Aboriginal Rock Art at Split Rock

posted in: Queensland

Does this count as a roadsign for my collection?  Not exactly what you think of as Australian animals, but we see a lot of these signs!  So far up this way we’ve seen wandering cattle, but no sheep yet. QLD Roadsign | How Many More Minutes After Cooktown we spent a night in nearby Lakeland so that we could make a quick visit over to Laura to see the Aboriginal rock art at Split Rock.  (I never know whether I’m supposed to capitalise Aboriginal, I see it both ways and have yet to figure it all out.  So I’m capitalising it, just in case.  I also don’t know when to use Aborigine vs Aboriginal.  Maybe by the end of this trip I’ll know!) We didn’t bring many picture books with us, but this one had to come along!  This is by a well-known Aussie children’s author, and it’s about a family taking a trip around Australia in a caravan.  Ahem.  We also have the audio and we listened to it in the car that day.  At the beginning is a map showing their route and it’s fun to see the places we’ve yet to go. Are We There Yet? | How Many More Minutes This guy was veeerrry quiet.  Turns out he was just very interested in his book. Are We There Yet? | How Many More Minutes Tangent…Once when I was stopped for a breath test I had my three older kids all lined up in the backseat next to each other.  (Breath tests are random and common here, this one was in the middle of the day in the middle of town.)  Each kid had a book open on their lap.  The officer saw them as he was administering my test and asked ‘How do you do that?’  I laughed, but from the look on his face he was serious.  He asked again, and I laughed again.  Three kids, all lined up and quiet in the backseat, happily looking at their books.  How do you do that?  The answer is, you give them books.  Lots of books.  From a young age.  (Insert spooky whispers: If you build it…) But back to our story… Are We There Yet? | How Many More Minutes This far north we pass a lot of bananas, and a lot of sugarcane.  This day it was bananas.  Not sure whether the bags protect from the elements or the animals, but this far north in the middle of winter I’m guessing animals. Aboriginal Rock Art at Split Rock | How Many More Minutes? Our first stop was the Quinkan and Regional Cultural Centre in Laura.  The display there is really very good and worth visiting.  There was a small fee to enter.  The kids loved this display on guessing the animal tracks. Aboriginal Rock Art at Split Rock | How Many More Minutes? And this one with the grinding stone and information on how they made paints. Aboriginal Rock Art at Split Rock | How Many More Minutes? And I loved all the information on the signage.  They were really well done. Aboriginal Rock Art at Split Rock | How Many More Minutes? Aboriginal Rock Art at Split Rock | How Many More Minutes?Aboriginal Rock Art at Split Rock | How Many More Minutes? Then I realised some kids were missing and I found them inspecting the termite mounds out back. Aboriginal Rock Art at Split Rock | How Many More Minutes? Which are very interesting also, especially if you find a broken one. Aboriginal Rock Art at Split Rock | How Many More Minutes? Some of them are quite large, which makes them especially fascinating. Aboriginal Rock Art at Split Rock | How Many More Minutes? But, back to the museum!  Of course there was information on interpreting the rock art. Aboriginal Rock Art at Split Rock | How Many More Minutes? And on how the paintings are made: the paints and tools.  We also watched a video that interviewed some of the Aboriginal guides in the area.  Aboriginal Rock Art at Split Rock | How Many More Minutes? Laura is famous for its Aboriginal Dance Festival.  We missed this year’s by a few weeks.  I loved this room with the giant pictures and mirrors, we tried out the various dance poses. Aboriginal Rock Art at Split Rock | How Many More Minutes? The spelling of kangaroo came from Captain Cook and Joseph Banks.  They did their best to interpret the Aboriginal word into English.  They originally spelled it kanguroo.  Aboriginals in the area spell it gangurru.  Aboriginal Rock Art at Split Rock | How Many More Minutes? Something I’ve never imagined before: the first car to make the trek to the tip of Cape York.  I would not have guessed it was as early as 1928. Aboriginal Rock Art at Split Rock | How Many More Minutes? Part of the rock art is free to view, you just have to be able to walk up to it.  You can also pay for a tour which will take you to even more rock art and engravings.  The site is about 11km outside of town. Aboriginal Rock Art at Split Rock | How Many More Minutes? There were three different galleries to view. Aboriginal Rock Art at Split Rock | How Many More Minutes? Aboriginal Rock Art at Split Rock | How Many More Minutes? Aboriginal Rock Art at Split Rock | How Many More Minutes? Aboriginal Rock Art at Split Rock | How Many More Minutes? Aboriginal Rock Art at Split Rock | How Many More Minutes? The flying foxes were my favourite. Aboriginal Rock Art at Split Rock | How Many More Minutes? Aboriginal Rock Art at Split Rock | How Many More Minutes? Aboriginal Rock Art at Split Rock | How Many More Minutes? There was a bit of a walk up to the sites with a couple of steep spots but otherwise not too bad.  It gave a good view of the surrounding area so you could see why Aboriginals would spend time up here. Aboriginal Rock Art at Split Rock | How Many More Minutes? This was our first viewing of rock art on our trip, we hope to see more in the Northern Territory.  We’ll be heading back down the coast then inland to Longreach and eventually Alice Springs and Uluru, then north to Darwin.  We can’t wait to see more of this great country!

  1. […] were definitely on our list of places to visit in Western Australia.  They feature in the book Are We There Yet? but the illustration had the kids fooled.  From the drawing they had the idea that there were […]

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