It can be hard to find a true escape within Sydney and its surrounds, somewhere to sit and reflect with nothing but the sounds of nature singing to you softly and a sense that nobody knows you’re there. Maiyingu Marragu Aboriginal Reserve in Newnes however, is the place you’ve been searching for.

MERRIDY CAIRN-DUFF Maiyingu Marragu aboriginal reserve


  • Gushing waterfalls
  • Traditional aboriginal rock art
  • Heaps of canyons and caves
  • Epic views and photo ops

I recently went looking for a well known aboriginal site named Blackfellows Hand Cave. It’s a large curved overhang lying within the Maiyingu Marragu reserve, less than a kilometre off Wolgan Road. The site is said to be highly decorated with authentic paintings of hands, boomerangs and other Aboriginal symbols.

Time didn’t permit a visit to the cave on this occasion as I was too distracted by the incredible pagodas nearby. Less than 500m walk from the parking area the road ends in a rocky bowl, small pagodas surround you with narrow slots, numerous overhangs, a sea of leafy greens from ferns to orchids and the beginnings of future canyons trickling down from above (I decided to go during a thunderstorm!).

MERRIDY CAIRN-DUFF Maiyingu Marragu aboriginal reserve

It’s the perfect location to grab some beautiful images. I would envy anybody who can put brush to canvas to capture some of its beauty. On weekdays expect to see… nobody!

As the road in is always churned up by weekend warriors in their 4WDs, access is currently only by the most serious of 4W Drivers, motorcross bikes or by foot. Weekends I would expect it may get a few visitors.


Other trails within this unique habitat will treat you to spectacular views, waterfalls (Wolgan Falls), more pagodas and slots to explore such as the famous Temples Of Doom, a group of  large smooth pagodas.

A short 3-4 hour visit could indeed give adventure seekers that Indiana Jones experience. There is much to explore within Maiyingu Marragu Aboriginal Reserve.

Essential Gear

  • Good footwear
  • Camera


  • Painting — beautiful colours textures to capture
  • Photography
  • Bush walking
  • Learning about our culture

How To Get There

From Lithgow head towards Newnes on the Wolgan Road. Just pass the Acacia Place colliery on your right is a dirt road (almost directly opposite the signposted Long Swamp Road) — this is Blackfellows Hand Trail. Drive in around 800m, there will be a clearing on the right. From here a foot track leads up a hill to a cliff line. Head left and you will come to the cave.

Skill Level

Easy walking – please only walk in to Maiyingu Marragu Aboriginal Reserve


Fancy learning more about Indigenous Culture and history?

 We Need To Talk About Uluṟu

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