The parking coordinates will take you to the carpark and entry to the trail. From the trailhead waypoint the track is approximately 500m long and uphill on uneven rock steps and a hand rail is in place for some of the walk. The Split Rock Gallery is open to the public without a guide. An honesty box is in the shelter if you would like to make a contribution. Enjoy the silence, solitude and isolation.
The sandstone geology of the Laura basin is the setting for this earthcache. The basin consists of a belt of sedimentary sandstones laid down between the Jurassic to Cretaceous eras, from 150 to 66MYA. A time when dinosaurs roamed the land. Since then the local sandstone has been eroded to form dissected escapements creating rugged sandstone plateaux and escarpments. Weathering of softer layers has formed rock overhangs. These rock surfaces have been painted by Aboriginal people for more than 30,000 years.
Researchers recording pictographs have noticed a clear or slightly milky film covering some of the Aboriginal art. This film has been identified as being composed of silica. The film is deposited by groundwater seeping from sandstone rocks. Silicate is white. Elemental red iron and black manganese, and dark biological contamination can stain the film. The film can be seen in parts of the Split Rock walking trail and at the art site overhang.
Take some time to observe the staining film on the rock surfaces and provide your answers for the following earthscience questions. You may log the earthcache immediately. Please message us your answers via the geocaching messaging system within 10 days of logging this earth cache or your log will be removed.
-Describe the colours of the surface staining? Why are there different colours?
-Does the surface staining cover any of the art? How have the artists protected the rock art?
-Please post an image of your favourite rock art.
You are visiting the traditional lands of the Kuku Yalanji, Guugu Yimithirr and Kuku Thaypan people. Aboriginal communities throughout Cape York Peninsula maintain strong connections with the land and sea, ensuring the survival of this ancient culture. Please respect their welcome to country.