Summary: An Aboriginal engraving of a turtle at Ben Buckler Point - the only remaining figure from a small site which had five carvings.

One of three Aboriginal engraving sites at Ben Buckler Point, there’s not much left here… There were originally five figures here, originally documented by Campbell in 1899. The whale was destroyed by construction; the other figures may remain but are covered by vegetation.

Engravings BenBuckler Ben Buckler Point Aboriginal site

What can still be seen is a turtle, described as having “an oval head, no eyes, four conical and pointed flippers, half oval tail… and a slightly convex sided body”.

AWAT1551 LR Ben Buckler Point Aboriginal site

The turtle is still fairly distinct, as it was regrooved in the 1960s by Waverley Council. (Unlike the nearby Bondi Golf Course Aboriginal site which was also re-grooved after lengthy debate and supervision by Ian Sim, this re-grooving was initiated by the Council without any consultation).

Getting to the Ben Buckler Aboriginal site

The site is not signposted in any way, but is easily accessible from the end of Ramsgate Avenue at the Ray O’Keefe Reserve, next to a set of stairs which descends to a boat ramp.

More information on the Ben Buckler Aboriginal site

  • A landmark publication and winner of the 2019 NSW Premier’s History Prize, Cage of Ghosts by Ian Rhodes dedicates two chapters to the Aboriginal rock art sites around Bondi, with a brief discussion on the re-grooving of this site.
  • Creative Spirits – Bondi Ben Buckler Aboriginal site
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