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Aboriginal Rock Engravings, Terrey Hills

Home > Sydney > Walks | Outdoor | Nature
by Anne Dignam (subscribe)
I am a amateur freelance writer from Sydney. My passion is Aboriginal history, Australia and its unusual places. My aim is to share my knowledge to better your experience. Thank you
Published April 16th 2013
Terrey Hills "The Hunt" Aboriginal Carvings

In a leafy suburb north of Sydney Terrey Hills, just down from the Fruit Markets and adjacent to the Terrey Hills Golf Range, you will witness a beautiful piece of history; Australian Aboriginal Rock Carvings . Surprisingly enough, these carvings are still a relatively unknown area to the locals.

Before exploring these sites, that the Aboriginals consider sacred, I ask that you consider a few factors. Explore, look, learn by all means, please do not damage, try to recreate your own carving. These carvings have been around since white settlement and we need to respect and preserve them. Once eroded or damaged, its gone, no replacing. Also, please don't take large groups here - we need to respect the cultural ways of our Indigenous People as this is a sacred site to them. What we bring in we take out. This is Crown Land.

Our journey starts at Larool Road, a small dirt/gravel road. You will find a large weed reduction site that has a single wooden log fence railing look for the first fence and you will see a small trail to the left, going down in between the grass reeds. This trail is about 200m from start to finish and is fairly flat, but you have to be careful as fallen branches/stumps are throughout the path. If concerned, find a large stick and use that as an aid to help part reeds of grass so you have a clearer view of the trail, as it is only one person wide and in stages looks like it disappears. Keep going until you reach a steel rail area beside the rock carvings. Keep an eye out for the odd goanna or tawny frog mouth owl and snakes.

Once you have arrived excitement takes over as you try to figure the carvings out. This site is rich of information, honouring the Aboriginal culture of the local tribe the Darkinjung People. It shows a man with a long penis (supposedly the longer the penis, the more Spiritiual Creator), two women, a number of kangaroos and wallabies and human like footprints called Mundoes, including a mystery soul print that is reversed.

Mundoes (footprints)


outlined edited version of Mundoes


There are many different interpretations depending on who you speak to, but my understanding shows this as representing a successful hunt because one kangaroo has a spear in its back;

Kangaroo with speared in back


Courtesy of Ray Norris and Barnaby Norris


This rock would have been a sacred ceremonial site because of the over-endowed nature of the male, and linked to a creator spirit, perhaps, Baiame because of the footprints, or 'mundoes', and headdress on the male figure.

The footprints are indeed unusual and through much time spent in the Australian Museum trying to find an answer to mundoes, I have come up with my theory; the mundoes (footprints) are actually from the Giant Wombat (Diprotodon) as their pouch was under their bottom so a joey, when exiting the pouch, would put a single foot down first hence the sole footprint reversed. Mind you, that is only my theory, and Dreamtime Stories are more accurate than me.

Diprotodon courtesy of Australian Museum


You can spend 5 minutes or hours looking and trying to decipher these carvings. There is a small creek/stream next to the rock and sometimes if you look hard enough you may find evidence of spear sharpening grooves in the rocks under the water.

We saw a cockatoo, wombat or a possum in this one


Children might like to pretend they are aboriginals traversing the terrain and imagine how the children lived and created games like hide and seek in the tall grass reeds.

Essential: Long pants, sturdy walking shoes, stick/pole, camera, water and snack

The track can be pretty muddy under foot, so suggest to not visit after rain.

A different side to Sydney and surrounding suburbs and a day out you wont forget in a long time.

Going north out of Sydney on Mona Vale Road, left at the intersection with Forest Road into Myrooa Road. As this road takes a hard right turn, take the unpaved track on the left, which is Larool Road. Park at the first sign for Dundundra Falls, just before the Crown Land weed reduction site.
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Where: Terrey Hills
Your Comment
I would like to add that no offence was meant to any aboriginal person, tribe, elder or spiritual meaning, it was just my take as someone interested and wanting to learn more, thank you
by Anne Dignam (score: 2|870) 2059 days ago
This site is not far from my work, amazing how close it is yet I don't think many know its there. There is another site near this one too called the Lyrebird site, its across the small river.
by Brett Miller (score: 1|63) 2223 days ago
The site at terry hills is in Garigal country which is part of the guringai language group which is my country and your interpretation is a bit wrong as well.
Laurie bimson .guringai man
by Gurin (score: 0|2) 617 days ago
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