Along the Myall Trail are a number of Aboriginal heritage sites, including engravings and cave art, that reflect a fruitful hunting ground.

Many of the Aboriginal engraving sites along the Myall Trail sites are thought to reflect this area being a fruitful hunting ground for kangaroos and wallabies. At the western-most end of the Myall Trail is a long rock platform, which would have nice views when the scrub is a bit less dense.

A group of engravings on the platform was described by Fred McCarthy (Group 74) as the killing of an emu and the sighting of a pair of kangaroos or wallabies.

McCarthy Group 76 (Figure 2A)

The outlines of the two “leaping kangaroos or wallabies” are still fairly distinct.

Also distinct is the “unusual figure of a man, life-size with long curved hair or headdress, with tthree fingers on one hand and two large fingers on the other hand”.

The emu, “poorly drawn, as though depicting a dead bird” is not really recognizable – other than its leg.

Nearby, a long rock shelter contains some paintings.

The charcoal paintings in this shelter are fairly rudimentary, and it’s impossible to discern what they represent.

To the east is another pair of kangaroos, one of each side of small rock shelter.

McCarthy Group 76 (Figure 2B)

One of them is unique in that it’s drawn with a line of pendants from the stomach, “representing the string of fatty tissues from the intestines”.

The second kangaroo on an adjacent rock is much less distinct.

Photo: Rock art of the Sydney Basin

Between the two kangaroos is another rock shelter with art.

As with the previous art shelter, the motifs are in charcoal – and there are a large number along the wall of the cave.

Another large engraving site lies further to the east, which has over ten animals scattered over the large rock platform. The figures (from left to right below) recorded by McCarthy include “an incomplete animal like a native cat” (1), two kangaroos (2 & 3), a boomerang (4), a very small kangaroo or wallaby (6), a bird (7), a headless kangaroo or wallaby (8), another four kangaroos or wallabies, one of which could be a koala (9-12), a wombat (13) and an echidna (14).

McCarthy Group 76 (Figure 2, C and D)

Most of the figures are quite weathered, and some are very difficult to make out without the right light.

Another kangaroo and long echidna on the same platform were not recorded by McCarthy.

A last rock platform has the engraving of a boomerang.

Photo: Matt Niven

More info:

  • Records of the Rock Engravings of the Sydney District: Nos 72-102. Fred McCarthy in Mankind, Vol 5, No, 9 (July 1960)
  • Catalogue of Rock Engravings in the Sydney-Hawkesbury District. Fred McCarthy. NPWS. 1983.

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