Summary: A complex and well-documented site on a rocky spur in Woy Woy, which is known for its "seven dancing rabbits"

woy woy overview Dancing Rabbits (Woy Woy) This complex site near Woy Woy Road contains many engravings across multiple adjacent rock platforms. The site has been documented by W.D. Campbell (1899), Ian Sim (1966), Fred McCarthy (1983) and Stanbury & Clegg (1990). A sketch of the main site by Stanbury & Clegg (right) shows the location of the engravings at both ends of a long series of rock platforms. Additional and faint engravings are also present between these sites, but you need the right lighting to see many of them. As is typical of many ridge engraving sites, there are expansive views – from most of the rock platforms you can see across to the ocean, and the entrance to Brisbane Water. awat6410 lr Dancing Rabbits (Woy Woy) Near the entrance to the site (Sim Group 156 / McCarthy Mankind Group 156) is a mundoe, fish, part of a man and what may be the leg of an emu: these are quite faint and hard to make out. (There’s also some circular “cup marks”, which may be engravings, or natural geological features.) These were described in detail by Ian Sim: “The figures are in two compact groups. The first comprises three circles, two fish, a five-toed footprint, a hand and forearm (?) and several short lines or parts of figures. The second group, a few feet north-west comprises two ovals, part of a large circle, several lines or parts of figures and a man. The man has a short line running from each instep, an anklet, girdlet and necklet, and has an elongated oval headdress (?) with a tranverse line across it. Touching his waist is a large boomerang (?) with five transverse lines… on the south-western side of the two groups is a fish (?) and two short lines“. The two more interesting groups of engravings are at the far end of the rock platform: the first cluster (McCarthy Group 179 Series 2 / Campbell Plate 28 Fig 4) includes a large shield, an eel, a skate, a large whale-like fish, some smaller fish and a leaping kangaroo or wallaby. Most of these engravings are fairly distinct.
fish and eel Dancing Rabbits (Woy Woy)
Source: Sydney Rock Art
Nearby is the second and more well-known cluster of engravings (McCarthy Group 179 Series 1 / Campbell Plate 28 Fig 3): “two small figures of men, sixteen feet apart, and near one is a large fish, and extending in an arched line over the fish is a string of nine small animals, evidently rabbits, and forty feet to the northward is a large kangaroo” (Campbell). The reference to rabbits by Campbell is intriguing, and has led to the site being referred to as having “dancing rabbits”. Stanbury & Clegg suggest they may be rabbits (dating the engraving as being sometime in the early 1800s), or as rabbit-eared bandicoots (which are only known to have lived west of the dividing range). Others have suggested they represent bilbies, which are now extinct in this area, or dancing people wearing head-dresses (Sydney Rock Art).
Engraving dancing rabbits Dancing Rabbits (Woy Woy)

Dancing Rabbits (Woy Woy) - Site Summary

Aboriginal Sites by National Park

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