Summary: A signposted site on Kings Tableland, Battleship Tops is known for its unusual rock formations - but is also an Aboriginal rock art site. Although badly damaged, traces of red ochre figures can be seen.

A signposted site on Kings Tableland (just next to Kings Tableland Road), Battleship Tops is a group of rocky peaks. One of the rock formations has been likened to a bow of a warship, with turrets on top, from which the area gets its name.

Battleship Tops is also an Aboriginal meeting place, with the rock formations linked to creation stories of the Gundungarra people. Eleven indigenous heritage sites have been recorded here:

  • four shelter sites with rock art and stone artefacts
  • two sites with evidence of occupation (in the form of stone tools)
  • two shelters being more open habitation shelters
  • three sites having axe grinding grooves.

Unfortunately the area suffered from graffiti and vandalism over many years, and despite attempts in 2008/09 to restore some of the sites, the indigenous rock art was significantly damaged. The oche figures in the “battleship” ship shelter are very hard to see, without image enhancement. The ochre rock art includes what seems to be an emu.

1X3A1293 LR Battleship Tops on Kings Tableland1X3A1293 LR yre Battleship Tops on Kings Tableland

Another nearby motif may be the upper part of a human.

1X3A1284 LR Battleship Tops on Kings Tableland1X3A1284 LR yre Battleship Tops on Kings Tableland

A couple more figures are hard to identify.

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Graeme Durie · August 25, 2023 at 12:37 pm

Well worth the stop on the way to/from McMahon’s Point. Sadly, it was partially damaged by vandals – they stole a car, pushed it into the cave and set fire to it. Some well deserved gaol sentences. Fortunately, a lot of the art is still visible

Graeme Durie · August 25, 2023 at 12:39 pm

An outstanding site. Fortunately, much of the art is still visible, despite the vandalism.

    oliverd :-) · August 25, 2023 at 12:55 pm

    I have to confess I couldn’t make out much of it without enhancing the images… but great that it has survived despite decades of neglect

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