Mount Grenfell art site walk

Mount Grenfell Historic Site

Overview

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.

Where
Mount Grenfell Historic Site
Distance
3km return
Time suggested
1hr 30min - 2hrs 30min
Grade
Grade 3
Price
Free
What to
bring
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 directions, safety and practical information, see visitor info

Current alerts in this area

There are no current alerts in this area.

Local alerts

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

General enquiries

Park info

See more visitor info

Visitor info

All the practical information you need to know about Mount Grenfell art site walk.

Track grading

Grade 3

Learn more about the grading system Features of this track
  • Time

    1hr 30min - 2hrs 30min

  • Quality of markings

    Sign posted

  • Gradient

    Short steep hills

  • Distance

    3km return

  • Steps

    Occasional steps

  • Quality of path

    Formed track, some obstacles

  • Experience required

    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

Road quality

Check the weather before you set out as the road to Mount Grenfell Historic Site can become boggy when it rains.

Parking

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.

Spring

White mallee flowers are blooming and birdwatching is at its best during this season.

Winter

This is ideal weather for hiking Ngiyambaa walking track.

Weather, temperature and rainfall

Summer temperature

Average

20°C and 33°C

Highest recorded

47°C

Winter temperature

Average

5.5°C and 16.5°C

Lowest recorded

-2.5°C

Rainfall

Wettest month

January

Driest month

June

The area’s highest recorded rainfall in one day

109mm

Facilities

Drinking water is not available in this area, so it’s a good idea to bring your own.

Maps and downloads

Safety messages

This park is in a remote location, so please be well-prepared and tell a family member or friend about your travel plans.

Bushwalking safety

If you're keen to head out on a longer walk or a backpack camp, always be prepared. Read these bushwalking safety tips before you set off on a walking adventure in national parks.

Mobile safety

Dial Triple Zero (000) in an emergency. Download the Emergency + app before you visit, it helps emergency services locate you using your smartphone's GPS. Please note there is limited mobile phone reception in this park and you’ll need mobile reception to call Triple Zero (000).

Outback safety

Safety is of high priority in outback areas. In summer, temperatures can reach up to 50°C in some places. Food, water and fuel supplies can be scarce. Before you head off, check for road closures and use our contacts to stay safe in the outback.

Prohibited

Pets

Pets and domestic animals (other than certified assistance animals) are not permitted. Find out which regional parks allow dog walking and see the pets in parks policy for more information.

Smoking

NSW national parks are no smoking areas.

Nearby towns

Bourke

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. 

 

www.visitnsw.com

Cobar

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.

www.visitnsw.com

Tilpa

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.

www.visitnsw.com

Learn more

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

Mutawintji National Park. Photo: John Spencer

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

Mount Grenfell Historic Site. Photo: Rosie Nicolai

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

Ngiyambaa walking track, Mount Grenfell Historic Site. Photo: J Hore

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.

Education resources (1)

Art site walk, Mount Grenfell Historic Site. Photo: J Hore/NSW Government