Red Hands Cave and Axe Grinding Tour
Dharug & Gundungurra Country

1 h 45 min to 2 h

4 km
circuit

↑ 164 m
↓ -163 m

Moderate track
This is a cultural walk with two significant sites being visited along the way. The walk leaves the quiet Red Hands Cave picnic area and winds down the valley to the Axe Grinding Grooves, once used by Indigenous Australians. The track then follows Campfire Creek up to Red Hands Caves and visits the magnificent cave paintings before returning to the picnic area for a bite of lunch. Let us begin by acknowledging the Dharug & Gundungurra people, Traditional Custodians of the land on which we travel today, and pay our respects to their Elders past and present. 
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Red Hands Cave Picnic Area. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
Sign at Red Hands Cave picnic area. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
Track to Grinding Grooves. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
Track to Red Hands Cave car park. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
Track down the valley to grinding grooves. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
Track up to Red Hands Cave car park. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
Signs across small stream. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
Fern above stream. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
Nice little stream. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
Track down to Grinding Grooves. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
Track beneath cliffs. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
Track just near Grinding Grooves. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
Grinding Grooves. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
Grinding Grooves. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
Grinding Grooves. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
Grass tree next to track to Red Hands Cave. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
Branch bridge below Link Track intersection. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
Track up to Red Hands Cave. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
Red Hands Cave protective cage. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
Red Hands in cave. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
Red Hands Cave decking. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
Track above Red Hands Cave. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
Track up to Red Hands Cave picnic area. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
Red Hands Cave car park. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
Downloads GPX PDF

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Safer Bushwalks
Tips on staying safe on track
Before you start any bushwalk ensure you;
• Tell someone you trust where you are going and what to do if you are overdue
• Have adequate equipment, supplies, skills & knowledge for the whole journey
• Consider the impact of weather forecasts, park/track closures & fire dangers
• Can respond to emergencies & call for help at any point
• Are healthy and fit enough for this journey
If not, change plans and stay safe. It is okay to delay and ask people for help.
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Getting There
Transport options and directions
Start At the intersection of Red Hands Firetrail & Red Hands Cave Walking Track (-33.7835041,150.5903566)
Mode Car (A park entry fee is required for driving into the park.)
DirectionsFrom Great Western Highway, A32
  • Turn on to Ross Street then drive for 275 m
  • Turn right onto Euroka Road and drive for another 2.5 km
  • Turn left onto The Oaks Trail and drive for another 6.8 km
  • Turn sharp right onto Red Hands Firetrail and drive for another 5.1 km
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Track Notes
Turn by turn instructions & maps
Getting started
From Red Hands Cave car park, the walk follows the sign for the 'Link Track' past the bench and fireplace and into the bush. The track winds down the hill via many steps, winding for quite some time, then comes near a creek, which it loosely follows. The walk then crosses this creek to the signposts on the other side.
From the creek intersection, the walk follows the 'Glenbrook Causeway' sign, keeping the water on the left. The track continues up to a rock overhang from where it heads down the hill, coming near the creek again. The track follows the creek to a junction with another creek. To the left is a large sandstone area and approximately 10m along the track is a sign explaining the grooves in the sandstone.....
Turn map Directions & comments
At the intersection of Red Hands Firetrail & Red Hands Cave Walking Track Start heading along Link Track (a walking track).
After 55 m pass the toilet (45 m on your right).
After another 1.5 km turn left, to head along Link Track.
After another 50 m pass the sign (15 m on your left).
After another 380 m continue straight, to head along Link Track.
After another 65 m find the "Axe Grinding Grooves" (5 m on your right).
Axe Grinding Grooves
Axe Grinding Grooves

These well-defined axe grinding groves are found on the sandstone bed of Camp Fire Creek. The grooves were formed by Aboriginal people when sharpening axes (or forming axe blanks). Rubbing the axe blanks would sharpen the stone into a more useful tool, and the process would also wear the sandstone, leaving these markings. These sites are typically found near water, as the water was added to make the stone more abrasive. Sites like this will fade in time due to erosion of the sandstone - please help them last as long as possible by not walking on, or close to the grooves.
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These well-defined axe grinding groves are found on the sandstone bed of Camp Fire Creek. The grooves were formed by Aboriginal people when sharpening axes (or forming axe blanks). Rubbing the axe blanks would sharpen the stone into a more useful tool, and the process would also wear the sandstone, leaving these markings. These sites are typically found near water, as the water was added to make the stone more abrasive. Sites like this will fade in time due to erosion of the sandstone - please help them last as long as possible by not walking on, or close to the grooves.

After another 360 m (at the intersection of Campfire Creek Track & Link Track) turn left, to head along Campfire Creek Track.
After another 60 m pass the sign (on your left).
After another 1 km find the "Red Hands Cave" (on your left).
Red Hands Cave
Red Hands Cave

Red Hands Cave, in the Glenbrook area of the Blue Mountains National Park, is found near the end of Red Hands Cave fire trail. The cave has quite a few hand stencils and prints of various colours (including red). The cave is well protected, with a perspex and steel cage. There are some information signs and some artifacts to help visitors learn more about the people who made these prints over 1600 years ago. In 1913, when searching for a lost child, this cave was found by Europeans and is now protected.
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Red Hands Cave, in the Glenbrook area of the Blue Mountains National Park, is found near the end of Red Hands Cave fire trail. The cave has quite a few hand stencils and prints of various colours (including red). The cave is well protected, with a perspex and steel cage. There are some information signs and some artifacts to help visitors learn more about the people who made these prints over 1600 years ago. In 1913, when searching for a lost child, this cave was found by Europeans and is now protected.

After another 460 m (at the intersection of Red Hands Firetrail & Red Hands Cave Walking Track) continue straight, to head along Red Hands Firetrail (a vehicle track).
After another 9 m come to the end.
About 15 m past the end is "Red Hands Cave Picnic Area".
Red Hands Cave Picnic Area
Red Hands Cave Picnic Area

Red Hands Cave Picnic Area is found at the end of the Red Hands Cave Fire Trail in the Glenbrook area of the Blue Mountains National Park. The small picnic area is next to the car park and has a couple of platforms (to act as both a table and seat) as well as a fire place and toilet. The toilet itself is wheelchair accessible, but access to the toilet is over moderately rough terrain. A good spot to rest when exploring Red Hands Cave.
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Red Hands Cave Picnic Area is found at the end of the Red Hands Cave Fire Trail in the Glenbrook area of the Blue Mountains National Park. The small picnic area is next to the car park and has a couple of platforms (to act as both a table and seat) as well as a fire place and toilet. The toilet itself is wheelchair accessible, but access to the toilet is over moderately rough terrain. A good spot to rest when exploring Red Hands Cave.

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Terrain
Know the Hills, grading & facilities

Red Hands Cave and Axe Grinding Tour


Grading
Class 3/6
Moderate track
Length 4 km
Time 1 h 45 min to 2 h
Quality of track Formed track, with some branches and other obstacles (3/6)
Gradient Short steep hills (3/6)
Signage Directional signs along the way (3/6)
Infrastructure Limited facilities, not all cliffs are fenced (3/6)
Experience Required No experience required (1/6)
Weather Weather generally has little impact on safety (1/6)

Some facilities on route
Toilet: There is one 55 m from the start.


Order of key facilities on route
ItemFrom StartName & link to notes
Toilet
55 m[toilet]
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Articles
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