Summary: Multiple rock engraving sites are located along and around the Milyerra Road Fire Trail in Kariong (in the Brisbane Water National Park)

There are numerous Aboriginal engraving sites along the Milyerra Road Fire Trail in Brisbane Water National Park. Ten of these sites were recorded as a series (Group 167) by Ian Sim in 1969, which are “distributed along an easterly running spur”.

Group 167 Series 1

A faint and weathered Aboriginal angraving of a man with upstretched arms.

Group 167 Series 2

Also quite faint or weathered engraving, this Aboriginal rock engraving is of a man with upstretched arms, and no penis.

Group 167 Series 3

Not far from the man is is a large kangaroo, which is abraded. This engraving was also recorded much earlier (in 1899) by W.D. Campbell, as Plate 27 Fig 2.

awat7876 lr Aboriginal engravings along the Milyerra Road Trail (Brisbane Water)awat7877 lr Aboriginal engravings along the Milyerra Road Trail (Brisbane Water)

Group 167 Series 4

On the same rock platform as Series 3 is an enormous whale with two tranverse lines across its body, measuring 40 feet in length.

Group 167 Series 5

Beyond the whale and kangaroo is a long but narrow rock ledge, which has a small waterhole. It has number of engravings – many of which are almost impossible to make out – as well as three axe grinding grooves. A small engraving of a bird (there are two birds; the other is much fainter) is very clear.

Less obvious is what is described as “fifteen small circles”, which look almost natural after hundreds of years of erosion from water seeping across the rock.

Group 167 Series 6

The next rock platform has a large kangaroo.

Group 167 Series 7

Scattered across a few rock surfaces, this group includes a very weathered wallaby, the head of a wallaby (or kangaroo) and a shield,

Group 167 Series 8

The largest engraving site is crossed by the Milyerra Trail. The large, tesselated rock platform is the only signposted Aboriginal engraving sie int he area, but unfortunately mountain bikes and bulldozer tracks have damaged some of the engravings. Two figures recorded in 1899 have been worn away completely. There are many figures scattered around the site, which were documented by W.D. Campbell and Ian Sim, and then later by McCarthy.

Milyerra Trail Main Site
Standing bird Mundoes Fish Woman Man Emu Two Fish Open oval or Fish Goanna Slender Fish

Standing bird

AWAT4851 LR Aboriginal engravings along the Milyerra Road Trail (Brisbane Water)


AWAT4853 LR Aboriginal engravings along the Milyerra Road Trail (Brisbane Water)

A number of mundoes around the site are arranged in to two long lines.


AWAT4858 LR Aboriginal engravings along the Milyerra Road Trail (Brisbane Water)


AWAT4884 LR Aboriginal engravings along the Milyerra Road Trail (Brisbane Water)

A woman with "rounded breasts projecting outwards" who is holding a "short and narrow returning boomerang".


AWAT4883 LR Aboriginal engravings along the Milyerra Road Trail (Brisbane Water)

A man with a sword club across his waist who is holding a narrow returning boomerang in his left hand


AWAT4863 LR Aboriginal engravings along the Milyerra Road Trail (Brisbane Water)

An emu with its head and neck forward, as if feeding

Two Fish

AWAT4872 LR Aboriginal engravings along the Milyerra Road Trail (Brisbane Water)

Open oval or Fish

AWAT4874 LR Aboriginal engravings along the Milyerra Road Trail (Brisbane Water)


AWAT4877 LR Aboriginal engravings along the Milyerra Road Trail (Brisbane Water)

Slender Fish

awat7693 lr 2 Aboriginal engravings along the Milyerra Road Trail (Brisbane Water)

At the northern end of the site are the man and woman,”posed upside down to one another”, who may be fighting or quarrelling.

Amongst many other figures at thie site (44 in total) are three lines of mundoes.

Sim Group 167 Series 9

Nearby is another small site, which was recorded as being two wallabies, an eel, two fish and a narrow oval shield – all quite weathered. The smaller wallaby (bottom right) looks more like a pademelon.


Further along the Milyerra Trail is a lone engraving of a nine-toed mundoe, which wasn’t documented by Campbell, Sim or McCarthy.

Two fish

Another rock platform has a two fish, one of them with many peck marks on its body.

Figure with Head-dress

Continuing down the Milyerra Road Fire Trail, a rock platform above the track has a small and unusual engraving of a figure wearing some kind of head-dress, and another motif that may be a turtle (both photos below from Sydney Rock Art).

The turtle has been re-grooved along slightly different lines; you can see in the photos below the grooves and separate line of peck-marks.

Fake Engravings

Above the Milyerra Trail are a few fake engravings, includng a a fake dog (or dingo), a kangaroo and a fish.

Summary of Milyerra Trail Aboriginal engraving sites

Site NameReferenceNo. MotifsMotifsAHIMS ID
Milyerra Trail Main with PenisSim Group 167 S11Man45-3-3236
Milyerra Trail Man without PenisSim Group 167 S21Man45-3-3235
Milyerra Trail KangarooSim Group 167 S31Kangaroo45-3-3243
Milyerra Trail WhaleSim Group 167 S41Large whale45-3-0525
Milyerra Trail Man, Birds and FishSim Group 167 S516Fish, Eel, Men43-2-3239
Milyerra Trail KangarooSim Group 167 S66Wallaby, arc45-3-3238
Milyerra Trail Wallaby & ShieldSim Group 167 S74Wallaby, Shield45-3-3237
Milyerra Trail main siteSim Group 167 S8
Campbell Plate 25 Fig 1
44Fish, birds, man45-3-0541
Milyerra Trail Wallabies, Eels & FishSim Group 167 S98Wallabies45-3-0516
MIlyerra Trail Man with HeaddressSim Group 167 S101Man
Milyerra Trail Large KangarooCampbell Plate 27 Fig 21Kangaroo45-3-0647
Milyerra Trail Two Fish2Fish45-3-3246
Subscribe via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to Hiking the World, and receive notifications of new posts by email. (A hike is added every 1-2 weeks, on average.)

Join 1,206 other subscribers

1 Comment

Chris · March 1, 2021 at 10:13 am

Some great engravings there Oliver – too bad some of them have been damaged or worn away.
I love those overlays you’ve created. They really accentuate what the original engraving would have looked like.

Comments are closed.

Aboriginal Sites by 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.
Red Hands Cave, Glenbrook (Blue Mountains)
The Blue Mountains National Park (and surrounding areas along the Great Western Highway) is thought to have over a thousand indigenous heritage sites, although much of the park has not been comprehensively surveyed. The Aboriginal rock sites in the Blue Mountains include grinding grooves, stensils, drawing and rock carvings.