Summary: Four interrelated sites around the America Bay track at West Head, depicting different scenes. Two are easily accessed from the America Bay Track.

Along the America Bay Track are two significant Aboriginal engraving sites; one of them was previously signposted but the signage has now been removed (as is the case with many sites, where visitation is discouraged). Two additional engraving sites are in the vicinity of the America Bay Track.

America Bay top site

The upper America Bay site has a number of overlapping figures, with a whale in the middle of the group.

engraving plate xix fig1 America Bay engraving sites

Within and overlapping the large whale is the figure of a woman and a stingray (or skate), and next to the whale is a goanna.

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Daramulan site

To the west of the main site is a representation of Daramulan, an ancestral creation being and the son of Baiame and Bootha, and a number of additional figures.

America Bay Sites
Daramulan Boomerang and mundoe Iguana Man Fish Fish

Daramulan

montage2a stitch LR America Bay engraving sites

A representation of Daramulan who is over six metres long and a metre wide. Within the Daramulan figure is an oval-bodied skate, or stingray.

Boomerang and mundoe

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Below his foot is a boomerang, and next to the boomerang is a mundoe (another seven mundoes above the figure lead away from the rock towards Topham Hill

Iguana

Below the Daramulan's foot is another goanna (Campbell uses the term iguana, a term used by the early European settlers for monitor lizards, which eventually became corrupted into the word “goanna”).

Man

A man with “broad shoulders, outspread arms slightly upraised"; he is very weathered and hard to make out.

Fish

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A small distance away, but on the same rock platform, is a second fish (described by McCarthy as a leatherjacket).

Fish

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Next to the Daramulan figure is a bream-like fish (“no eyes, poor tail, arc across body, and an arc 19″ long along its top side”)

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A small engraving site above a small waterfall depicts man who is striking a wallaby (the man is very faint). This is a separate site some distance away.

A large Darumalan figure dominates the site – these ancestral beings are said to possess a deep thundering voice) and are always depicted with one leg. Below his foot is a boomerang, and within the figure is a mundoe. Another seven mundoes above the figure (some very shallow) lead away from the rock towards Topham Hill, another very significant area with multiple engraving sites.

montage2a stitch LR America Bay engraving sites

Next to the Daramulan figure is a small fish, and below his foot a goanna.

Man Striking Wallaby

Another site above a small waterfall depicts man and wallaby (although the man is very hard to make out): “they depict a man, below natural size, striking a wallaby with a boomerang, and a number of straight lines which probably belong to an unfinished figure. The site is an obvious habitat of rock and scrub wallabies but it is not possible to determine whether the hunter stalked and struck his victim, or whether he threw his boomerang…” (McCarthy Group 34).

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Near the wallaby and very hard to discren are some “unfinished” lines which resemble a shield, and a stingray.

Kangaroo and Shield

On the opposite side of West Head Road to the America Bay track is a large kangaroo and shield, on adjacent rock platforms.

engraving plate xvii fig5 2 1 America Bay engraving sites

The kangaroo was recorded and described by Campbell as “a very fine figure of a kangaroo over eighteen feet long, with all four legs shown and open mouth.” (Plate 17 Fig 5).

On an adjoining rock platform is a shield, with many of the puncture marks still clearly visible.

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Summary of America Bay Aboriginal sites

Site NameNo. MotifsMotifsAHIMS ID
America Bay top site9Whale, goanna, stingray, woman45-6-0189
America Bay Daramulan site31Daramulan, goanna, fish, stingray45-6-0194
Kangaroo and Shield3Kangaroo, shield, mundoe45-6-0277
Man Striking Wallaby4Man, wallaby, stingray45-6-0199

America Bay engraving sites - Site Summary

Aboriginal Sites by National Park

A review of different techniques for photographing Aboriginal rock art. This includdes oblique flash, chain and planar mosaic imaging which combines hundreds of overlapping photos.
Located to the north-west of Sydney, just south of the Dharug and Yengo National Parks. Maroota has a high concentration of (known) Aboriginal sites. The original inhabitants of the Maroota area were the Darug people.
There are over 350 Aboriginal engraving and sites recorded in the Central Coast region, many of these in the Brisbane Water National Park.
Over 40 sites have been recorded within the park; many were located along the river bank and were flooded by the building of the weir in 1938.
Yengo National Park was an important spiritual and cultural place for the Darkinjung and Wonnarua People for thousands of years, and 640 Aboriginal cultural sites are recorded in the park and nearby areas.
Many sites Aboriginal engraving sites across the inner suburbs of Sydney have been destroyed or are very weatheredl. The sites which remain are isolated from their natural environment.
Over a hundred Aboriginal sites have been recorded in the Hornsby region, with many of these in the Berowra Valley National Park and around the suburb of Berowra.
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