Explore Sydney's Indigenous Past
You don’t have to travel far out of Sydney to visit ancient Indigenous sites! With rock engravings all over the city and burial sites that lie hidden beneath modern buildings, there’s a lot to be discovered here. So get in touch with our local Indigenous culture and plan your visit to these exciting attractions.
KU-RING-GAI CHASE NATIONAL PARK (Ku-Ring-Gai Chase)
Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park is home to a number of Aboriginal cultural sites and rock carvings. You’ll have to be prepared to do some bushwalking though! Take the short walk from the car park to the Echidna Engraving Site for animal engravings and footprints. Why not visit one of Australia’s largest engraving sites while you’re here? You’ll need to take the walking trail to Elvina Track Engraving Site for that.
TOWN HALL (Sydney CBD)
You might not realise it but Sydney’s Town Hall is actually one of the earliest colonial burial sites in Australia. Although now built over and surrounded by a busy and bustling city, beneath the ground of Sydney Town Hall lie the remains of Aboriginal people. The burial site was used from the year 1792 until early 1820. There is no documented record of the people buried here but it is believed that many convicts and Europeans join local Aboriginals in the giant burial.
THE THREE SISTERS (Katoomba)
Arguably one of the most popular Indigenous sites in the state, the Blue Mountains plays host to a number of Aboriginal cultural sites. The Three Sisters holds a special place in dreamtime stories and defines the local Indigenous peoples understanding of the surrounding natural environment. Head to Echo Point where signs will guide you through the site and tell the legend that the three sisters have come to be.
WARALI WALI (Fairfield)
Learn more about one of the largest Aboriginal settlements in Sydney, the Darug, as you walk or cycle along Prospect Creek Cycleway. The 8km stretch of the track is lined by Aboriginal artworks which depict the story of the local Aboriginal people. Artworks were created with the help of traditional custodians of the local lands, Darug Elders and the support of local Aboriginal artists.
BRISBANE WATER NATIONAL PARK (Kariong)
Head just an hour north of Sydney and you’ll reach Brisbane Water National Park. Known for its picturesque beauty and adventurous bushwalking trails, the park is also home to ancient Indigenous history. Hiding in the park is Girrakool Engraving Site. The site features a number of modest engravings. You’ll have to walk through some of the park to get here though so bring your hiking boots!
CALGA SPRINGS SANCTUARY (Calga)
Walk through Calga Springs Sanctuary and keep your eye out for Aboriginal rock sites, bush tucker and bush medicines. The sanctuary is home to a number of rock engravings that depict the ancient life of the local Indigenous. Gain an insight into what life was like for the ancient peoples and walk in the footsteps of those who were here long ago.
JENOLAN CAVES (Edith)
Located almost three hours west from Sydney’s CBD, Jenolan Caves may require a stay over but it will be worth it! The caves were once home to the Gundungurra People who used the caves for a number of purposes including to leave their mark behind. Cave walls are lined with the engravings and rock art of ancient peoples.
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