Did you know? We didn’t!

Kevtoberfest #8 Capertee Valley

Begin a conversation about canyons and most people would probably think of Arizona’s Grand Canyon. It’s one of the world’s most popular tourist attractions, with more than five million visitors each year. But they might be surprised to learn that the Grand Canyon ranks fourth in order of the world’s largest.

Until we stopped at Pearson’s Lookout on the Castlereagh Highway, we would have been included in that group: we didn’t know Australia has the world’s second largest enclosed canyon. One kilometre wider than the Grand Canyon but not as deep,Β Β Capertee Valley is the widest canyon in the world.

From the lookout, there are 180Β° views of sheer sandstone cliffs rising up to 627 metres above the valley floor. The scene is dominated by Pantoneys Crown, a craggy sandstone monolith surrounded by dense eucalypt forest.

Capertee Valley is recognised by Birdlife International as an Important Bird Area and is listed in the 50 top birdwatching locations in the world. On the day we were there, it seemed as if the valley was filled with bellbirds. Although we didn’t see any, we could hear their tinkling songs rising up from the treetops.

So the next time you’re talking about canyons, you’ll be able to impress your friends with your knowledge by telling them about Capertee Valley, the widest canyon in the world!

56 thoughts on “Did you know? We didn’t!

  1. That sandstone crown is amazing isn’t it – I wonder if they will find a pyramid under there one day…. I knew the Grand Canyon wasn’t the grandest, but no longer recalled the ones who outrank it. It gets all the press….. and all the other learning just slips away through lack of use πŸ™‚ I did not know you have bellbirds. I thought we were the only ones to have them. Australia is so full of wonderful finds – I think you could travel eternally about it and still never see everything!

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    • And I didn’t know New Zealand had bellbirds! We are always amazed by the places we come across that we’ve never heard of. I love doing road trips for that reason, but I have to make sure Mr ET stops when we see an interesting sign. πŸ™‚

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  2. I suppose it all depends on how you measure a canyon – widest, deepest, longest, oldest – this one has lovely views, but it is not as dramatic as the Grand Canyon and I also think the Fish River Canyon in Namibia is stunning and Antelope Canyon in Arizona might be small, but is breathtaking. But I shall concur that this is the widest πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

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    • I agree – it’s not nearly as dramatic as some others, although we didn’t venture down into the valley and I suspect the scenery from down there would be amazing. We haven’t seen any of the canyons you mention, but we have been to Oman’s Grand Canyon, which is spectacular too. According to my research, the size is calculated by overall capacity so this is the second largest space inside a canyon in the world. This one is many millions of years older than many others, which means the top has eroded more so it’s not as deep. The whole Great Dividing Range is one of the oldest mountain ranges in the world, which is the reason why it isn’t as high as others.

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  3. Pingback: From the Top to the Bottom | The Eternal Traveller

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