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“YOWIES INVADE the GOLD COAST!” A true story?


A true story?

By Ian Browne Shamrock News

A slightly warped view of the modern interpretation of what a YOWIE is, and how this species has survived on this harsh continent Australia for so long.

The following contents will be the focus of this debate:

Historical Context – Indigenous Beliefs

Australia’s Subtropical Sightings

The Gold Coast Invasion!

What is this Yowie, is it a Porn Star? And can it survive in our forests?

Efficient Hunting Techniques

Flying-MARUADING-Yowies: Fact or Fiction?

Cultural Practices...and a conclusion of sorts...

Sourced: Outback Snack Sasquatch

I really don’t see the point to YOWIES. They can’t play the piano ‘well’; they look silly riding Vespers; disastrous in tiaras; become vulgarly surly while attending sushi trains - and when asked to use the chopsticks; and are very typically only seen dancing to droll bogan-blues songs like

“sweet home Alabama”.

Australia’s very own Big Foot; Sasquatch; or Yeti…but do they really exist? Last week the Gold Coast Bulletin published a story about a large yowie that has been terrorising a family on the leafy southern edge of the Gold Coast, Queensland. We will take a look at this shortly. But before we do, I think it is important to show indigenous folk our respect in relation to this topic, as over the years I have met those that say they have seen the ‘hairy folk’ themselves, even indigenous students of mine up there on the steamy Tiwi Islands (Northern Territory). One senior student suggested that she and older family members had seen both types of the ‘hairy ones’ – the short and the tall.

Casino indigenous artist Jai Walker’s depiction of a “CLEVER WOMAN” from my eBook “The Cultural Voice of Northern NSW”

Now, we’re not talking *‘Cleverman’ here. My pal, Rob Collins, whom I worked alongside in Darwin, plays Waruu West, a human rights activist in the ABC TV dystopian series titled ‘Cleverman’ - which was filmed in Sydney, and examines the racism existing between humans and ‘hairies’. Waruu is aggrieved, as his half-brother was chosen by the existing Cleverman to become the new Cleverman, while Waruu himself turns out to be a ‘hairy’ after all. A Cleverman differs from a yowie, as the Cleverman is a spiritual figure who walks the earth as a man, moving between the Dreamtime past to the present. He is an important spiritual guidance figure who knows the secrets of creation and the future. The hairies in the show Cleverman are not so much Yowie, but more closely related to humans. While the Yowie, is known to Aboriginal groups (clans, tribes & nations) as a separate species, and different dialects have their own names for these large creatures. But it’s not wise to talk on behalf of indigenous people, as their own connection to ‘hairies’ and ‘yowies’ may differ between groups, and this association spans back through many generations.

While Australia and Africa’s landscape began to dry out during the latter part of the *Pleistocene, and continue to, our megafauna here in Oz mostly died out. Aboriginal folk lived alongside giant flesh-eating birds; skull-crushing marsupial lions; massive crocodiles, monitor lizards and pythons. Perhaps our yowie was a remnant from the recent past, arriving in from SE Asia when the sea levels dropped during one of the drying phases of the Pleistocene - allowing land bridges to appear, and more closely connecting the two continents. More on ‘yowie ancestry’ soon.

A few years ago, I visited the town of Woodenbong; yes, aptly named for a town situated in NE New South Wales, but this is the land of the Githabul, and the Yowie is their totem: the owners of the Yowie Story. After a spate of sightings in the NE of the state, I asked a local Indigenous elder in Woodenbong what he thought about the Yowie. He felt that perhaps people had been smoking too much of ‘something’ - if they believed they had seen one. I was surprised by this. I wrote a children’s tale about the yowies of Terania Creek - in the land of the Widjabul folk - in the thickly rainforest covered hills to the north of Lismore, NSW. The yowies themselves were my muse for introducing the young to indigenous cultural and ecological wisdoms. Mindjingbal Bundjalung man, Clarence Slockee, whom you might know from his regular appearances on ABC TV’s Gardening Australia; and as to my request, ‘checked’ my children’s story to review-n-uphold its cultural appropriateness. Clarence also offered to direct me towards those who hold the Yowie Story. My yowies come with an ‘evolutionary twist’; shhh, tis top secret! I look forward to publishing this colourful story with its local indigenous art - when the time is right.

The Wollumbin Caldera: Rainforest country on the border of New South Wales & Queensland – photo by me.


I viewed a * website, which suggested very recent footage by Steve Piper of a yowie in the Brindabella Ranges, on the border of NSW and the ACT - many hundreds of kilometres south of the subtropics in Australia. I opened the link to see a very handsome head of long, tightly-coiled curly hair; the very attractive female in question wearing lycra, and running confidently through the Domain parklands - underneath Sydney’s impressive harbour-side skyline. Hesitantly, I skipped the advert to see a rich-coated yowie, one which appeared to be around 1.8m in height; slightly hunched and limping somewhat, as it moved quietly through woodlands, away from the deranged possie of camo-gear voyeurists.

Sourced: I've seen a yowie in the Barrington Newcastle Herald

Whether you believe in the Yowie or not, the very fact there has been so many sightings of this creature in the subtropical regions of eastern Australia, should allow for more of a concerted focus on how it has survived for such a long period of time. When groups of people in the same moment see something peculiar, we must at least lend an ear. *Former Qld senator Bill O’Chee, stands firmly by his yowie sightings up in the mountains of yowie ‘hot spot’, Springbrook, while camping with a group of 20 students in the rainforest mountains behind the Gold Coast - in his younger years. He described how his campsite was visited by a 3m tall, hairy ape-like creature, on a few occasions.

*The Gold Coast Bulletin, Friday July 19h 2019

While I was talking with my old friend Davo in Sydney, about his younger brother’s life in the forest near Terania Creek, he described how his sibling often heard guttural calls at night in the forest near his house, and on one occasion, many rocks were thrown from the thickets and onto his rooftop - to the horror of he and his wife. He moved away eventually to a yowie-free existence elsewhere. My pal’s brother is a very tall, athletic individual. Perhaps the yowie(s) thought of him as competition.

While covering a story on Nimbin’s 40th Anniversary of the Aquarius Festival for the Echonetdaily; which is also published here on this site, I spoke to ex ABC Radio host Gary Opit, a Cryptologist who saw a yowie near the beachside township of Brunswick Heads. Until April of last year, I had Iived in this town for nearly seven years, and the dense rainforest along the river to the north of town is splendid in its remaining old growth forest. Gary also ran radio shows about yowies. He cannot be swayed and even offered to promote my children’s book over the air. A bush track I travel through regularly on my way to and from Mullumbimby, has seen its share of sightings also, and I even heard whispers of cleverman connections to the area – which is none of our business really. *One fella described seeing ape-like creatures in Main Arm, just to the NW of Brunswick Heads, where the dirt track begins and makes its way through the Mount Jerusalem National Park hilltops, winding down into the wee township of Uki - nestled at the foot of Wollumbin (Mt Warning). He thought little of this exotic encounter, until later in life, when it was explained to him that there were no primates other than humans occurring on this continent (and the distant relative of the lemur - the flying fox fruit bats - I might add, and who undoubtedly became naturalised on this continent while island hopping in from SE Asia, many thousands of years ago).

I also met charismatic bush tucker guru, Jake Cassar, while I was on a visit to Western Sydney University with Bundjalung and Kamilaroi students from the Lismore region. He explained how he and a small group of friends walked upon a huge yowie one night, inland from the central coast of NSW. It was seated with its thickly-coated back facing them, and as it stood, its huge, tall bulk, put the frighteners through them all. It then fled at great pace through the scrub and up a hill, lighting a fire at its crest. His description of a feathered-n-furred bunyip sighting however made me wonder the levels of hallucinogenic toxins this fella’s years of bush tucker indulgences had sequestered.

Lamington National Park, SE Qld: The Lost World – photo by me


*A truck driver was making his way through the NW hinterland of the Gold Coast in ‘broad daylight’, when he saw what he thought looked like a boulder, rolling out from the bush and onto the road in front of him. As he moved towards the object, he stopped, and was shocked to see a large 3m hairy man walking towards his vehicle, and it appeared to be a tad embarrassed as to its predicament. Staring wildly at the man, it banged violently on the bonnet, “scaring the absolute crap” out of him. He said the massive creature’s navel lay level with the bonnet of his truck, which was 1.8m above the ground! In the newspaper print-version of this story, the truckie described how he was further surprised when he noticed how he could make out the definition in muscular development of the creature’s abs and chest muscles, poking out from beneath a generous 2 inch covering of hair. Now, this land the truck driver was moving through was owned by the Australian Armed Forces. Was this just a prank by one of the larger of the soldiers; obviously south of 3m, but perhaps closer to 2m in height? I know very few humans weighing 400kg, as the truckie suggested, so perhaps padding and stilts were administered; albeit a tad difficult when Rambo-rolling down an embankment and onto a road!

Just last week the *Gold Coast Bulletin published a popular story on the misery inflicted on a young family during the past year in Currumbin Valley, in the southern region of the Gold Coast hinterland -by a massive, hairy ape-like creature. The article was aptly titled: “CREATURE ‘STALKING’ HINERLAND HOME-FAMILY LIVING IN TERROR OF YOWIE” Apparently, a nightly visitor has regularly prowled their house since November last year. The mother of the family first sighted the huge creature at 9.30pm on a Sunday, while sitting on her back deck. It turned and grunted at her, returning the next night, and rushing the house while making ‘gorilla-like sounds’. Having also thrown rocks towards the home, it was even said to have tossed a metal dog bowl at the house, just recently. Other members of the family also sighted the big beastie at the house, and the article is quite creepy in its description of the daughter’s traumatic movements - to and from the house at night - in her car. I would have moved out immediately, if it was my family’s safety in concern.

*The Gold Coast Bulletin, Friday July 19th 2019

The Lost World: Lamington National Park, SE Qld – photo by me

This article came a week on from the discovery of what appears to be a metre-long hominoid footprint -found and photographed by two bushwalkers on July 7, on Mount French; along the Scenic Rim of the Moogerah Peaks National Park. The Gold Coast Bulletin also interviewed ‘Yowie expert’ and Cryptozoologist, Dean Harrison, who stated that the area has had regular sightings, and that male yowies are attracted to single women with small children in tow. I am too, and I could probably do with a ruddy good Brazilian as well! But it hardly makes me a candidate for Sasquatchia, now does it. Mr Harrison, who has been attacked by yowies himself, also suggested that this scenario shows one of malice rather than just gentle curiosity. They are known as timid creatures, but Mr Harrison told the Gold Coast Bulletin that this one might be one of the ‘bad ones’.

Have the local councils hit the bottom of the barrel, taking their depravity to such murky depths as to chasing people off their land in large hairy suits, accompanied by suitably vile grunting sounds, so they can put a road through; or erect a yowie-sized block of flats? No, this does sound real enough, and is perhaps true to word. But just what the creature is, is anyone’s guess. Perhaps a very large human nature lover with a serious issue with suburbia encroaching on his bush camp. Yet, part of me believes that this finally is the moment when we come face to face with our evolutionary past; a yowie in our midst, after all! I wouldn’t be too surprised, as in all reality from what I have heard from believers has made me a tad cautious when peering into the woods. I drive through the valley and hills of this region on my way between the Gold Coast, and on into northern NSW, most days, and after reading this interesting article in a café in West Burleigh, well, I found myself searching through the forests for the hairy folk too - as I drove on through the hills with its splendid rainforest - canyons. The Currumbin Valley family, if known to be honest, should be taken seriously, and shown the caring respect they deserve. Dean Harrison is preparing to place ‘night vision cameras’ in the area. This is surely the time to send in biologists to collect hair and stool samples. However, that being said, a collection of *Sasquatch samples taken in the US came back as bear, wolves and cow’s DNA. *While during another research project in Nepal and Bhutan, the majority of Himalayan Yeti samples only showed traces of bear DNA.

What is this Yowie, is it a porn star?

And can it survive in our forests?

The yowie that features in my children’s tale has its own unique life history traits. But as to the movement of hominoids throughout Asia, the following seem to fit the evolutionary bill:

First-off-the-rank would have to be the good ol Neanderthal (Homo neanderthalensis), a powerful chap that us Homo sapiens did over, or shagged out of existence. Secondly, Homo floresiens found his/her way down along the Indonesian island chain, perhaps as a Homo erectus who dwarfed in size on the island of Flores, and now known to science there as the Hobbit, and where folklore still exists in that neck of the woods as to the wee hairy folk who stole their children. Homo erectus - yes, an unfortunate name, and try teaching them in schools; yet tailor-made for the adult only - entertainment industry, if they ever decide to make a comeback - was thought of as being intelligent enough to craft ocean going vessels, in hope of making it to the promised land Oz. The other bipedal character in crime being the Gigantopithecus, featuring as a very large, obese orangutan on the last rendition of The Jungle Book, but too to be found in the fossil remains of China’s caves. Asia is still giving up its hominoid past, and to earlier dates than the “Out of Africa” theory suggests. So, our yowies might be a ‘yet to be discovered’ remnant of a voyage south from Asia. However, to this date, no fossil remains other than Homo sapiens have ever been unearthed on this wonderfully weathered continent.

Food types available - does the forest provide a bounty in sustenance?

Well, similarly to us, I guess that yowies would eat a mixed diet of both flora and fauna items in which to gather in the vitamins, minerals and protein - to allow them to survive efficiently in a harsh terrain. Though the forests concerned with here lie within the humid subtropics, where summers are hot and muggy; the winter nights away from the coast can be very cold, especially at altitude. Do they light fires to cook their food, lay about by the hot coals while grunting out tales of heroic hunting and gathering vanquishments?

Most of the yowie-sightings seem to be near, or within, three main forest types: subtropical rainforest; the abutting wet sclerophyll, and the drier eucalyptus tree dominated sclerophyll communities.

Similar-sized omnivores, like *grizzly bears, can down about 40kg of food per day in which to sustain themselves. While the vegetarian *gorillas eat around 18kg of food per day. Donald Trump slots in somewhere between the other two species’ daily intake (pers.obs).

Subtropical Rainforest, Terania Creek NSW - photo by me


Possibly consumed are small to medium-sized birds, marsupials, moths, beetles and their larvae; cicadas and other insects. Placentals such as rats and bats, where the latter would be relatively easy pickings when pillaging from flying fox colonies, especially if rocks are thrown. Feral animals allow for a food source too of course. If they were more confident, then feral pigeons are calling out to become cuisine down in the townships, along with native ibis. Reptiles would be easily obtained, but none in big numbers. Pythons are confident bed pals to us Australians, but would be nabbed as a food source when straying too near to a yowie den, especially as they would become competition when catching rats for a feed. Bird and reptile eggs would be sought-after, surely. The odd emu egg found in the grasslands abutting a forest, a real treasure!

As for plant material, most fruit and seed types in subtropical Australia are of the smaller sized variety. A yowie further north in the tropics of Queensland has a menu of larger fruit types, like the cassowary plum, for example, albeit competition may abound with the fierce bird from which the large fleshy fruit’s name derives. But there are extensive forests of bangalow palm which contribute large supplies of gut-aching small red seeds and succulent palm frond buds. Undoubtedly fungi; root tubers and yams, may supplement the carb-requirements, along with aquatic bulrush roots, which also provide other edible plant parts. Various flowers and nuts too could be harvested from rainforest plants such as the macadamia; and bunya nut trees in SE Qld. Along the coast, hibiscus flowers could be enjoyed. Delicious native raspberries and syzygium fruit; and the forest key species: the giant ficus trees (figs) offer a large amount of fruit too. If desperate, sweet-n-tangy quandongs provide in season too, but the flesh is thin, and the seed desperately sour, so this might offer a problem. Honey could be gathered, both feral and native contributions, the yowies’ excessively hairy coat could afford some protection from the introduced species’ stings.

Sourced: Frontiers of Zoology Yowies

Efficient Hunting Techniques?

Well, similar sized-n-dietary familiar bears and gorillas survive in their home habitats, and the latter in large family groups. When feeling the need to increase protein in their diet, chimpanzees will charge ferociously through the mid-canopy in search of smaller creatures to devour. Perhaps keep your dogs locked up at night, forest dwellers of eastern Oz! But really, I can’t see a 350kg yowie chasing after a small bandicoot through dense scrub, can you? But wombats would be easy pickings in the cooler and drier regions of Oz. Other than their obvious well-healed techniques in aviation, yowies certainly have the strength to overcome prey such as: wild dogs, wallabies, kangaroos, the odd emu; and they bloody well are; and even wild pigs. Large lizards such as goannas and water dragons can be careless when moving among us humans. Maybe the same can be said for our yowie cousins when nabbing them. Other than cornering prey in the dappled light of the undergrowth, I very much doubt these massive beasts would have the agility to out-chase such fauna. Do the young, or smaller females; if they are the daintier of the sexes; do these ‘petite’ do all the legwork, leaving the big males to sit back along the cave wall, admiring the outline of their perfect abs? Small to medium-sized birds would be harder to capture. However, hiding and ambushing waterfowl in the valley wetlands - might be easier, especially if nets were to be used. They may very well devour roadkill in the depths of the night, but then, surely, we would see more of them. Maybe the hinterland yowie who rolled out of the bush - all bashful and somewhat psychotic -had already presupposed the driver’s fate that cruel day.

Do they fish? Use nets or tools to gather in the bounty? My main argument here is that I feel that without the use of tools; the harvesting and seasonal storage of food and organic medicinal items, and the teamwork coordinated via effective communication within groups doing their best to survive - to remain unnoticed - there just isn’t enough natural resources available to meet the dietary requirements of a big yowie, or family group. The poor old boof-headed Neanderthal had the strength and social dynamics effective for survival in harsh terrains; but lacked the efficiency in verbal communication afforded the well-developed vocal - chords of the dominant Homo sapiens-in the superpower race to dominate the early stages of the looming Anthropocene.


It would make more sense that in allowing such a large, smelly body mass to engrace our forests, this would be facilitated by them helping themselves to the large amounts of food that we produce. Recently, a man in his early-mid 20’s - who was dressed as a fairy - came up to me in Kingscliff, NE NSW, and asked me if I was a Grey, a White, or a Reptilian. He alerted me to the fact that (he) - “came down near here” - himself! Now, some folk believe that other than the aforementioned alien invaders, that ‘large hairy men’ also visit us nocturnally from the stars. Now, I too have seen monkeys fly! Yep, that’s right, on the Wizard of Oz in fact, and we live here in Oz. So, perhaps they fly in en masse and harvest from the canopy of orchards, leaving no trace of their pillaging and marauding, and leaving their defoliation of crops to the blaming of those wretched flying foxes. A flock of yowies would certainly cause local farmers all manner of financial grief - but would fertilise the crop well in the meantime (yew!)

Can missing livestock be blamed on protein, iron-starved yowies? And if so, why aren’t more attacks on livestock reported, or are these just blamed on wild dogs? Perhaps the yowies have the sense to carry off their prey to feast upon elsewhere.

Cultural Practices

I don’t recommend attempting to gain a research grant for the following, at least not right now anyway. But if they are aware of their existence - these yowie folk - do they then have a living culture that can be unearthed – like rock art? I feel the long reign over this land by the first Australians would have uncovered this long ago. We know they seem to enjoy milling around sushi trains, and are a tad heavy handed when it comes to using chopsticks, but do they enjoy a dally of backgammon?

Do these hairy gentlemen and madams trade with other clans or family groups? What would they exchange: macadamia nuts, or spear tips? As to their - ‘journey into the other realm’-fate, do they have well-established funeral rituals that have allowed their lovingly departed to remain hidden from our querying eyes? How do they communicate? Are these guttural, threatening sounds often heard by forest dwellers; an audio-encounter my neighbour at present too has experienced herself near the base of mighty Wollumbin, are these vivacious grunts just part of a larger linguistic partaking by our yowie brethren? And does regional language variation and ‘accents’ occur between clans?

Do the small and the big ‘hairies’ intermingle from time to time? Do they have some sort of mountain corrobboree where cultural treasures and new technologies are shared? Do they have snake and spider medicines that are kept within easy reach, and bandages for open wounds and broken bones? And furthermore, will these cultural practices allow them to transcend into a whole new world of communication with us?


“So, if they do exist, and find themselves mingling amongst us Homo sapiens, we might soon be joining them on the dancefloors. As most pubs around Oz seem to enjoy boring the living schizen houzen out of me with their dull-as-bat-shite-bogan-blues, the very genre that ‘hairy folk’ just adore. What will Pauline Hanson have to say about the social arrival of these chaps, will she too try to alienate them in their own land? Perhaps she is one herself! Now there’s food for thought!”

“Fly my pretties!”

Sourced: flying monkeys


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