Sturts Meadows Petroglyphs 2013

Whaleback Rocks

Whaleback Rocks

Although public access is allowed to the Sturts Meadows site one still has to contact the property owner to gain permission to come on to the station. I managed to do that through a local friend of the owner and it worked out well for me as I was able to see the stone carvings on a sunny day

The station was established by Abraham and Matilda Wallace in 1863, the name given to the property was taken from Charles Sturt whose expedition travelled farther to the west. The Wallaces travelled to the station from Mingarie in South Australia with 25 horses and 1,400 sheep via the Barrier Range in 1864, squatting at different water holes. Lack of water drove them further north and they didn’t return to the area until 1868 only to find that Joseph Panton had moved onto the property and named it Sturts Meadows. In 1869 the property was transferred to Abraham Wallace, but a continued lack of water meant the Wallaces stayed on the move. By 1876 a well on the creek near their original camp was providing permanent water and the station was 100,000 acres (40,469 ha) in size (ref:Wikipedia)

Either side of the emphemeral Eight Mile Creek, and a short distance from the present day homestead, the petroglyphs have been created on Whaleback rocks with ‘Tombstone’ rocks scattered in between. The same dolomite sandstone is present here.

A good description of rock carvings or petroglyphs may be read here

There are reputed to be 18000 motifs chipped out laboriously with stone tools and for however long it took. I may have seen 1000 but then I did not walk the entire 20 acre fenced site or the adjacent rock formations on a hill nearby, and in places, there are motifs over motifs.

(click on individual photographs to enlarge them)


Posted in 4x4 Travel Stories.