Our April field trip was an eye-opener for many of us who may have heard of Turtle Rock but had never visited and were unclear of its location. So we are grateful to Beth for suggesting the trip and making it happen. A total of nineteen gathered at the meeting place atop Harvey’s Range – thankful that the family of wild pigs which Margrit had photographed earlier in the morning had moved on!
We proceeded in convoy along the road to Tabletop Station before entering the property and driving through paddocks until thwarted by a steep creek gully. Only Beth’s trusty Hilux made the crossing, the rest of us took a short walk up a gentle incline, following the track into the trees. This opened out into a clearing above which towered the impressive rock – and yes, it does resemble a turtle’s carapace, with the hint of a head poking out at one end.
A sign at the site informs visitors that the area was of importance for Aboriginal people for at least 4000 years and still remains so. Research has found that the rock’s overhang provided a shelter for day-to-day living, including cooking, eating and tool-making. Rock-paintings still visible on the walls suggest social and spiritual activities also occurred here. It is gracious of the Table Top property owners to grant such easy access to this important site and good to see this has not been abused.
The impressive Turtle Rock is surrounded by a giant’s rock garden of other massive boulders and we all had a good scramble around them and the surrounding bush. Before returning to the clearing for smoko, a few of us followed an indistinct track that led to a small dam, surrounded by trees, which must be a welcome resource for wildlife.
Malcolm has posted an excellent account of our trip on his Green Path blog, with high-quality photos and links for further reading. So I confess to taking the lazy option by providing the link to his post. Thanks, Malcolm! You can read it here.