Topham Hill rock art (West Head)

Off-track exploration of the Aboriginal engravings on Topham Hill, just south of the Topham Track. 

Having done all the tracks and trails of West Head, I’m now exploring a list of some off-track locations within the area. One of these is an Aboriginal engraving site described in the “Field Guide to Aboriginal Rock Engravings” (Stanbury & Clegg), which refers to a number of sites that no longer have marked trails.

On my first attempt I fail to find the site, as I push through the thick scrub towards a sandstone platform.

Instead, I find a completely different site, with a number of figures; most of them (like the one below) are very distinct and some of the best engravings I’ve seen around Sydney.


I’m back a few days later. This time I go too far again, although it’s interesting to explore the rock formations of Topham Hill, which offers glimpses of Pittwater from the top.


On the way back I finally find the site I’m after, which still has slightly faded sign from when there was a path up to the engravings.


I can’t find all of the rock art – the site includes a school of 30 fish being attacked by a shark, as well as shields, a bird track and two figures a bit further to the west. Many of the fish are fairly distinct, and it’s a spectacular setting for the engravings, with Pittwater visible in the distance.


Location South of Topham Track, on West Head Road
Distance 0.6km – 2km return
Grade Hard. Thick scrub and no track.
Season/s All year.
Map/s 9130-1N Broken Bay (1:25K) Buy / Download
Resources Field Guide to Aboriginal Rock Engravings by Peter Stanbury & John Clegg.


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