Wanhtharra nyundu!
Welcome to my country!

“The Nugal rock art sites are set in stunning countryside, high in the hills between Cooktown and Hope Vale. We call this area Wangaar-Wuri, or ‘White Person Playing’. The story goes that my clan, the Nugal-warra, found a young white girl who was lost and alone. She was brought into the clan and taken care of for many years, living with my people in the area now named after her.

“This is a very peaceful place, and still much the same as when I was a boy and would come hunting here with my Dad. It’s an area rich in bush tucker and bush medicines, and home to many bush creatures. And hidden away in the escarpments and amongst the giant boulders are the cave paintings left by my ancestors.

Please tread carefully

“When on your rock art tour please tread carefully. The cave paintings are susceptible to extreme weather conditions, and protected from these by the vegetation that grows in front of the caves. This vegetation provides a barrier to the wind and the rain, shielding the art and protecting the rock face from erosion. We would, therefore, ask you to keep to the tracks which have been used for centuries to avoid possible damage to the vegetation.

“Dust can also damage the art, so in certain caves we limit the number of people entering at the same time. If you can avoid kicking up any dust this, too, is a great help. Most of the art you can get really close to, but touching it – with clothes or hands – is damaging, so we ask you to remove your hats when entering low caves (to avoid inadvertently touching the art with your heads), and to be careful to avoid skin contact. This also applies to some of the artefacts shown.”

Willie Gordon, Nugal-warra Elder