Summary: A publicly accessible (but not signposted) Aboriginal rock art site in Carnarvon Gorge, Tomahawk Cave is just below Clematis Ridge. It has almost 100 stencils.

Near the Baloon Cave (which was badly damaged by fire in 2018 and subsequently closed) is the Clematis Ridge Aboriginal rock at (not its official name – it doesn’t have one). The Aboriginal rock art is located at ground level along multiple shelters in the base of an immense rock uplift near the eastern boundary of Carnarvon National Park. While the art is not as spectacular as the signposted Carnarvon Gorge sites (Art Gallery and Cathedral Cave), the hand stencils are in a more natural setting, without the boardwalks and crowds!

A detailed recording of the shelter in 1976 by Michael Clifford Quinnell found a total of 171 stencils, as well as 18 engraved figures (predominantly grooves).

Hand – left446252
Hand – right561158
Hand – indistinct46349
Axe head11
Macropod Paw11
Zig Zag Design11

The large shelter above has three stencils, although one of them is hard to see without image enhancement.

Another shelter has a large assemblage of hand stencils.

There are at least 22 stencils on the panel, some of which are very weathered.

Some hands have a white outline, which is unusual.

There are many more individual and smaller groups of hand stencils along the long rock outcrop.

Getting to the Clemantis Ridge Aboriginal art site

Although the site is not signposted and requires an off-track walk, it can be easily reached by experienced bushwalkers (and you can continue to the the top of the Clematis Ridge for some magnificent views). It’s best to park at the start of the Mickey Creek trail, and then follow the road east for about 600m, until you see a long rock outcrop on the right (south). There is a “Aboriginal Heritage” sign at the foot of the rock outcrop.

More information

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