Summary: One of the best showcases of Aboriginal art in the area, the singposted Red Hands Cave at West Head has multiple red ochre handprints.

Reached via the short Red Hands Cave loop walking track from the Resolute Picnic Area, this is one of the most visited and photographed sites in Ku-ring-gai Chase. The track passes directly in front of the long shelter.

Red Hands Cave at West Head

The hands were thought to have been painted between 500 and 1600 years ago, using a mixture of ochre and water. The more typical method was to blow ochre over an outstretched hand to produce a ‘negative’ impression; an alternative technique was to press a hand covered in wet clay against the rock toleave a ‘positive’ print. Elders would leave their imprints higher up on the wall of the cave: the inclusion of wrists and forearms indicated a higher status. Younger members’ prints were lower down.

IMG 3466 LR Red Hands Cave
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Aboriginal Sites by National Park

A review of different techniques for photographing Aboriginal rock art. This includdes oblique flash, chain and planar mosaic imaging which combines hundreds of overlapping photos.
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