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Floodwatch 2012 – Have you seen the Bunyip of Oaks Estate?

By Skidbladnir - 5 March 2012 13

As part of stumbling through the NLA’s Trove archive for flood stories, I came across the below article, a curious piece from the Sydney Morning Herald dated 25 October 1876 about the area immediately surrounding the junction of the Queanbeyan and Molonglo rivers.
Some credence (at least for the location, relative truthiness of any bunyip sighting is left open to the reader) is that today Hincksman Street in Queanbeyan leads onto the location in question.

A STRANGE ANIMAL – A remarkable amphibious animal – probably a veritable bunyip – is said by the Queanbeyan Age to have been seen in the Molonglo River, near the Queanbeyan Junction.
The river was in half-flood, and Frederick Hincksman, John McPherson, Luke Colverwell, and James Curley were about to cross. Hincksman entered first, followed by the others, McPherson bringing up the rear.
Where they entered the stream was about knee deep, and Hincksman’s horse shied at what he supposed was a rock, but as soon as he passed on the object proceeded up the river, following in the trail of the horsemen by a kind of diving undulating motion, frequently coming to the surface and again disappearing.
After landing on the other side the party pelted the animal with stones for a distance of fifty yards, when getting into the deep water it finally disappeared.
None of the party seem to be able to give a minute description of the creature, but McPherson, who had the best opportunity of viewing it, says its face resembled that of a child and that it swam with extended arms or long fins.
It was whitish in colour, and the size of a Newfoundland dog.
That some unknown animal has its abode in our rivers hereabouts, there can no longer be any doubt as several persons from time to time have caught a glimpse of it.

Do we still have an elusive population of Molonglo Bunyips, or have the years of Queanbeyan sewage spillover killed off what was already a threatened species?

(Also of note: This article from the Queanbeyan Age, 04 October 1918, with a bunyip allegedly in the Gininderra Creek, which at the time some suspected to have been a seal which swam upstream…)

What’s Your opinion?


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13 Responses to
Floodwatch 2012 – Have you seen the Bunyip of Oaks Estate?
smeeagain 12:05 pm 06 Mar 12

EvanJames said :

poetix said :

I like the total lack of bogan names. Fred, John, Luke and James. Even the bunyip was probably Charles or Edward. (Known as Ned if naughty and/or Irish.)

I think Bunyips are called Alexander.

Indeed they are.

EvanJames 10:18 am 06 Mar 12

poetix said :

I like the total lack of bogan names. Fred, John, Luke and James. Even the bunyip was probably Charles or Edward. (Known as Ned if naughty and/or Irish.)

I think Bunyips are called Alexander.

p1 10:07 am 06 Mar 12

poetix said :

Diggety said :

No, but I love the way they wrote back in the 1870’s. Proof that benevolent pirates once roamed this great continent.

I like the total lack of bogan names. Fred, John, Luke and James. Even the bunyip was probably Charles or Edward. (Known as Ned if naughty and/or Irish.)

From the rock throwing though, I think it is pretty certain they were proto-bogans.

poetix 9:35 am 06 Mar 12

Diggety said :

No, but I love the way they wrote back in the 1870’s. Proof that benevolent pirates once roamed this great continent.

I like the total lack of bogan names. Fred, John, Luke and James. Even the bunyip was probably Charles or Edward. (Known as Ned if naughty and/or Irish.)

Thumper 8:56 am 06 Mar 12

In 1886 there was another sighting of a bunyip sunning itself on the banks of Molonglo near Queanbeyan and in 1927 a resident of Queanbeyan saw a large cow like animal with flippers that slithered into the river.

In April 2000 a couple of people saw a large unknown animal in Lake Burley Griffin, near the carillion. There were a number of other independent reports of this creature as well.

In the 1960s at Burrawang Swamp in the Southern Highlands there was a report of a bunyip by hunters and shooters. Apparently it was the size of a small cow and coloured grey with two short stubby flippers.

Not surprisingly this sounds like a seal, which it probably was as there has been reports of seals hundreds of miles inland, indeed, not far from Gundagai in the flooded Murrumbidgee.

colourful sydney rac 8:32 am 06 Mar 12

It has to be true, after all the Queanbeyan Age wrote ‘of whose existence there can be no doubt.’

Diggety 12:40 am 06 Mar 12

GardeningGirl said :

Noooo, don’t post links to Trove, I could disappear for hours!
(Very interesting though.)

This is awesome, I never knew it existed till this article, I doubt I’ll get any sleep tonight. Thanks Skid!

Reminds me of sitting for hours as a kid at the library viewing microfilms… Ahhh, the 80’s.

GardeningGirl 11:06 pm 05 Mar 12

Noooo, don’t post links to Trove, I could disappear for hours!
(Very interesting though.)

MWF 8:17 pm 05 Mar 12

Diggety said :

No, but I love the way they wrote back in the 1870’s. Proof that benevolent pirates once roamed this great continent.

I bet the writer could have spelled “debris”…

dks00k 7:48 pm 05 Mar 12

What were they thinking entering floodwaters? Most irresponsible.

Deref 6:50 pm 05 Mar 12

I thought Tim invented the bunyip.

Well, if not invented, made a nice little earner out of it.

Diggety 6:42 pm 05 Mar 12

No, but I love the way they wrote back in the 1870’s. Proof that benevolent pirates once roamed this great continent.

Felix the Cat 6:29 pm 05 Mar 12

Sounds like a job for Tim the Yowie Man to investigate

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