Summary: An extensive group of engravings, the Mooney Mooney Aboriginal Area includes many kangaroos, two rainbow serpents and many other figures.

Situated on a ridge parallel to the old Pacific Highway on an extensive rock plaform, the Mooney Mooney Aboriginal Area has a large number of engravings. It has been described as “one of the most extensive art galleries in the Sydney-Hawkesbury district”.

A number of engravings and stone arrangements were destroyed when the middle of the site was quarried.

Northern end

At the northern end of the Mooney Mooney Aboriginal Area is a closely spaced set of eight figures.

MooneyMooney2 stitch LR Mooney Mooney Aboriginal AreaMooneyMooney2 stitch LR highighted Mooney Mooney Aboriginal Area

Parallel to one another are two two eels or dugongs, which were also described as possibly being “rainbow serpents” by McCarthy. (The Rainbow Serpent in Aboriginal dreamtime stories represents one of the great and powerful forces of nature and spirit: it “lives in the waterholes of their country, and travels between them, either under the ground or in the storm clouds when a rain storm is moving. His presence brings on the rains and if he is offended he can prevent the rains and cause drought or inundations that cause people to perish.” They are both just over three metres in length, and one of them has a club or stripe carved down the middle.

Above the eels (or rainbow serpents) is a man: “a highly animated figure”, who has five eyes.

AWAT1144 LR Mooney Mooney Aboriginal Area

A kangaroo is “posed leaping at full speed” and next to the kangaroo’s tail is a bandicoot or native cat.

A goanna is also near the kangaroo (and a short distance away is a fish and a parrying shield).

Southern End

At the southern end of the platform is a large kangaroo: “a. gracefully posed animal with its body parallel with the ground, head down, leaping at full speed, with it’s s tail fairly close to its legs”.

A man is carved holding a sword club in his right hand: “a. remarkably good depiction of the throwing posture”.

AWAT1152 LR Mooney Mooney Aboriginal Area

Nearby are a couple of fish, one of them with a narrow body, no fins but a big tail.

The next figures are the most interesting, with the composition including two anthropomorphic figures. (Oddly, these figures were recorded by Ian Sim in 1976, but not mentioned by Fred McCarthy in his 1983 Catalogue, which referenced a recording from 1946).

MooneyMooney1 stitch LR Mooney Mooney Aboriginal AreaMooneyMooney1 stitch LR highighted Mooney Mooney Aboriginal Area

It’s one of only four similar engravings in the Sydney Basin with a bulbous head dress (the other three being located at Patonga, Muogamarra and Audley). (Sydney Rock Art has some comprehensive information on this engraving, including comparisons to other sites with similar carvings.)

AWAT7985 LR Mooney Mooney Aboriginal AreaAWAT7985 LR highlighted Mooney Mooney Aboriginal Area

Near the bulbous-headed figures is a kangaroo, one of many at this site.

Among the southern group are eight kangaroos (one depicted with only its head) and nine fish, as well as a small goanna,

There’s also another man, less than a metre in height, with truncated and upstretched arms.

Getting to Mooney Mooney Aboriginal Area

The signposted site is most easily accessed via Myoora Road (off the old Pacific Highway). Turn left onto the Powerline Firetrail and then take turn left again onto the Mooney Mooney Aboriginal Area Trail. Download NPWS Map [PDF].

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Following a rough trail to the Mega Cave on the Central Coast | Hiking the World · November 8, 2022 at 8:01 pm

[…] from the gate there’s a junction with another firetrail. Turn left for optional detour to the Mooney Mooney Aboriginal Site. Described as “one of the most extensive art galleries in the Sydney-Hawkesbury district”, the […]

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Aboriginal Sites by National Park

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