A failed search for Aboriginal art...

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A failed search for Aboriginal art...

Postby FatCanyoner » Thu 28 Jun, 2012 2:52 am

G'day folks,
Over the June long weekend a group of us went into the Wollemi (the 'bad bit across the Colo') looking for aboriginal art sites. There were a couple sites / objects we'd managed to get a rough idea of that we thought we'd focus our time on. Unfortunately we didn't find them, but we did have an incredible time. The Colo gorge is always spectacular, the passes are a little hairy, the views are unreal, and the potential exploration is endless.
If you're interested in what we did, and want to see some nice pics, you can check out the full trip report here: http://fatcanyoners.org/2012/06/09/wollemi-aboriginal-art/
Better yet, if you're interested in Aboriginal art / significant sites as part of your bushwalking, I'd love to hear some feedback / tips / ideas (obviously no disclosures of locations etc... treat it like you would a wilderness canyon and keep things vague!). I'm really keen to make some time for some more trips in the area... hopefully with a bit more success next time! :lol:
The Fat Canyoners: trip reports, technical tips, gear reviews and more: http://fatcanyoners.org
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Re: A failed search for Aboriginal art...

Postby ninjapuppet » Sat 30 Jun, 2012 2:24 am

Some of those photos are unreal Tim!
looking forward to joining up with the subw and tagging along with you in some future trips.
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Re: A failed search for Aboriginal art...

Postby FatCanyoner » Mon 02 Jul, 2012 12:57 pm

Sounds good. There's always plenty of interesting trips being organised on the email list. Plus it is always good having more experienced people joining up, because it usually means even more trips to new and interesting places. Look forward to meeting you in the bush some time!
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Re: A failed search for Aboriginal art...

Postby darth trader » Sun 27 Jan, 2013 1:20 pm

Ahhh, I found something in this area last year.
At the North end of the Putty Road is a llitle township called Milbrodale.

If you stop at the only information board in town that introduces you to the western part of the Hunter valley wine region, you should see a sign behind you for a nearby cave of aboriginal art. Biaime Cave. You can drive (over private property) to within 1/2 km of it. It was signposted and set up for visitation.
It should make a quick driveby.
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Re: A failed search for Aboriginal art...

Postby Greenie » Sun 27 Jan, 2013 7:50 pm

I stopped at Milbrodale a few weeks ago and saw that sign. Wondering was there. Now I know. Might be up that way tomorrow, will have to check it out
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Re: A failed search for Aboriginal art...

Postby climberman » Sun 27 Jan, 2013 9:21 pm

The Biame cave is awesome. There is (was?) a fee per car charged.

There is a book on Aboriginal sites of the Sydney basin. I have forgotten it's name but I think it has a blue cover.

I have found the odd piece of art, some of which was unrecorded. I have been involved in many artefact finds, once you get an eye in they can be really common. 40 000 years is a long long time to leave debitage around !
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Re: A failed search for Aboriginal art...

Postby FatCanyoner » Tue 29 Jan, 2013 5:44 pm

climberman wrote:I have found the odd piece of art, some of which was unrecorded. I have been involved in many artefact finds, once you get an eye in they can be really common. 40 000 years is a long long time to leave debitage around !


Yep, there is an amazing amount out there when you know how to look for it. Some of it is truly amazing. It is also amazing how much you walk right past unless you know what to look for. The weather takes a continuing toll on the art, and over time more and more will inevitably be lost to the sands of time. It is such a privilege to be around soon enough after white settlement to still see much of it. Future generations may not have the same experience.

As for the Baime cave, I'll have to have a look. I'm keen to take the kids to some easier sites.
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Re: A failed search for Aboriginal art...

Postby davidmorr » Sun 09 Jun, 2013 4:43 pm

The cave at Milbrodale used to be known as The Guardian of the Valley. The original owners of the land had no problems with people going in to look at it. However, the land changed hands, and the cave became a regular on the tourist circuit. Huge buses were driving in, parking, turning around, etc. The owners decided they could no longer afford the cost of maintaining the road. Hence the charge for entry now.

As for places to look for aboriginal art, east of the Putty Road is pretty prolific. Yengo NP, Parr SRA, Dharug NP - most of these are rock engravings, but some caves exist. Popran NP and the area around Mangrove Mountain have engravings and a few very good caves. Not as good as the Wollemi one you described, but pretty impressive nevertheless.

And certainly worth looking at them now while they are still visible. Even in my walking career, some caves have declined from clear and vibrant images to mere shadows. I often wish I had started earlier....
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Re: A failed search for Aboriginal art...

Postby Davidf61 » Sun 09 Jun, 2013 7:57 pm

I work in the Pilbara area of WA [iron ore ] and the wife has a cousin who works nearby as a anthropologist,
as a contractor to some firm who's job is to find/catalog aboriginal sites before the miners move in.

The area I'm in is pretty hilly, lots of ravines and so forth and he reckons the amount of stuff out there
tucked away is mind blowing. Much of it is extremely difficult to get to, but pretty much every cave or
overhang has some form of art on the wall. Apparently getting permission to have a look is nigh on
impossible, but I'm looking to do a sneaky expedition with said cousin if we can get our rosters to line up.
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