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ABORIGINAL SITES - Queensland

Quinkan Country
Cape York Peninsula is known as Quinkan country, where ancient paintings known as Quinkans, eerily reminiscent of the Bradshaw Aboriginal figures of the Kimberley, have been recorded now in some 1500 sites. Quinkan Country extends some 6,000sq Km of the South East Cape York Peninsula. Incorporated in this area is Lakeland National Park and Quinkan reserve, which extends from Laura to the coastline of Princess Charlotte Bay. Human occupation of rock shelters in the Quinkan area near Laura has been dated back 37,000 years, making the Aboriginal art here the second oldest art on the face of the earth after the Bradshaws.

Jowalbinna
Jowalbinna is not far from Laura, an old goldmining town famed for its rock galleries of Quinkan Aboriginal art. Jowalbinna has a rich past. Its Aboriginal occupation dates back over 37,000 years, and the images of Quinkan spirits, totem animals and people adorn many of the rock shelters. The discovery of gold on the Palmer River brought thousands of miners from 1873 on the old coach road from Cooktown to the goldfields. Conflict, dislocation and new diseases decimated the Aboriginal people, and the traditional lifestyle of over a thousand generations was lost. Now the rock art tells the stories of the past. Accommodation is available at the Jowalbinna Rock Art Safari Camp.


Carnarvon Gorge
At Carnarvon Gorge, near the town of Roma some 400 km west of Brisbane, massive sandstones rise out of the dry plains, and their erosion over centuries has formed a maze of beautiful gorges foliated by ancient palms. It is thus not surprising that Aboriginal people once inhabited these ranges, leaving a fascinating legacy of rock engravings and paintings. The uplands of the region have been occupied for at least 19,000 years, but intensive use of the area appears not to have taken place until some 4-5,000 years ago. The art styles and motifs indicate that the area was occupied by people closely associated with the Bidjara tribe, who were known to inhabit the headwaters of the Warrego River. These Aborigines had a diversified economy based on many plants and animals.

Flinders Islands
Queensland's Flinders Island Group (Wurrima), including Clack Island (Ngurromo), is part of the traditional homeland of the Aba Yalgayi, a clan group of the Yiithuwarra, which is a wider tribe comprising four language groups. The natural features of the Flinders Islands, Clack Island and the mainland are connected in a rich tapestry of Aboriginal stories and significant places. The islands contain physical evidence of Aboriginal occupation including rock art sites, occupation and burial sites, shell middens, stone arrangements, artefact scatters, story places and other significant places, sites and areas. The rock art on Stanley, Flinders and Clack islands is of international significance; all sites constitute an irreplaceable record of Aboriginal cultures in this region.


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