Mulka’s Cave is very close to Wave Rock, making the long trip east definitely worthwhile for the tourist.

According to Aboriginal legend, Mulka was the illegitimate son of a woman who fell in love with a man with whom marriage was forbidden according to tribal law. Mulka grew up to be a giant. He was very big and strong but was also cross-eyed and couldn’t focus properly to hunt with a spear. Hunger and frustration drove him to start devouring children.

As punishment, he was banished from his people and moved into a cave, now called Mulka’s cave (although it had a brief anglo stint as Bates Cave). Those handprints that are larger and higher than the reach of a normal man are believed to belong to Mulka.

It is thought that Aboriginal people declared the whole area taboo after these events and used the story to teach their tribes to follow the laws of marriage (or you, too could have a horrible son like Mulka!). The other handprints in the cave were probably made by tribal sorcerers who visited the cave to gain strength and power.

Mulka's Cave, February 2009
The cave had several recesses, all of which were covered in primitive paintings.

Mulka's Cave, February 2009
Mulka's Cave features a large number of these handprint paintings, indicating the significance of the cave for the local Aboriginal people.

Golden orb spider, February 2009
We spotted this in the bush close to the cave. The Golden Orb spider builds one of the strongest webs in the world.