Summary: One of the most spectacular shelters in the McPherson State Forest, the Basalt Hill Shelter (also known as the "Big Cave") contains over 100 Aboriginal rock art motifs.

Informally called the “Big Cave”, and originally documented as the Basalt Hill Shelter, this long and fairly deep shelter is spectacular even without the Aboriginal rock art painted on its walls and ceiling.

AWAT0300 LR Basalt Hill Shelter (Big Cave)

Located above a cliff and below a steep ridge, the cave offers views over the valley far below.

AWAT0348 LR Basalt Hill Shelter (Big Cave)

Within the shelters are over a hundred motifs, drawn in white clay, red ochre and charcoal. The figures are painted across the ceiling and back wall of the main shelter and include birds, snakes, shields and some indeterminate motifs.

The most spectacular “gallery” is at the southern end of the shelter, in what looks like a separate chamber.

AWAT0315 LR Basalt Hill Shelter (Big Cave)

Near the centre of the panel are a series of overlapping wallabies or kangaroos.

AWAT0311 LR stitch Basalt Hill Shelter (Big Cave)

The macropods are drawn in a combination of white clay and charcoal, with some of them being infilled and others drawn in both yellow and black.

Basalt Hill Shelter (Big Cave) - 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.
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.
There are over 350 Aboriginal engraving and sites recorded in the Central Coast region, many of these in the Brisbane Water National Park.
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.
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.
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