Mt Grenfell National Park

Mount Grenfell Historic Site is 70km NW from Cobar and only 30km off Barrier Highway. This significant Aboriginal rock art site is certainly worth the drive.

For those travelling between Broken Hill and Dubbo, Mount Grenfell is only 30km north off Barrier Highway on the Broken Hill side of Cobarand well worth the side trip. Theres a picnic area in the park with electric barbecues, so its a great place to spend the day walking, viewing the Aboriginal art, and picnicking with family and friends.

Some key park areas include:

  • Mount Grenfell Art site walk, which is a short, easy track taking in three main galleries of Ngiyampaa rock art.
  • Ngiyambaa walking track,which is a moderately challenging hike to Choy trig station at the summit of Mount Grenfell.

For thousands of years before Europeans settled in this part of NSW, Ngiyampaa people regularly gathered around the semi-permanent waterhole and took shelter in the overhangs of what is now Mount Grenfell Historic Site. In the surrounding rocky ridge, you can see richly coloured paintings of human and animal figures, representations of the natural environment, and hand stencils which are of ceremonial significance to traditional owners.

Nowadays, this extensive Aboriginal rock art is protected within the park and can be reached following the short, easy Mount Grenfell art site walk. Another more challenging hiking trail, Ngiyambaa walking track, takes you further into this gorgeous landscape of red dirt, mallee bushland, open grasslands and the rocky rise of Mount Grenfell itself. The scenic view from the summit, across this low-relief plain, is vast and wide.

Bring the family and a picnic lunch, and take your time in this special place to enjoy the surroundings and learn more about Ngiyampaa culture and heritage.

Mount Grenfell art site walk hasrocky overhangs of art that includeshuman figures, animals, medicine, waterways, land, and dreaming stories depicted in red, yellow, and ochre pigment, applied with a finger or brush. Ochres come from naturally tinted clay and are some of the earliest pigments used by humans. Youll also see stencils created by blowing a mouthful of pigment over a hand held against the rock face.

Its only a short, easy walk to view three galleries of this spectacular Aboriginal rock art, which have been layered upon each other over time. The site holds particular significance for Ngiyampaa people, who are traditional owners of this land. Take your time on this walking route past mallee and cypress pines. Sit and listen to birdcalls, and imagine people gathering here at this meeting place from the surrounding area to talk, laugh, argue, pass on knowledge, record information and take part in ceremonies.

Ngiyampaa walking track .... Its worth the extra effort to hike along the range to the summit of Mount Grenfell, where youll find Choy trig station on Ngiyampaa walking track. There are expansive scenic views from the top across this otherwise flat landscape, and along the way are opportunities to see unusual rock formations and mallee trees. Enjoy a picnic lunch (bring your own food/water etc) at a rocky lookout point at the top. The vast, arid country you can see out there is the traditional land of Ngiyampaa Wangaaypuwan people, who have a long and enduring relationship with this place.

While you're walking, keep an eye out for red and grey kangaroos. Emus still pace the land like prehistoric sentinels and you'll see them recorded in the rock art on the way to this track. When the weathers warmer, geckos, snakes, shinglebacks and bearded dragons will emerge to soak up the sun. Keep your binoculars handy for birdwatching.

What you should know:

Once you leave the Barrier Hwy its an unsealed road and susceptible to weather conditions..and this section is a public road, therefore the Shire/Council will be the best contact for open/closures.

This is an isolated area therefore ensure you have asupply of drinking water and food and fuel ... and let someone know where you are going and your ETA return.

  • From the picnic area, walk past the locked gate and continue up the road towards the hill.
  • Look for a green sign showing the way to the walking track
  • Follow the stone path to the art sites
  • At art site 3, there is a sign directing you along Ngiyampaa walking track.
  • The Mount Grenfell art site walk - 1.4km (loop) easy to medium.
  • The Ngiyampaa walking track is 3.5km loop (2hours) and medium difficulty.

Other things you should know and do:

  • Call into the Cobar Museum and Visitor Centre on the Barrier Hwy and speak to the friendly staff for information and road conditions.
  • Remember to be sun-smart.
  • Check the weather before you set out.
  • Take your camera and binoculars.
  • Drinking water is not available in this area. BYO.
  • BYO all food and fill-up your vehicleprior to leaving town.
  • If bushwalking in this park it is suggested to bring a topographic map, compass or GPS.
  • This is a self-guided and self-sufficient area.
  • Dry weather only.
  • Parking is available at Ngiyambaa walking track, including designated disable spots. Bus parking is available.

Further information:

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Broken Hill Directory: