Kimberley Rock Art

Kimberley rock art is arguably some of the world’s oldest, with evidence suggesting the earliest occupation in the region dates back 50,000 to 60,000 years ago.

Rock paintings can provide information about how and when people arrived, about the environment at the time, how they lived and adjusted to changing climatic conditions, and something of their beliefs.

Understanding Kimberley rock art is an ongoing academic effort that started with the discovery of the Wanjina paintings in the 1830s and continues today through our research program and working with aboriginal communities.


Rock Art Sytles

There is a diverse range of rock art present in the Kimberley. This large variety of styles and sites reflects the cultural and artistic development in the region and can be understood to move through distinct Epochs as described in Grahame Walsh’s Rock Art sequence (published 1994) and the more recent Rock Art styles

The most famous of these are the Wanjina and Gwion periods.


The rock art in the Kimberley is astounding in its beauty and extent. There are many thousands of sites of elegant and sophisticated drawings which pre-date the last ice-age and are of great significance not only for Australia but also the world.
Malcolm Broomhead, Chairman Orica, Director BHP Billiton
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