Summary: A shelter with spectacular Aboriginal drawings in the McPherson State Forest. Figures include snakes, macropods and an echidna in charcoal, red ochre and white ochre.

Near the Crane Ridge Trail in the McPherson State Forest is a low and unassuming shelter, which contains a number of Aboriginal cave drawings.

AWAT6862 LR Snakes Cave

The largest panel is stunning, containing at least 30 figures, many of them overlapping.

mainpanel stitch2 LR Snakes Cave

Two snakes, a macropod (probably a wallaby or kangaroo) and human figures with upraised arms are the most obvious figures. Many other figures in black charcoal are less obvious.

AWAT6782 LR Snakes Cave
AWAT6783 LR Snakes Cave

Behind the charcoal art are drawings in red ochre, which may be older.

On the ceiling of the cave in red ochre are two figures which may represent coolamons (a traditional Aboriginal carrying vessel with curved sides).

AWAT6834 LR Snakes Cave

There is another of these motifs on the wall of the shelter.

AWAT6825 LR Snakes Cave

A figure drawn in white ochre may be an echidna.

AWAT6828 LR Snakes Cave
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Aboriginal Sites by National Park

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 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.