Summary: Accessible by four-wheel drive (or by walking), this deeply spiritual site is located along the Boree track and includes the spirit footprints of Biame.

Devil’s Rock (Burragurra) in Yengo National Park is considered one of the most sacred engraving and ceremonial sites in south-eastern Australia. It was described as an Aboriginal Bora ground “where the local Aboriginal people carried out their ceremonies in connection with initiation into manhood”. In the Dreamtime stories, it is said Baiame (creator of heaven and earth) stepped from here to Mt Yengo in one stride and then ascended back into the sky (the distinctive shape of Mt Yengo can be seen in the distance). The tops of Mt Yengo (as well as Mt Warong and Mt Warrawalong) are so flat as Baiame used them as stepping-stones (“Yengo” in the Aboriginal language means “stepping stone” or “step up”).

hpim1332 Devils Rock (Burragurra)

Approaching Devils Rock from the east, the engravings include ten emu pads, leading to a (weathered) figure.

Engraving DevilsRock Burragurra Plate2 Devils Rock (Burragurra)

To the south are more emu tracks and mundoes surrounding a raised circular knob, and a short distance to the west is the first of three spirit pads (mundowa). The most striking figure is that of a figure carved in a sitting position, with five eyes and one arm oustretched to the north. The figure is thought to represent the traditional Wa-boo-ee, the demon-spirit of the Wollombi tribe (the same figure referred to as Baiame in other interpretations of the site).

Engraving DevilsRock Burragurra Devils Rock (Burragurra)

The site was also used in the 1930s by Frederick Slater to propose a somewhat unorthodox view on the origins of the indigenous Australians: “…the theory that the blacks of Australia came from Egypt was confirmed by the aboriginal carvings at Devil’s Rock, Wollombi. The totems, symbols, and ideographs carved he said, showed that the ancestors of the Australian aborigines migrated, probably from Egypt, in the late paleolithic and the neolithic ages.” This view was quickly denounced: “members of the Anthropological Society who heard Mr. Slater’s interpretations of rock cuttings evidenced their disbelief in his far-fetched renderings of the occult meanings”. However, there were a few notable supporters of this “pseudoarchaeology”, including Steven Strong who believes that Australia has been visited in the past by the Ancient Egyptians, Phoenicians, Chinese, Spanish and Portuguese – along with the distinct possibility of an even more ancient Extra-terrestrial presence.

Subscribe via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to Hiking the World, and receive notifications of new posts by email. (A hike is added every 1-2 weeks, on average.)

Join 1,205 other subscribers


Leave a Reply

Aboriginal Sites by National Park

Red Hands Cave, Glenbrook (Blue Mountains)
The Blue Mountains National Park (and surrounding areas along the Great Western Highway) is thought to have over a thousand indigenous heritage sites, although much of the park has not been comprehensively surveyed. The Aboriginal rock sites in the Blue Mountains include grinding grooves, stensils, drawing and rock carvings.
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.
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.
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.