Travel guide and general information for the Kimberley Region of WA,
plus exclusive merchandise, clothing, DVD's, books & collectables.
Gwion Gwion rock art site, Kimberley, WA (Photo: Peter Eve)
You can explore Munurru and the Mitchell Falls walk on your own or on an Outback Spirit tour with Browny as a guide. Or you can take an Indigenous-guided tour through remote Kimberley country (wundargoodie.com.au/rock-art-safari and wandjinatours.com.au). Orion Cruises, True North and Aurora Expeditions offer on-shore tours of rock art at Raft Point.
Kimberley rock art is arguably some of the world’s oldest, with evidence suggesting the earliest occupation in the region dates back 50,000 to 60,000 years ago.
Rock paintings can provide information about how and when people arrived, about the environment at the time, how they lived and adjusted to changing climatic conditions, and something of their beliefs.
Understanding Kimberley rock art is an ongoing academic effort that started with the discovery of the Wanjina paintings in the 1830s and continues today through our research program and working with aboriginal communities.
There are remote rock art sites across the Kimberley; many are difficult to access. 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. These ghost-like creatures have large mouthless faces with huge eyes flanking beak-like noses. Their heads are usually surrounded with outward radiating lines depicting lightning.
The thin, elongated and elegantly drawn Gwion Gwion, dated to at least 17,000 years, are painted in hematite ochre that has bonded with the rock and appears as stains with no trace of any surface pigments.
See it for yourself: King Edward River Crossing (Munurru) has two excellent sites with Wandjina and Gwion Gwion figures. The walk to Mitchell Falls features two un-sign-posted shelters, one with Gwion Gwion figures up high and Wandjina figures down low, and the other (tucked behind a curtain of water at Little Merton Falls) shows remarkably naturalistic animals.
“To say this is a menu board for hunting is a very simplistic reading of this art,” says Chris Brown, nicknamed Browny, who has worked with the traditional owners here for many years. “I think of this place like an Indigenous cathedral, a place of contemplation, and that these figures are some of the creation deity.”
Copyright 2017 kimberleywa.com. All rights reserved. kimberleywa.com is a division of the abloveridge.com network
If you have questions, call 0416 147776 for further information. GST TAX - For Australian Taxation purposes all prices on this website are GST Inclusive
Have questions?...need answers? We’re here to help! Contact us anytime.
Web Hosting by Aabaco - A Yahoo Company
Disclaimer: The information provided on this web site is for use as a guide only.
If you are planning to undertake this trip YOU MUST SEEK OUT other authoritative advice and information - eg visitor centres
Outback travel can be a very exciting adventure but it also can be very hazardous especially off road and in remote and isolated areas.
Your Outback trip should only be undertaken after lengthy and careful planning, plus having plenty of water, fuel, food, working communication devices etc
Understand the distances between fuel stops by ringing ahead and checking with the roadhouses, cattle stations and visitor centres - that what you want is at the next stop.
Understand what is the best time of year to travel and what is not, understand your vehicle and its capabilities and how to repair it plus have spare tyres (Min 2 extra)
The owners of this website shall not be held responsible for any damage, injury or death that you may experience during any trip on or off the roads of the Kimberley
You are responsible for your own actions.