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.
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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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
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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