Things To See And Do
Aboriginal rock art
Bigge Island is also famous for some amazing rock art that is spread over many sites. Both Gwion Gwion (also known as Bradshaw art) art and Wandjina art is in evidence. The former is named after Joseph Bradshaw, the first European person to record art of this kind in 1891.
'Bradshaw' rock art
The rock images are hard to date; it is believed they were created at least 17,000 years ago with some theories indicating they could be even older, potentially up to over 50,000 years ago when humans first explored this continent. If this is the case, the images are possibly the oldest known to man.
The Wandjina figures in the the cliffs and cave walls around Wary Bay, being close to the sea, are known as Kaiaira or Sea Wandjinas. The Wandjina figures are distinctive for what appear to be haloes around the head of each figure. In fact, these haloes represent clouds as the Wandjina are cloud spirits intimately linked to the weather. Painted by the Wunambal people, legend tells us these Wandjinas were brought by the waterspout from the sea.
The Father Kaiara is an imposing figure, watching over the sea to the northwest through his dark, deeply engraved eyes. His "children" are varied in form, some of whom reminded us of possible early European visitors such as the Dutch, English, or Portuguese sailors of the 1600s as images of sailing ships and figures smoking pipes are also evident. Or are they of later visits, for example the French sailors of Baudin's expedition of 1801-03. The jury is out on this, and we will probably never know.
Bigge Island is the second largest island in the Bonaparte Archipelago,a group of islands off the coast of Western Australia in the Kimberley region. The closest inhabited place is Kalumburu located about 100 kilometres to the east of the island group. The archipelago was named by the Baudin expedition on 16 August 1801 after Napoleon Bonaparte, First Consul of France.
The archipelago's several hundred islands and islets lay off a stretch of 150 kilometres of coastline, roughly between Collier Bay to the SW and Admiralty Gulf to the NE, including islands in Admiralty Gulf itself. The islands are mostly small, and many are best described as islets or emergent rocks.
The largest island in the group is Augustus Island which has an area of 190 square kilometres. Another significant island is the 3 ha Booby Island, which is classified as an Important Bird Area and Jungulu Island found just off-shore from Augustus Island.