Mount Grenfell Historic Site

Overview

Mount Grenfell Historic Site in Cubba protects Ngiyampaa rock art. It’s a short walk to this important Aboriginal site, and a more challenging one to a scenic lookout.

Read more about Mount Grenfell Historic Site

For thousands of years before Europeans settled in this part of NSW, Ngiyampaa people regularly gathered around the semi-permanent waterhole and took shelter in the overhangs of what is now Mount Grenfell Historic Site. In the surrounding rocky ridge, you can see richly coloured paintings of human and animal figures, representations of the natural environment, and hand stencils which are of ceremonial significance to traditional owners.

Nowadays, this extensive Aboriginal rock art is protected within the park and can be reached following the short, easy Mount Grenfell art site walk. Another more challenging hiking trail, Ngiyambaa walking track, takes you further into this gorgeous landscape of red dirt, mallee bushland, open grasslands and the rocky rise of Mount Grenfell itself. The scenic view from the summit, across this low-relief plain, is vast and wide.

Bring the family and a picnic lunch, and take your time in this special place to enjoy the surroundings and learn more about Ngiyampaa culture and heritage.

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/visit-a-park/parks/mount-grenfell-historic-site/local-alerts

Contact

See more visitor info

Visitor info

All the practical information you need to know about Mount Grenfell Historic Site.

Getting there and parking

Get driving directions

Get directions

    From Cobar:

    • Drive 40km west on Barrier Highway, then turn right at the sign for Mount Grenfell.
    • Travel for approximately 30km on gravel road and turn right into Mount Grenfell Historic Site
    • Continue along gravel road until you reach the picnic area

    Park entry points

    By bike

    Check out the Bicycle information for NSW website for more information.

    By public transport

    For information about public transport options, visit the NSW country transport info website

    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

    Maps and downloads

    Safety messages

    However you discover NSW national parks and reserves, we want you to have a safe and enjoyable experience. Our park and reserve systems contrast greatly so you need to be aware of the risks and take responsibility for your own safety and the safety of those in your care.

    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

    Cobar (70 km)

    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 (160 km)

    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

    Bourke (230 km)

    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

    Learn more

    Mount Grenfell Historic Site is a special place. Here are just some of the reasons why:

    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.

    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.

    Education resources (1)

    What we're doing

    Mount Grenfell Historic Site has management strategies in place to protect and conserve the values of this park. Visit the OEH website for detailed park and fire management documents.

    Mount Grenfell Historic Site. Photo: NSW Government