Thursday, June 4, 2015

Aboriginal Paintings on Bens Walk

Liam and I headed out on Ben's Walk (my 4th time already) - in search of paintings by the Yuin aboriginal people (Dharawal-Dhurga language group) that I had read about in my bushwalking guide. It required us doing half of Ben's Walk and then venturing off the trail up the stream farther to a caged-off protected area where the symbols of the Rainbow Serpent and Devil's hands are found. 

These paintings are thousands of years old.

Pictured here: All 3 paintings are visible in this photo (taken from the left side looking right)  

Just up stream from the weir crossing  

  A gentle stream flowing over the rocks

Great natural rock benches

More "Liam in the cave" pics 

Funny stuff on the bridge 

We filled our backpack with paper bark on the ground around the trees. 
I thought they would make a great resource for an aboriginal art lesson. 

Liam on the weir crossing  

We came upon some campers that had spent the night just upstream from the weir.

And then....we found it!

 The rainbow serpent and "devils' hands"

Liam found some other hand prints just outside the protected area up higher

What made this such an amazing experience was knowing that thousands of years ago there had been people on this very spot. We searched the ground and rocks for any other signs of their experience - imagining all the while, what their life must have been like in this place. 

This country is steeped in the rich environmental history of the traditional custodians of this land.

We spotted a Southern Boobook Owl (I think!)

A human figure?

 Couldn't distinguish anything in this area - but there could be more images...
We made our way back to the Nowra Showgrounds by taking the 
Hanging Rock Lookout section of the trail

Liam in a hole!

Liam used his ipod to take some great photos of his own. 
He is really beginning to "document" the experiences (not sure where he gets that instinct...) 

A view of Hanging Rock from below

Just at the bottom of the steep stairs section at the beginning

5.5 km in just under 2 hours (took our time marvelling at the paintings, though!)

What an authentic and overwhelming experience to be looking at paintings that are thousands of years old in the natural environment. This was an incredible treat - on what is already one of my favourite local walks. We'll be coming back with Chy-Anne and Bryce for sure!

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