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

Red Hands Cave - Site Summary

Aboriginal Sites by National Park

There are over 350 Aboriginal engraving and sites recorded in the Central Coast region, many of these in the Brisbane Water National Park.
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.
Yengo National Park was an important spiritual and cultural place for the Darkinjung and Wonnarua People for thousands of years, and 640 Aboriginal cultural sites are recorded in the park and nearby areas.
Many sites Aboriginal engraving sites across the inner suburbs of Sydney have been destroyed or are very weatheredl. The sites which remain are isolated from their natural environment.
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.
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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