Murujuga – The Burrup & Dampier Archipelago

Welcome to the Murujuga -Burrup Peninsula! Today the Burrup Peninsula & Dampier Archipelago is also referred to as Murujuga. To the indigenous people Murujuga is a sacred place. Peruse the next few pages and see this relatively unknown jewel, with its fascinating history recorded in the rocks dating back up to 30,000 years.

The Burrup Region presents a unique native title situation as the recognised original Indigenous people of the area, the Yaburara, were believed to be mostly massacred during the European settlement phase. This resulted in what is referred to as the Flying Foam Massacre. The Burrup was then recognised as an orphan land by the neighbouring Indigenous groups and as such, these groups took over the custodial duties for the area. To read more about the Yaburara Massacre click here to be taken to an article on the Dampier Rock Arts website.


The Burrup Peninsula Region

Murujuga or the area of land referred to as the Burrup Peninsula is located in the Dampier Archipelago on the western shores of Australia. The Burrup Peninsula juts into the Indian Ocean and is joined to Western Australia near the location of the town of Dampier and includes forty two surrounding islands.

Visit for more information about the peninsula, or visit the Creative Spirits website which has further information about the rock art.

The Burrup is an area filled with ancient rock art carved by Australian Indigenous people over many thousands of years. It is estimated that there are a hundred of thousands of individual rock carvings clustered across the region. Currently the rock art has not been catalogued or fully documented. Some protection is offered to the region through inclusion on the Federal Governments National Heritage Listing in July 2007.

Conflicting land use issues have arisen as the area has been targeted for development by the heavy resources industry. The region is very rich in natural resources and a wide variety of industry types are presently located on the Burrup. Alarm over the destruction of ancient rock art resulted in the Western Australia Government developing an agreement between the State of Western Australia, current resource industries land use groups, and the traditional Indigenous land owners. This resulted in the establishment of the Burrup and Maitland Industrial Estate Agreement (BMIEA) being developed to determine land use, conversation and to provide a process for discussion between conflicting land use groups. Click here to open a new window and view the BMIEA Agreement (Government of Western Australia –Land Approvals and Native Title Unit)