What is Rock Art?


Rock Art consists of paintings, drawings, stencils, engravings, bas-relief and figures made of native beeswax in rock shelters and caves, on boulders and platforms.  Australia has at least 100,000 rock art sites and many new discoveries are made each year.  The oldest surviving Australian rock art is at least 15,000 years of age.


Rock Art sites are special, often spectacular places that reflect Australia’s ancient but enduring spirit.  They are locations where aspects of ceremony, belief and history are recorded in visual form. They are a testament to thousands of years of Indigenous Australian culture and cultural interaction and, more recently, the arrival of Europeans and Asians and the changes that these new arrivals brought about.


Indigenous Australians have been expressing their history, spirituality, environmental change and personal experience with long lasting paintings, drawings and engravings at key landscape locations for tens of thousands of years.  Much of Australia’s rock art imagery is not only of world heritage value but unrivalled globally.


Rock Art is an archive of Indigenous arts stretching back tens of thousands of years and is now used as the baseline in any general book on Australian art.  It also is considered a major component of world art history.








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