• Rock engraving at Grotto Point, Manly to Spit Walk

Monday, 26 October 2020

As the weather warms up and we emerge from our blanket cocoons, Aboriginal Heritage Office highlights some bushwalks around the Northern Beaches showcasing Aboriginal significant sites.

Manly to Spit Bridge Walk

At almost 10km long, the Manly to Spit Bridge walk is home to hundreds of species of native flora and fauna. This walk already well-known for its scenic views of the city skyline and our beautiful beaches, but dig a little deeper and you’ll see some ancient history too.

The well-marked Grotto Point near Clontarf is home to Aboriginal engravings. Images carved into the rocks include boomerangs, fish, and giant wallabies that relate to local storylines.

Between Fisher Bay and Sandy Beach lies a protected Aboriginal archaeological site, a shell midden, built up by Aboriginal people discarding bones and shells in the same place over time.

It is important to keep outside the protective barriers set up at both these sites to protect the site for future generations.

The whole Manly to Spit walk takes 3-4 hours at a steady pace, but numerous entrances along the way makes it accessible for all walking abilities with seven shorter sections available along the track.

Manly Dam Walk

Manly Dam is an excellent place for families with a new children’s park, picnic areas, boardwalks and water activities available.

The bush surrounding the dam is the location for many Aboriginal significant sites and contains over 300 native species that provided food and materials to the Aboriginal peoples for thousands of years.

The 7.3km circuit track includes the Gulgadya Muru Aboriginal Self-Guided Walk, giving everyone the opportunity to see the area through the eyes of the original inhabitants of the land.

The interpretive signage provides a learning opportunity to read about the significance of the site to Aboriginal cultures, plants and native animals as you walk.

Evidence of their ancient presence includes rock engravings, paintings, shelters, stone artefacts and midden deposits.

Other locations 

There are many other walks and locations around the Northern Beaches that give you the opportunity to learn about Aboriginal heritage and see rock engravings.

These sites, along with all Aboriginal sites in NSW, are protected under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974 and it is an offence to damage or destroy them. This includes collecting artefacts.

When visiting these locations make sure to be respectful and look after these historical sites.

For more information visit the Aboriginal Heritage Office.

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