.
This was my first glimpse of the valley, from the lookout on the Castlereagh Highway.
Even from a distance, one could see the deep valleys and wonderful sandstone rock formations. It is as scenic as the more famous Jamison and Grose Valleys, I think.