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

The Milyerra Road Fire Trail literally crosses the first engraving site, a large, tesselated rock platform that is sign-posted. Unfortunately mountain bikes and bulldozer tracks have damaged some of the engravings, and two figures recorded in 1899 have been worn away completely.

awat7676 lr Milyerra Road Trail (Brisbane Water)

There are many figures scattered around the site – most of them are faded and hard to make out – which were documented by W.D. Campbell and Ian Sim. Where Sim identified and sketched about 15 motifs in 1969 (Sim Group 167, Series 8 is the black outline in the site overview below), the much earlier recording by Campbell in 1899 covers less than half of these (Campbell Plate 25, Fig 1 is the blue outline).

milyerraroadfiretrail 1a Milyerra Road Trail (Brisbane Water)milyerraroadfiretrail 2a Milyerra Road Trail (Brisbane Water)

There is a handprint and a number of mundoes around the site, including two long lines of mundoes which intersect.

A fish (one of a number around the site) is still fairly clear.

awat7689 lr Milyerra Road Trail (Brisbane Water)

A boomerang or moon is nestled in a natural depression in the rock.

awat7693 lr 2 Milyerra Road Trail (Brisbane Water)

Nearby is another small site (Sim Group 167, Series 9), 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 on is a lone engraving of a nine-toed mundoe, which wasn’t documented by Campbell, Sim or McCarthy.

awat7724 lr Milyerra Road Trail (Brisbane Water)

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

A large rock platform has an enormous whale with two tranverse lines across its body, measuring 40 foot in length. It was recorded by Sim (Group 167, Series 4).

awat7738 lr Milyerra Road Trail (Brisbane Water)

On the same rock platform (Sim Group 167, Series 3) is a large kangaroo, which is abraded.

awat7876 lr Milyerra Road Trail (Brisbane Water)awat7877 lr Milyerra Road Trail (Brisbane Water)

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.

engraving sim group167 series5 Milyerra Road Trail (Brisbane Water)

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.

awat7929 lr Milyerra Road Trail (Brisbane Water)

The next rock platform has a large kangaroo (Sim Group 167, Series 6), which is faint and quite hard to make out.

awat7932 lr Milyerra Road Trail (Brisbane Water)awat7933 lr Milyerra Road Trail (Brisbane Water)

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.

Milyerra Road Trail (Brisbane Water) - 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.
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 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.
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.
There are over 350 Aboriginal engraving and sites recorded in the Central Coast region, many of these in the Brisbane Water National Park.
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. Many more Aboriginal heritage sites are located in the Marramarra National Park. The original inhabitants of the area were the Darug people.
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.
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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.

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