Experiences for Hawkesbury Valley
Find out more about the features, attractions and landscapes of Hawkesbury Valley.
The Hawkesbury Valley region is the traditional country of three Aboriginal language groups - the Wannaruah in the far north, the Darug in the south and the Darkinjung in between. Many thousands of years of interaction with a rich assemblage of environments has created a heritage of thousands of occupation, rock art and spiritual sites across a richly storied country. Some of the oldest and most complex rock art - such as the Eagles Reach site - has been re-found deep in the wilds of Wollemi National Park, where to unfamiliar eyes it would seem impossible to live, let alone create great art.
- Finchley Aboriginal Area (Yengo NP)
- This is the best place to see samples of the physical heritage of local Aboriginal people. Many engravings of human and animal figures and other motifs are spread across a large natural expanse of Hawkesbury sandstone. Boardwalks enable easy viewing without damage—please stay on the paths. The best viewing is early and late in the day when the sun is at a low angle. Platform engravings such as these are believed to have been made in two stages. Firstly, sharp rocks and hammerstones were used to create an initial 'dotted' outline of pecked pits. Then the 'dots' were joined together by grinding a complete groove. This was a skilled and time-consuming process which suggests the work was very significant to spiritual life. The site is reached by a 10 km drive from George Downes Drive near Laguna and along the Yango Creek Road and Finchley Track—which is usually negotiable in an ordinary car with care.
- Mount Yengo (Yengo NP)
- This isolated peak, visible for great distances all around, is a strong example of the less tangible spiritual Aboriginal heritage. The flattened top of the mountain was caused when the creation being Biaime stepped off the world into the sky.
- Mount Tomah Botanic Garden
- The Darug uses of local plants are explained on a number of informative signs in the garden, and a booklet is available.