On the western side of the Blue Mountains, just north of Lithgow, is a charming little gem the Capertee Valley. It has history, nature, quaint guesthouses and is the second largest ''enclosed'' valley in the world. The biggest is the Grand Canyon and Capertee is one kilometre longer!
On the road in, it's more than worth a stop at Pearsons Lookout. You will be rewarded with jaw dropping vistas. Pantoney's Crown in the centre of the valley has stunning 360 degree views.
Birdwatchers particularly love the area as at least 14 threatened species are regularly spotted there.
The nearby ghost town of Glen Davis was established for oil shale mining, and people enjoy picking through the ruins looking for old mining equipment and other bits and pieces.
To discover and enjoy this special part of the world, Turon Gates is a tranquil and unspoilt bush hideaway. It is an environmentally friendly place and only gas and solar energy are used.
Its seven rustic log cabins are positioned along 15 kilometres of crystal-clear trout stream. They are surrounded by 245 hectares of bushland, hills and gum trees. You will hear birds and see kangaroos drinking at the river and if you can't bear to leave your own pet at home, they are welcome to enjoy Turon Gates with you.
Riverside Cabins sleep up to eight. They are fully furnished and have fireplaces. Doonas and pillows are provided, and kitchens have everything you need. Guests can cook a barbecue and eat at tables and chairs under gum trees there's even a hammock for chilling out.
Mountain Cabins are set along the hillside on the way into the Valley. There are eight new two- and three-bedroom cabins with balconies allowing you to enjoy the views.
Each has a combined lounge/dining area, fireplace, pergola and barbecue area. They also sleep up to eight.
There are 12 horses on the property, cared for by a hired hand. You can ride across the hillside, jump fallen trees and cross rocky streams. If you fancy an early ride, just let the manager know the day before.
If freshwater trout fishing is your thing, the crisp Turon River is perfect for those who cast the fly. You will need your own gear and licence. Canoes are available and they provide hours of fun.
With 15 kilometres of river and thousands of hectares of magical bushland, bushwalking is a must. Wildlife abounds and walkers can follow the old Chinese water race up the river.
Why not spend an afternoon gold panning? There really is gold in them thar hills, and panners are often rewarded.
There are deep bush swimming holes, complete with Tarzan ropes for swinging.
Steep hills, river crossings and challenging tracks across ridges offer exciting mountain biking, and views are an added bonus.
For a real outdoors experience, camp under a tree and soak in the natural landscape. Hot showers and toilet facilities are provided.
Capertee, two and a half hours north-west of Sydney
Turon Gates riverside cabins start at $120 a night. Mountain cabins start at $158 a night. There are seniors' rates for four night midweek stays.
Horse riding is $40 per person for an hour and a two-hour trail ride is $65 per person.
The fishing season extends from the October to June long weekends.
Prices correct at February 28, 2008
For more information
Sydney Booking Office
PO Box 722
Spit Junction 2088
Ph: (02) 9969 3818
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