Yourambulla Caves Aboriginal Rock Art

Our next stop was Yourambulla Caves to see Aboriginal rock art. The last couple of rock art locations offered only a meager selection of drawings so I was eager to see something new. What I wasn’t looking forward to was the hike to get there.

Why was everything so far away and hard to reach? Oh, right. This was Australia and that’s part of the charm. If this were America, we would’ve built a parking lot, plopped a gift shop out front and charged admission. We may have even paved a walkway and replaced the ladder up to the caves with an escalator so everyone could get to it. Out here in the middle of Australia, they don’t mess with things and leave them as they are. There isn’t a lot of commercialization (well, beyond the fact that we’re on a hired bus tour) of historical sites like this one, and visitors can get a sense of how things were in the past.

The hike to Yourambulla Caves wasn’t too long, steep or difficult. But, it was on an incline and you did have to climb a very tall iron ladder to get there. I’m not sure what you’d do if you were afraid of heights. That ladder, while sturdy, was just about the tallest ladder I’ve ever climbed. I felt exhausted by the time we reached the caves, but the view of the surrounding plains was nice. I think all the days on the road were getting to me. It would’ve been nicer to spend some time in cities between tours just to wind down a little. Lesson learned.

Like the Hawaiians, Aboriginal people used verbal communication and didn’t have a written langauge. They passed on their history and lessons through songs and stories. Basic drawings like the cave art may portray their teachings to their young. The drawings were painted with ochre and water. Sometimes they added plant substances for color.

Slide Album: Yourambulla Caves


Filed under Australia, Culture, Hiking, Nature, Travel

4 responses to “Yourambulla Caves Aboriginal Rock Art

  1. hemajang

    Hi skycastles, thanks for the travel log, very interesting stuff. I would have enjoyed the nature trek. It doesn’t look like there are many other tourist around and don’t have to deal with people getting in the way. Our island is so small and crowded in comparison. Your guide is the key in making the tour alive and worthwhile, plus everyone looks to be about the same age. No old folks to be seen, maybe all the hiking and no 5-star hotels discourages seniors from signing up.

  2. You should definitely come to Australia. There are tons of walking/hiking trails and the country is so huge that you rarely run into other tourists. My tour was made up of mostly 20- or 30-somethings but there was a Canadian guy who was 18 and an English woman who was 61 or 62. She was way more fit than me and had no problem getting along with us. I think you’d be fine on one of these tours.

  3. Big Brother

    The art seems much more interesting than ancient hawaiian petroglyphs. Never did care for the stickman drawings found on the Big Island. Funny comments regarding how America commercializes everything. Not only the elevator but they’d post at least a dozen warning signs all over the place and probably fence everything up so they won’t get sued over injuries.

  4. @Big Bro – Yes, the warning signs would definitely be there if this was America. Somehow, in the natural setting, it is much more authentic.

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