Mount Grenfell art site walk
Mount Grenfell Historic Site
From the picnic area, it’s a short easy stroll along Mount Grenfell art site walk to view Aboriginal rock art, which continues to be deeply significant to Ngiyampaa People.
- Mount Grenfell Historic Site
- 3km return
- Time suggested
- 1hr 30min - 2hrs 30min
- Grade 3
- What to
- Drinking water, hat, sunscreen
On the rocky overhangs of Mount Grenfell art site walk are human figures, animals, medicine, waterways, land, and Dreaming stories depicted in red, yellow, and ochre pigment, applied with a finger or brush. Ochres come from naturally tinted clay and are some of the earliest pigments used by humans. You’ll also see stencils created by blowing a mouthful of pigment over a hand held against the rock face.
It’s only a short, easy walk to view three galleries of this spectacular Aboriginal rock art, which have been layered upon each other over time. The site holds particular significance for Ngiyampaa People, who are traditional owners of this land.
Take your time on this walking route past mallee and cypress pines. Sit and listen to birdcalls, and imagine people gathering here at this meeting place from the surrounding area to talk, laugh, argue, pass on knowledge, record information and take part in ceremonies.
For the latest updates on fires, closures and other alerts in this area, see https://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/things-to-do/walking-tracks/mount-grenfell-art-site-walk/local-alerts
- National Parks Contact Centre
- 7am to 7pm daily
- 1300 072 757 (13000 PARKS) for the cost of a local call within Australia excluding mobiles
- in Mount Grenfell Historic Site in the Outback NSW region
Mount Grenfell Historic Site is always open but may have to close at times due to poor weather, fire danger or cultural activities.
All the practical information you need to know about Mount Grenfell art site walk.
Grade 3Learn more about the grading system Features of this track
1hr 30min - 2hrs 30min
Quality of markings
Short steep hills
Quality of path
Formed track, some obstacles
No experience required
Getting there and parking
On entering Mount Grenfell Historic Site:
- From the picnic area, walk past the locked gate and continue up the road towards the hill.
- Look for a green sign showing the way to the walking track
- Follow the stone path to the three art sites
Check the weather before you set out as the road to Mount Grenfell Historic Site can become boggy when it rains.
Parking is available at Mount Grenfell art site walk, including several designated disabled spots. Bus parking is available.
Best times to visit
There are lots of great things waiting for you in Mount Grenfell Historic Site. Here are some of the highlights.
White mallee flowers are blooming and birdwatching is at its best during this season.
This is ideal weather for hiking Ngiyambaa walking track.
Weather, temperature and rainfall
20°C and 33°C
5.5°C and 16.5°C
The area’s highest recorded rainfall in one day
Drinking water is not available in this area, so it’s a good idea to bring your own.
Maps and downloads
Around 50km north of Gundabooka National Park is the town of Bourke. Considered the "Gateway to the real outback", Bourke is home to around 3,000 people and has a range of places to eat, garages and services, and plenty of things to do.
Cobar is a flourishing town built around the thriving mining and pastoral industries. Mining commenced here in the 1870s, and today, the town is an important source of copper, lead, silver, zinc and gold. Find out about Cobar's rich past at the Great Cobar Heritage Centre.
There are plenty of things to see and do in the great outdoors around Tilpa. Birdwatching during the migratory season is popular, and enjoying a peaceful picnic by a quiet waterhole along the Darling River is a pure outback experience.
Mount Grenfell art site walk is in Mount Grenfell Historic Site. Here are just some of the reasons why this park is special:
Living off the land
Emus and kangaroos inhabit Mount Grenfell and, on warmer days, you’re likely to see bearded dragons, shinglebacks and geckos. Keep a careful eye out too for endangered kultarr (also known as jerboa pouched-mouse, wuhl-wuhl or pitchi-pitchi), which can best be described as a mouse that hops. While you’re looking down for a pitchi-pitchi, you may also see a red-capped robin rifling through the leaf litter. This bird is often part of a mixed species feeding flock with other similarly sized birds such as thornbills, which also inhabit the park.
Making a scene
At Mount Grenfell, art featuring all facets of Aboriginal life covers rocky overhangs surrounding the park’s waterhole. Many are linear paintings done by applying wet pigment with a fingertip or natural brush. Others are hand stencils. In some places, ochre and white pipeclay have been applied thickly and left to dry. More recent paintings have been superimposed over older ones. There are stick figures, human figures, images of birds and animals, medicine, food, the landscape and dreaming stories. This art remains deeply significant to Ngiyampaa people.
Ngiyampaa: Past, present and future
The Ngiyampaa (pronounced nee-yam-par) are dryland people associated with the arid plains and rocky hill country of Central West NSW bordered roughly by Lachlan, Darling-Barwon and Bogan Rivers. The semi-permanent waterhole at Mount Grenfell was an important meeting place for generation after generation of this Aboriginal group. Following European settlement, however, Ngiyampaa people were moved to stations northwest of Wiradjuri country and in the 1930s, many were relocated again to Murrin Bridge near Lake Cargelligo. On 17 July 2004, Mount Grenfell was handed back to traditional owners and is now jointly managed with NSW NPWS. Ngiyampaa people maintain strong connections with this area and continue to pass on cultural knowledge.