Marlong Arch is the biggest and most famous of the arches. Fifteen metres across and eight metres high, to me it suggests two petrified dinosaurs kissing, there being a small fissure where the two sides of the arch meet together at the top. At Spyglass Peak in Salvator Rosa the arch is cut right through the mountain, and fit walkers can easily scramble up and pass through to the other side. There are many smaller arches around the clifflines and it is great to see these features first hand, but for those unable to trek into the wilder parts of the Sandstone Belt, the brilliant photographs of Grahame Walsh in his two publications, Exploring Queensland’s Central Highlands and Carnarvon and Beyond, will give the readers an appreciation what they are missing.
On a trip with students in 1976 I was fortunate to meet Grahame Walsh at his Takarakka retreat just outside the Gorge. At the time he was researching rock art sites throughout the Carnarvons. Having gained the respect of station owners and local Aboriginal people he was able to visit and photograph many little known art sites both within and outside the national parks. Grahame went on after that experience to document rock art sites across Northern Australia from Cape York to the Kimberleys, becoming Australia’s leading authority of pre-historic art, especially the mysterious Bradshaw paintings. His premature death in 2007 was a great loss to our country. A memorial to Grahame Walsh has been erected I Injune where his memory is treasured.