The Flinders Ranges is home to the Adnyamathanha or ‘rock people’ and has several publicly accessible ancient rock art sites according to Joc Schmiechen, rock art researcher and Aboriginal tourism consultant.
These include ochre paintings at Arkaroo Rock, which depict the creation story of Wilpena Pound; engravings of circles, tracks and goannas at Mount Chambers Gorge; and art at Yourambulla Caves.
Highlights include a large red and white ochre painting of the Bunjil Creation Ancestor, ceremonial dancing figures and large white (European) figures on horseback in Ngamadjidj Aboriginal Art Shelter, which the indigenous people thought were ghosts, plus hand prints and Giant Emu footprints at Gulgun Manja, a boy’s initiation site.
See it for yourself: Take the Bunjil Creation tour or the Six Seasons Tour with an Indigenous ranger from Brambuk Cultural Centre.
See it for yourself: There are interpretive signs for self-guided tours of Arkaroo Rock, Mount Chambers Gorge and Yourambulla Caves.
Indigenous-guided tours of engravings at Red Gorge and ochre paintings at Malki are offered by Iga Warta Experience.
Kimberley rock art falls into two distinct categories: Wandjina and Gwion Gwion art.
Wandjina art, dating back over 3000 years, depicts creator ancestors who control the storms heralding the wet season.The Trezise family also offer guided tours to the Brady Creek site, Emu Dreaming and Giant Wallaroo rock shelters at Jowalbinna Rock Art Safari Camp (au).The environs of Nitmiluk National Park have some of the oldest art found in Australia.Orion Cruises, True North and Aurora Expeditions offer on-shore tours of rock art at Raft Point.Professor Paul Tacon of Griffith University recommends the large body of Quinkan rock art, dating between 15,000 and 30,000 years old, on the sandstone escarpments around Laura.While some of these sites are not open to the public, there is still some fascinating rock art including a women’s business site and a boy’s initiation site, both of which feature the whole sweep of Arnhem Land painting styles including naturalistic, dynamic and x-ray art.