Situated 48 kilometres west of Cue via Austin Downs Station, this
huge granite monolith is aproximately 1.5 kilometres long and 5
kilometres around. A large cave contains an impressive gallery of
Aboriginal paintings, making the site of deep cultural and spiritual
significance to the Aborigines.
Most probably painted with ochre from Wilgie Mia, the gallery
features "motifs that are predominantly non-figurative, with concentric
circles, spirals, single and multiple wavy lines, arcs and U-shaped
outlines. The figurative art includes anthropomorphic shapes, bird and
animal tracks and stencils of hands and implements. A number of hands
with up to seven fingers have also been drawn. A number of the
paintings are so high above the present ground level that some form of
scaffolding must have been used by the artists who produced them.
One of the more outstanding is that of a ship with two masts,
ratlines, rigging and square portholes in the hull, a remarkable
occurance considering the site is over 300 kilometres from the sea. It
is believed to depict on of the Dutch ships that visited the region's
shores in the 17th century. Legend has it that one of the two sailors
cast ashore at Kalbarri by the Commander Pelsart of the 'Batavia' which
was wrecked on the Abrolhos Islands in 1629, painted the figure of the
sailing ship on the rock.
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Where is it?
48 kilometres west of Cue via Austin Downs Station.
Alternatively it has been suggested it depicts the Zuytdorp, wrecks
on the coastline north of Kalbarri in 1711, or perhaps a pearling
lugger. Anthropologist Dr Ian Crawford, author of the book, Art of the
Wandjina, has raised the possibility that the Walga Rock painting may
not be a representation of either the Zuytdorp (1711) or a pearling
lugger, as once thought. He was struck by the possibilities that it
represents the Xantho. There appears to be some strength to his
proposal. The painting is clearly visible.