Split Rocks Laura Queensland

About 12km south of Laura look out for the badly signposted turn-off to the Split Rock Gallery, the only rock-art site open to the public without a guide.

The sandstone escarpments here are covered with paintings thought to date back 14,000 years. If there are no tour groups around, it can be quite a surreal experience to walk the path up the hillside in silence, solitude and isolation, before coming upon the various other-worldly ‘galleries’ in the rock faces.

They contain numerous Aboriginal paintings, engravings and hand stencils. Accessible on a 30-minute self-guided walk, there are three sites to visit here, Split Rock Galleries, Flying Fox Art Site and Tall Spirits Art Site.


I parked the car in a shady place and walked to the site. I started walking up the track, almost to the top, but the heat was too much and I decided to walk back and return another time, midday not being the best time to climb tracks with no shade. The paintings displayed were colorful and informative and told the story of the two bad Imjim spirits who live in this locality called Timara and Turramulli.

The importance of Laura lies in its remarkable Aboriginal artworks. It is recognised as one of the most important archaeological study sites in Australia. Archaeologists have found evidence that the rock art is at least 15,000 to 30,000 years old.

The area is famous for its strange mythical  figures known as Quinkans. … “Quinkan is an Aboriginal name for the supernatural spirits that live in the surrounding sandstone and are painted in the rock art around Laura. The Quinkans do their work at night.

“Timaras or Tall Spirits are the good spirits. They have long-limbed, thin bodies which provide camouflage among the trees, and also allowing them to quietly withdraw into rock crevices.

“Imjims are the bad spirits and have a distinctive long, bulbous-tipped appendage. They bounce like kangaroos and live like frogs.”

There are literally dozens of Aboriginal art sites in the area. The most popular sites are Yalangi Galleries (a 2 – 3 hour guided walk), Mushroom Rock (2 hours), Giant Horse (3 hours) and the Quinkan Galleries (2-3 hours). Perhaps the most famous of all the galleries is the Giant Horse Gallery which features a horse, a fallen rider and a variety of animals including a sting-ray and bush turkey.


Published by Ladymaggic

Artist, Traveller, Researcher and Writer, currently living in Australia where I photograph and share experiences and events as I travel. Travel photos and videos about many places in Australia​ and the world

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