A challenging off-track route in Yengo National Park, to look at the Mount Manning Shelter with its spectacular 600-year old Aboriginal paintings.
It’s my last bushwalk of 2020, and the weather forecast isn’t looking too good… but I’m keen to get out for an exploratory foray into Yengo National Park, in search of an Aboriginal shelter that has some well-preserved art. The rain is holding off as we set out, and start descending into the rugged terrain.
Yengo was affected by the terrible 2019/20 bushfires, with 81% of the park being burnt. The evidence is still very obvious, but there’s also significant re-growth: it’s amazing how quickly the bush re-generates. While the bushfires are thought to have affected many Aboriginal sites, it has also made it easier to move through the bush, to reach existing sites and discover new ones.
There are some deep gullies that look like they escaped the fires, full of ferns and dense undergrowth.
Too steep to cross theswe gullies, we respectfully detour around these pockets of rainforest.
After some slightly aimless wandering, we locate the cave, or rather caves: there are three adjacent shelters, of which two contain paintings.
There’s a National Parks and Wildlife (NPWS) log book in the southern cave: we are the tenth people to visit in 2020!
One of the caves has particularly impressive paintings, even to the untrained eye, depicting local fauna and two anthropomorphs. This cave art was researched in the 1960s: I’ve added more information on the paintings on a separate Mount Manning Shelter page.
After taking some time to try and identify all the pantings (there are 43 in total, but many are hard or impossible to make out), we head back to the car.
It’s a bit late in the year for wildflowers, but being an unusually wet summer, there are some nice plants in flower along the route back up to the road.
It has taken us about three hours to cover 7km over some challenging terrain, but worth it to discover some incredible Aboriginal art, which has survived for (about) 600 years!
|Start / End points||
Access from Great North Road, Yengo National Park
|Grade||Hard. Off-track. 150m total ascent.|