Glenbrook to Red Hands Cave return

Glenbrook to Red Hands Cave return hike

One of the most beautiful places in the Blue Mountains where one can see the aboriginal art is at the Red Hands cave. The hike from Glenbrook to Red Hands Cave and back makes an awesome one day hikes from Sydney in the Blue mountains.

Have you never visited the Blue Mountains? Read my beginner’s guide to the Blue mountains to get more information.

Glenbrook to Red Hands Cave walk

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PIN for later reference - Glenbrook to Red Hands Cave return
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About Red Hands Cave

Red Hands cave has really cool aboriginal art showcasing the hand prints and stencils. The art dates back between 500 to 1600 years ago. The hand prints are bright and has colours of red, orange and white. Each hand print represents a once living person. It is a great place to time travel and export to a different era. Red Hands cave makes an irreplaceable part of Australia’s cultural history and heritage.

It is believed that the cave was used for the initiation of young warriors.

Many techniques were used by the Aborigines’ to make these prints. One of the techniques artists back then used was that they would chew the mixture of ochre and water and then blow over a hand making it a stencil. The other technique was used by mixing the crushed and grinded ochre with water and sometimes animal fat and then creating a stencil. The third technique was by dabbing the whole hand into the ochre mix and then slapping it against the wall.

Ochre was considered as Aborigines’ prized possession and it is either a coloured clay or rock.

The Red Hands prints are protected by the fence. One can peep and see the prints and the stencils. DO NOT touch or write or spoil the art.

Glenbrook to Red Hands Cave walk

How to get to Glenbrook?

The Red Hands cave is in Glenbrook area in the Blue Mountains. Glenbrook is a town with just 5000 people and is located in the lower Blue Mountains of NSW.

Public transport

  • There are frequent trains between Central train station in Sydney and Glenbrook. The train journey takes about 1 hour and the fare can be either paid by credit/ debit cards or Opal transportation card. Up-to-date information on train timings and route can be found on the Transport for New South Wales (NSW) website.

Drive

  • The distance between Glenbrook and Sydney Central Business District (CBD) is about 60 kilometres and takes only 50 minutes to drive.
    • The route has toll roads.
  • One can also drive the car to the parking spots near Causeway or at the Oaks picnic area. There is plenty of car parking space available.
    • The roads are unsealed but can be driven by 2 wheel drive.

Statistics of the hike

The hike from Glenbrook to Red Hands cave goes through the Blue pool and Causeway. It is surely one of the beautiful trails in the Blue mountains.

  • Total distance: 14 kilometres.
  • Time taken: 4 to 5 hours.
  • Grade: Medium.

Safety for solo female travelers

As a general rule it is always advisable to go on a hike with a buddy rather than alone. It is so one can be prepared for any unforeseen situations. If you are travelling alone, then the best way to go with a group is by finding the walks on the meetup website.

Ensure to have Emergency Plus app on your phone as it is useful in providing the coordinates during emergency.
Glenbrook to Red Hands Cave walk

Closing Notes

I loved visiting the Red Hands cave. It is a great trail in the Blue Mountains and I highly suggest hiking this trail to get a glimpse of what Australia was many thousands of years ago.

Are you aware of any other Aboriginal art site in Australia? Let me know in the comments below.

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PIN for later reference - Glenbrook to Red Hands Cave return
PIN for later reference – Glenbrook to Red Hands Cave return

9 comments

  1. I am now sorry that when we visited the Blue Mountains we did not get to see the Red Hands Cave. So interesting that each hand print represents a once living person and that they used different ways to get the hand prints onto the wall.

  2. I have seen pictures of the Red Hands Cave and was also aware that it is in Australia but I had no clue that it is so close to Sydney. The Blue Mountain area looks like a great hiking destination anyway. I will have to do some research.

  3. I have been to Blue Mountains, but missed the red hands cave. I would have loved to see the aboriginal art with hand prints and stencils. Looks like it is a fairly long hike and good workout for the legs! I am bookmarking it for my next visit. 🙂

  4. Wow, 1,600 years ago! Those handprints indeed communicate what has gone through the lives of those warriors. I’m in awe of places that have a spiritual and cultural value.

  5. This looks like such a cool place to go! I’m glad that they put up a fence to protect the handprints b/c some people can be so disrespectful. I’d love to see this in person someday!

  6. What a enriching hike! It’s on the longer side but sounds so worth it to get in touch with such vibrant ancient art in its natural setting. So important on any trip to Australia to understand aboriginal culture.

  7. I really like exploring caves. It is always an amazing experience. That’s why I would like to see Red Hands Cave and take a hike from Glenbrook there. It’s great to know that aboriginal art in caves is dated 500 to 1600 years ago—great tips for visitors.

  8. Quite interesting to read about how those prints were made. I sure would love to see them for myself. We have similar etchings in the Edakkal caves of Kerala. The trek must have been so satisfying when you finally saw those etchings.

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