Moon Rock is a spectacular Aboriginal engraving site, which in 2019 was closed to visitation, and is open again now to visitors. The Moon Rock Loop bushwalk starts on Garigal Land, managed by the Metropolitan Land Council. The Slippery Dip Trail is very “shared use” – as well as horses, bikes and walkers, it is used by cars to access the Warringah Radio Control Society airfield (a locked gate at the start of the service trail is opened using an access code by WRCS members). Rock outcrops on both sides of the service trail provide an occasional view over the park.
While it’s not unpleasant walking (and there’s been no traffic), I always prefer a bushwalking trail to a firetrail (or in this case a road)! So when a narrow trail heads off to the right, I decide to see where it goes.
The trail descends fairly steeply; it seems to be used by both bushwalkers and mountain-bikers – but you’d need to be a pretty confident and competent rider as the track has some big drops and rough sections.
After about 1.4km the narrow track becomes a wider service trail, which is marked on the map as the Power Lines Trail. Just before the Power Lines Trail meets the Slippery Dip trail, another narrow and unmarked track heads up towards a rocky ridge to the north.
This short trail, unofficially called the Moon Rock Trail, goes up to a long, rocky ridge. At the western end of the rock platform is the “Moon Rock” Aboriginal engraving site. It’s been recognised as a particularly significant site as it provides rare evidence of the Aborigines having astronomical knowledge, depicting eight lunar phases beginning with the creator Biame’s boomerang.
There are over fifty engravings across the site, including depictions of spirit figures, wallabies, shields, fish, sharks, whales, eels, mundoes (footprints).
It’s an incredible site – and even more incredible is that the engraving were only “discovered” in 1973.
After carefully traversing the rock platform, I find the Moon Rock Trail again which continues down the other side of the ridge to re-join the Slippery Dip Trail. Contimuing west along the Slippery Dip Trail, there’s a nice view over the park from a rock outcrop on the southern side of the trail.
Just after this vantage point, there’s a a junction with a wide service on the right. I follow this as far as it goes, which is not very far; it does a small loop before petering out. But near the start of this trail, a pink ribbon marks a faint trail that heads down the valley. There’s more pink markers at frequent intervals, with the track passing several small shelters and an enormous rock overhang.
The trail eventually meets the Five Mile Creek Trail near the bottom of the valley. The Five Mile Creek Trail follows Five Mile Creek for a short distance, before crossing the creek and heading up the side of the valley towards Morgan Road.
I spot another narrow track to the left as I start climbing up Five Mile Creek Trail, which seems to go in the direction I need (which is back to the Slippery Dip Trail). Sure enough, this bushwalking/MTB trail traverses the side of the valley, to end up on the Slippery Dip Trail, just before the locked gate.
The main attraction of this circular route is the Moon Rock Aboriginal engraving site, but by using some of the “unofficial” wallking trails it makes for a fairly interesting bushwalk.
0.0km Slppery Dip Trail locked gate 0.7km Turn right onto Power Lines Trail 2.6km Junction with Moon Rock Track 3.6km Slippery Dip Trail 4.1km Junction with unnamed track down to Five Mile Creek Trail 5.1km Five Mile Creek Trail 5.5km Junction with unnamed track to Slippery Dip Trail 5.9km Slippery Dip Trail 6.0km Locked gate at start of Slippery Dip Trail
More information on Moon Rock Loop
While the Moon Rock Aboriginal Site is closed, the Slippery Dip Loop is longer loop you can in this area.
- Moon Rock Aboriginal Site
- SBS – Ancient ‘Moon Rock’ engravings protected as proof of Aboriginal astronomy
- Sydney Rock Art – Moon Rock
For more bushwalks (as well as mountain-biking trails and swimming holes) in this area, have a look at the Guide to Garigal National Park. This includes 25 bushwalks in Garigal National Park with links to detailed track notes and online maps.