Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Halls Gap Day 5

Today we drove to the Sundial Carpark to do the walk to The Pinnacle however after doing a shorter Lakeview Track first we decided to abandon this thought as the views were so hazy. For all the effort required to do this walk you want to rewarded with lovely views. Perhaps it will be better tomorrow. So we headed down the mountain on Silverband Road and stopped at Silverband Falls where we had a late breakfast / early lunch then walked in to see the falls.

The rock formations in the Grampians are just amazing if you look carefully you can make out all sorts of creatures etc in them such as the frog in the one above.

Silverband Falls is a waterfall named by European settlers during the early 1800’s. As the fall resembles a narrow stream of water, it was named the Silverband Falls.

A number of wedding couples come to these falls to take pictures on the foothills of the hill ranges. Silverband Falls is also considered a mysterious waterfall as the stream of water tends to disappear on the ground and later, reappears.

We then drove to Cavendish and headed north in search of the aboriginal rock art sites. After many kilometres of corrugated road and no sign posting until we arrived at the site, it is obvious that only those who are truly interested will find these sacred sites.

The first site was the Manja Shelter in the western slopes of the Billawin Range were regular camping places of the Jardwadjali (pronounced Yard-wa-jali) people took place.

Manja (pronounced Manya) meaning ‘hands’, has some of the best examples of hand stencils in Victoria. Outlined in red against the shelter's creamy walls, Manja has more hand stencils than any other rock art site in Victoria. Hand impressions are a common motif in rock art throughout the world. Signifying the artist's presence, they are a way of saying " we are here, we are are part of this place.". Hand stencils were used to record a visit to a site, and to renew the ties a person had to a particular place. At this site there are also animal tracks and many human stick figures. Manja is located in an impressive sandstone outcrop.

Manja is pronounced Manya and means 'hand' in Jardwadjali."

We then continued another few kilmetres to the next shelter the Billimina Shelter.

"The largest and most spectacular art site in Victoria, Billimina is an impressive, isolated boulder, with a smooth, steeply-angled rock overhang that forms an ideal canvas for the artwork. Once a meeting place for the Jardwadjali people and their predecessors, Billimina's single massive rock art panel is covered to above head height with over 2,500 motifs, most of which consist of red ochre bar stokes that possibly acted as 'tallies' for initiations or some other sacred ritual.

High in a deep gully, hidden in dense bush, Billimina Shelter serves as a powerful climax to a gradually climbing trail starting in the Buandik Campground next to Cultivation Creek.

This amazing rock structure took my eye appearing to be split in half forming a love heart shape.

Billimina shelter is an impressive rock overhang where Jardwadjali camped from time to time and left many red paintings. Archaeologists who excavated this site in 1976 found stone tools and the remains of plant and animal foods. These materials demonstrated that groups camped here from late
winter to early summer and caught kangaroos and small mammals such as bandicoots, possums and
bettongs. They also collected emu eggs and freshwater mussels.

The most interesting aspect of the paintings at Billimina is the many bars arranged in horizontal rows. We believe these marks were used to count events in retelling stories or to record the number of days spent at a place. While they are sometimes difficult to see, there are also emus, kangaroo and emu tracks, and 55 human stick figures painted here.

On our drive home for the day we came across a mob of emu on the side of the road, there were many chicks with wonderfully fluffy black feathers.

As we were passing the Boroka Lookout we called in to see what the view may be like as the other morning we were there it was covered in clouds. It was a little hazy but the views were extensive.


We were greeted by this lovely bird as we drove into our cabin.

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