The final site for the day is Ngamadjidj meaning ‘white person’, on the western edge of the ranges near a small secluded waterhole. Remains of campfires and stone tools used by the Jadawadjali have been found here, which suggests it was a favoured camping place. I noticed that the painting at this site was done using only white clay, compared to the other sites that were mostly done with red pigment. Sadly nothing is known about this paintings meaning as the traditional lifestyle of the Jadawadjali was changed by European settlers before it could be recorded.
Billimina (Glenisla Shelter) and Manja (Cave of Hands) are two more sites located in the Victoria Range, about 1.5 hours drive from Halls Gap. Access to these areas is largely on unsealed roads in a more remote area of the National park. I didn’t have time to see these sites, but plan to return on another full day adventure soon.
Overall my cultural journey was extremely rewarding, I felt a spiritual connection to the stories told through the art. Gariwerd is such a unique place in Victoria that is definitely worth visiting.
It is important to preserve these sites so we can learn and appreciate significant aboriginal heritage of the area. All the sites that are open to the public are surrounded by cages which is unfortunate that they are required, but necessary as they protect the sites from vandalism and preserve them for future generations. If you do decide to visit please take care and respect the sites and their important cultural value.
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