The trip from Sydney to Glen Davis is around 210 kilometres or 3 hours driving. Follow the Great Western Highway or the Bell's Line of Road west to Lithgow, then continue past Lithgow along the highway towards Bathurst. Six kilometres past Lithgow, take the Mudgee turn-off (the exit is on your left and crosses over the highway to head north). Note that Lithgow is the last major town and shopping centre you pass on your way to the valley.
Continue along the Mudgee road for 35km, past the villages of Cullen Bullen and Ben Bullen, until you reach the small town of Capertee. (If you've never been to the valley before, it's worth stopping at Pearson's Lookout on your right 2km before Capertee, for a view over the valley. The mesa-shaped mountain in front of you is Pantoney's Crown.)
Capertee is your last chance to buy food (basics), drinks or petrol, and there is a public toilet in the park on the left, the last until you reach Glen Davis or Glen Alice.
Just after the petrol station and opposite the park, you'll see a road on your right signposted to Glen Davis. Turn right here. This road descends into the valley crossing three small bridges along the way. Watch out for kangaroos and wallabies, especially if travelling around dawn or dusk. Wombats can also be a hazard. The latter half of this road is unsealed but suitable for all vehicles.
About 29km from Capertee you'll reach another bridge immediately followed by a 3-way road junction. As the signposts tell you, it's straight ahead to Glen Davis or left to go to Glen Alice and Rylstone. Glen Davis is a further 5km from here, or 35km altogether from Capertee. Driving time from Capertee to Glen Davis is about 30 minutes (if you don't stop to look at birds, an almost impossible task). Note that there are no shops or petrol in either Glen Davis or Glen Alice.
Coming from the north (Mudgee)
The shortest route from Mudgee is via the Lue road. In Mudgee follow Church Street north across the river and shortly after this you'll see the road to Lue on the right. Follow this road through the tiny hamlet of Lue and on to Rylstone (about 50km). Rylstone is your last chance to buy food, drinks or petrol.
Continue through Rylstone and turn left at the hospital (Fitzgerald Street): this is signposted to Glen Alice. At each junction follow the signs to Glen Alice or Glen Davis and it's an easy and pleasant run into the northern end of the valley. At around 15km from Rylstone you pass below Mount Marsden, the prominent bluff on the left. This marks the beginning of the Capertee Valley. Watch out for kangaroos, wallabies and wombats on this road if travelling around dawn or dusk.
Driving through the northern part of the valley you go through Bogee, which is not a town at all but a locality. You'll see Port Macquarie Road and later, Genowlan Road, both on your right, before coming to Glen Alice. The bitumen ends just before Glen Alice and from here to Glen Davis is unsealed road suitable for all vehicles. It's 12km from Glen Alice to Glen Davis and the total distance from Rylstone to Glen Davis is about 52km, or 40-45 minutes driving.
Coming from the west (Bathurst)
From Bathurst you can either:
(a) follow the Great Western Highway east, turning left at Meadow Flat to Portland, then on to Cullen Bullen where you join the Mudgee road north to Capertee (quickest) see above for directions from Capertee; or
(b) go north through Sofala to Ilford. At Ilford turn left onto the Mudgee road, then right to Kandos. At Kandos you'll cross the railway line, drive through the town centre then turn left at Dabee Road, which takes you out of Kandos to join up with the road from Rylstone to Glen Alice (see above). Kandos will be your last chance to buy supplies on this route.
Please read this important note before your visit
When visiting the Capertee Valley, remember that you are on public roads and sometimes cars or trucks travel along these roads in a hurry. If you stop to look at a bird or anything else, PLEASE PARK IN PLACES THAT OFFER ONCOMING TRAFFIC A GOOD VIEW OF YOUR CAR IN ADVANCE AND PULL WELL OFF THE ROAD BEFORE STOPPING, even if this means walking some distance to where you want to birdwatch. PLEASE DO NOT LEAVE YOUR CAR DOORS WIDE OPEN and DO NOT STAND ON THE ROAD AT BLIND CORNERS. This is common sense but unfortunately is not always heeded. In the past there has been at least one accident and several cases of angry confrontation resulting from birders stopping their car in dangerous situations or leaving doors open in the path of traffic. While I am sure most birdwatchers are usually careful and considerate, it's easy to be distracted in the excitement of seeing a new bird.
If you're using a scope and tripod, don't set it up on the road. You might think you're keeping an eye on things but it's very easy to be momentarily distracted and step away only to find that a car suddenly appears around a bend, heading straight for your telescope!
You'll find that when parked carefully and birding responsibly by the roadside many of the locals will smile and give a friendly wave.
Please respect private property and don't climb fences or enter properties without an invitation from the owner. It's possible to see an excellent variety of birds from the roadsides or on public land throughout the valley. If going through a gate for any reason, always leave it as you find it, open or closed.
Much work has gone into nurturing good relations between birdwatchers and land owners in the valley. This is important for the conservation of Regent Honeyeaters and the other birds we love so much to see. Please don't put this in jeopardy. Help to ensure that birdwatchers are always welcome in the valley by acting responsibly and with courtesy to other road users and land owners. Thank you.
Regent Honeyeater & Swift Parrot sightings
Please report all Regent Honeyeater and Swift Parrot sightings to the BirdLife Australia Woodland Birds Project.
For all Regent Honeyeater sightings, phone Freecall 1800 621 056 or email Dean Ingwersen.
For all Swift Parrot sightings, phone Freecall 1800 665 766 or email Chris Tzaros.