Summary: An Aboriginal engraving site in the Muogamarra Nature Reserve which has over 20 figures depicting mammals and fish commonly found in the area.

This Aboriginal engraving site in Muogamarra Nature Reserve depicts mammals and fish commonly found in the area. The site was first documented in 1899.

The south end of the group comprises a shoal of fish of various kinds, and an imperfect figure which is probably a fishing-spear. Then there is a kangaroo and a whale-like fish each about ten feet long; another kangaroo or wallaby rather indistinct; and further on a native bear with a small fish above and below it, then a smaller whale, and finally what may be a wombat. The figures have a clear groove, with punctures showing in parts.

W.D. Campbell, Aboriginal carvings of Port Jackson and Broken Bay (1899)

Many years later, Fred McCarthy interpreted the figures slightly differently, describing the wombat as a dingo. The dingo is at the northerrn-most end of the site: it has a “long convex head, slit mouth, head vertical with 2 eyes and a pit behind them, 2 pointed ears, broad neck, arched back, convex belly” (McCarthy). A slightly more angular dingo can be found at the near the Long Trail East site at Duffys Forest.

Next to the dingo is a less deeply carved dolphin or young whale, which has a dorsal fin and a pair of conical ventral fins.

The next figure is a koala, which looks very much like a Daramulan figure (but both Campbell and McCarthy described it as a “koala bear”). It has a long, oval head with a neck and two eyes and its long forearm has seven digits.

One of two kangaroos is near the middle of the site: it has a very slim, fin-like foreleg and is “posed with its body parallel to the ground about to land or take off in its leap”.

A short distance away is a pair of whales, posed as if in a dive and with long, broad heads.

Among a group of fish and eels are two small, breamlike fish, and at the southern-most end of the rock platform is a school of fish: “The 3 in each row swimming head to tail but one at the end of one row is swimming in the opposite direction and its snout is touching the snout of the middle fish”. One of the fish has been “struck with a 3-pronged fish spear”.

Note: As a restricted nature reserve, photography and off-track site visitation within Muogamarra is not allowed without a permit.

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