Carnarvon Gorge – Day 4 – Part 1

I was pleased I slept well and was eager to head out into the gorge for another day.

Our next destinations:

No 1 – [the] Art Gallery

Step back in time, and into an ancient culture, when you immerse yourself in this spectacular display of Aboriginal rock art.

This was a 10.8 km return walk from the visitor area (6.7 mi).


No 2 – Wards Canyon

Spend some time in this naturally air-conditioned spot and watch the water trickle over vivid orange and green algae-coated rocks. 

This was a 9.2 km return walk from the visitor area (5.7 mi).

From where we parked the car, my (Apple) watch measured 13.97 km (8.6 mi) and our walking on day four took us a total of 5 hours and 20 minutes.

Both areas are off the main track and are Grade 3 walking tracks.

Suitable for most ages and fitness levels.
Some walking experience is recommended. Tracks may have short steep hill sections, rough surfaces, and many steps. Walks up to 20km.

On this day, I was grateful I took both walking poles as they made the bushwalking – and six creek crossings – much easier for me. By the way – I was the only one to have dry feet.

They may have only been cheap poles, but by day four, they were worth their weight in gold. That unforgiving undulating track section I spoke about in my post Carnarvon Gorge – Day 3 – Part 2 was morphed into something much easier to traverse.

–⋅ o ♥ o ⋅–

We set out much earlier on day four, leaving the car behind at 7:30 am. The gorge was devoid of other walkers and we felt like we had the whole area to ourselves – at least for the first couple of hours anyway.

The day’s aim was to walk past all those sites we’d already visited, past the turn-off to Ward’s Canyon, and head straight to the Art Gallery, a 62 metre-long (203.4 feet) sandstone wall featuring 2000 engravings, ochre stencils and free-hand paintings. The brochure said the Art Gallery is one of Australia’s finest examples of stencil art featuring boomerangs, hands, feet, stone axes, shields, nets and an assortment of animal tracks.

We, the Bidjara and Karingbal people welcome you.

You are about to enter a very spiritual site.

As you walk in you will see a storyboard of images across the sandstone wall. This is our written language, with each image having symbolic meaning and purpose. During ceremonies that took place here, our ancestors left images that tell the stories of their time in this landscape.

Signage as you enter this sacred site.
The freehand nets also identify this area as a burial site.
Signate states: Sometime in the past the bodies of our people were removed without consent.
The work towards having our people returned to our country is ongoing.

We were there alone so we were able to enjoy this sacred area quiet, still, and respectful of it. Being respectful is always important, unlike other people who felt it was their right to leave their names on these precious walls.

I refused to photograph that terrible, heartbreaking, wanton destruction.

(Yeah, I’m angry about it.)

I’ve slightly enhanced the following photos, but only just enough to make their content pop.

There were plaques along the boardwalk explaining the various aspects of the Art Gallery and it was moving to discover the fascinating stories behind these images and gain respect for the ancient connections the Bidjara and Karingbal Aboriginal people have with their country.

–⋅ o ♥ o ⋅–

The following section includes a carving of the Rainbow Serpent and tells the story of creation and birth.

Mundaguthra (Bidjara) / Mundagurra (Karingbal)

This was a beautiful, spiritually moving place.

–⋅ o ♥ o ⋅–

We’d reached our furthest point into the gorge and there was 5.4 km (3.5 mi) to negotiate to get back to the car. It was 10:00 am and we still had one more site to visit. With respect, there was time for another selfie before we commenced retracing our steps.

The best selfie ever!

Again, I’ll be back later today to talk about Carnarvon Gorge – Day 4 – Part 2 and what we saw when we entered Ward’s Canyon.

Author: Clare

Ever-expanding one star at a time, my cosmos is a galaxy of thoughts and creativity where you can find poetry, short stories, photography and so much more.

4 thoughts

  1. I would guess that the British Museum or the Natural History Museum have some of the items they are seeking to have restored. This is a wonderful set of posts Clare – Looks like you had a great time😎👍

    Liked by 1 person

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