This large and scattered Aboriginal engraving site on the south-western side of Mount Murray Anderson was referrred to as “Smiths Creek” when first documented, as it overlooks Smiths Creek. While access is now relatively easy via a rough bushwalking track off the Perimeter Trail, access was originally via boat. W.D. Campbell in 1989 described the comparatively easy ascent of a spur from the point of the head of the tidal flow on the northernmost of two short bays.
The Aboriginal engraving sites are located on separate rock platforms, and Fred McCarthy in his Catalogue of Rock Engravings (1982) described the carvings as a series of four sites (but missed a few sites).
Poorly shaped whale
The smaller of two whales, described by McCarthy as "poorly shaped" and by Campbell as "a very inferior attempt". The whale has a small mouth, and a small tail with two pointed fins.
A "well shaped whale", with a "large conical head sloped downward, large mouth open, equal length pointed jaws... well posed with pectoral fins correctly placed but the tail is too deeply indented".
A leaping kangaroo which is "a little animated and looks like a pregnant doe". The posterior of the kangaroo is fairly clear, but the head and front leg is very weathered.
Campbell described two boomerangs, but three boomerangs are carved into the sandstone.
Two shields are also in close proximity: this one has two tranverse lines (as depicted by Campbell).
Shield with one transverse line (Campbell depicted both shields as having two transverse lines).
Third shield (near whale) with no lines.
A large "composite human-emu figure", whose head has weathered away. Its front foot is facing backwards.
A man's leg and penis, "clearly cut in the hard rock".
Series 1 – Poorly shaped whale
Although almost seven metres in length, this is the smaller of two whales. It was described by McCarthy as “poorly shaped” and by Campbell as “a very inferior attempt”. The whale has a small mouth, and a small tail with two pointed fins.
The outline of the whale is still fairly distinct, although the grooves are not deep. Beyond the whale is the end of Mount Murray Anderson. (This whale was separately recorded in AHIMS as 45-6-0539.)
Series 2 – Whale and Shields
The second whale is even larger, being nine metres in length. It was described by McCarthy as a “well shaped whale”, with a “large conical head sloped downward, large mouth open, equal length pointed jaws… well posed with pectoral fins correctly placed but the tail is too deeply indented”.
Slightly deeper-cut than the prevous whale, from this engraving is again a nice view of Mount Murray Anderson, on the opposite side of the valley.
Also on this rock platform are shields, boomerangs and a fish, grouped together in the middle of the rock platform… Campbell described two boomerangs, but three boomerangs are carved into the sandstone.
The fish and three boomeramgs are quite close to each other; the fish was described by McCarthy as having a “poor tail”, but there is more detail in the fish’ tail than what was recorded by Campbell and McCarthy.
The two shields are also in close proximity: one has a single transverse line, and the other two lines (Campbell depicted them both as having two transverse lines).
A third shield near the larger whale has no lines.
In the middle of the rock platform is a large “composite human-emu figure”, whose head has weathered away. Its front foot is facing backwards.
Also described on this rock platform is a headless kangaroo.
Series 3 – Man’s Leg
About 25m further west is a man’s leg and penis, “clearly cut in the hard rock”.
Series 4 – Leaping Kangaroo
Some two hundred metres east, but described as part of the same group, is a leaping kangaroo: “a little animated and looks like a pregnant doe”. While the posterior of the kangaroo is fairly clear, the head and front leg is very weathered.
Campbell (and McCarthy) also documented a stone arrangement near Series 2: “On the rock near the emu loose stones have been collected into low, small heaps 4-6′ in diameter”.
Man, Boomerang and Skate
Campbell missed (or chose not to document) a number of engravings around this area. To the south-east of Series 1 is a man, boomerang and skate (stingray).
The man is only about 0.5m tall, and quite weathered. I think he has one outstretched leg and one bent leg; I’ve also seen the “legs” depicted as upstretched arms.
Above the man is a crescent shape (most likely a boomerang), a mundoe and what appears to be a skate/stingray. Nearby is a circular engraving.
Shield and Eel
On the same platform as Series 2 is a third shield, engraved in very hard rock. There’s also an engraving of an eel.
Man and Fish
Near Series 3 (the engraving of a leg) is a complete man, fairly distinct and carved on a gently sloping rock face.
Nearby are two fish and what may be a shark, or a larger third fish.
On a separate platform to the north-east is a small waterhole, with more engravings and axe grinding grooves.