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Sacred Canyon

Home > Flinders Ranges > Art | National Parks | Outdoor | Photography | Walks
by Paula McManus (subscribe)
Photography obsessed writer and urban explorer. Lover of nature, art and long weekends. Adelaide, South Australia. https://www.facebook.com/paula.mcmanus1
Published November 1st 2015
Ancient art
Sacred Canyon is one of a few sites within the Flinders Ranges National Park where you can see some great examples of Aboriginal art.

Sacred Canyon Flinders Ranges
Sacred Canyon, Flinders Ranges (©paula mcmanus)


What is different about the art at Sacred Canyon is that the artworks are engravings onto rocks and not paintings.

It's quite an easy and picturesque walk to the Canyon. The trail into the Canyon is along a dry river bed, lined with ancient river red gums.

Sacred Canyon Flinders Ranges
Sacred Canyon, Flinders Ranges (©paula mcmanus)


The site of the engravings is a permanent spring. It was the place that the Adnyamathnha people gathered to tell their stories and to leave their mark. It is believed that the engravings are thousands of years old, possibly up to 30 to 40 thousand years old.

Sacred Canyon Flinders Ranges
Sacred Canyon, Flinders Ranges (©paula mcmanus)


It can be a little difficult to see the engravings at first, but once you spot the tell-tale circles and lines, you'll begin to see more and more of them. The engravings are all different and each of them tell a story, possibly from a Dreamtime. It is unknown who created the artworks or when - unfortunately this story has been lost to the local Adnyamathanha people.

A tip is to take a photo of the visitor sign at the carpark and refer to it to help make your search a little easier. The sign explains all of the symbols and markings.

Sacred Canyon Flinders Ranges
Sacred Canyon, Flinders Ranges (©paula mcmanus)


The art works are not behind a fence. They are all along the rock faces at the spring and you'll find that you walk past (and get very close to) many of them. Visitors are asked to respect these ancient works of art and not touch them. Touching may damage them and they, like their story and the people who created them, could be lost forever.

There are other Aboriginal art sites in the Flinders that have public access:

The Yourambulla Caves are magnificent as is Arkaroo Rock. Be sure to check them out too.

Sacred Canyon is located within the Flinders Ranges National Park. Parts of the National Park are closed in the summer - be sure to check before travelling

The Flinders Ranges are approximately 430 kilometres from Adelaide in South Australia.

Where:
Blinman Road, Flinders Ranges.
Turn off is 1km north of Wilpena Pound entrance

Driving distance from main road:
13kms on unsealed road. Suitable for all vehicle types

Walking distance from the carpark:
500 metres

Difficulty level:
Easy

Suitable for:
Ambulant people only. Good sturdy walking shoes are a must, some moderate climbing is required

Water, picnic and toilet facilities?:
No. Be prepared - carry water, hat and sunscreen and try to visit early in the day to avoid the heat.

Sacred Canyon Flinders Ranges
The road in to Sacred Canyon, Flinders Ranges (©paula mcmanus)


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Why? Ancient art
Where: Flinders Ranges, South Australia
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