From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - View original article


Statue of a Yowie in Kilcoy, Queensland,
Sub groupingHominid
First reportedMid to late 19th Century
Country Australia
RegionGreat Dividing Range,
Northern Territory,
Australian Capital Territory,
South Australia,
West Australia,
New South Wales,
HabitatForests, mountains
Jump to: navigation, search

Statue of a Yowie in Kilcoy, Queensland,
Sub groupingHominid
First reportedMid to late 19th Century
Country Australia
RegionGreat Dividing Range,
Northern Territory,
Australian Capital Territory,
South Australia,
West Australia,
New South Wales,
HabitatForests, mountains

Yowie is one of several names given to a mythical hominid reputed to live in the Australian wilderness. The creature has its roots in Aboriginal mythology. In parts of Queensland, they are known as quinkin (or as a type of quinkin), and as joogabinna,[1] in parts of New South Wales they are called jurrawarra, myngawin, puttikan, gubba, doolaga, gulaga and thoolagal.[1] Other names include yahoo, yaroma, noocoonah, wawee, pangkarlangu, jimbra and tjangara.[1][2][3]

As is the case with the North American Sasquatch, many people discount the existence of the yowie considering it more likely to be a combination of misidentification, folklore and hoax. Yowie-type creatures are common in Aboriginal Australian legends, particularly in the eastern Australian states.[4] The yowie's characteristics and legend are sometimes interchangeable with those of the bunyip.[5]


The yowie was described as a cryptid similar to the Himalayan Yeti and the North American Sasquatch. The yowie is usually said to be a hairy and ape-like creature standing upright at between 2.1 m (6 ft 11 in) and 3.6 m (12 ft).[6][7][8][9] The yowie's feet are said to be much larger than a human's,[8] but alleged yowie tracks are inconsistent in shape and toe number,[10] and the descriptions of yowie foot and footprints provided by yowie witnesses are even more varied than those of bigfoot.[11] The yowie's nose is said to be wide and flat.[12][13]

Behaviourally, some report the yowie can seem timid or shy.[8] Others suspect that the yowie is sometimes violent or aggressive.[14]

Origins of the term[edit]

The origin of the name "yowie" to describe unidentified Australian hominids is unclear. Some nineteenth century writers suggested that it arose through Aboriginal legends. Robert Holden recounts several stories that support this from the nineteenth century, including this European account from 1842:

The natives of Australia ... believe in ... [the] Yahoo ... This being they describe as resembling a man ... of nearly the same height, ... with long white hair hanging down from the head over the features ... the arms as extraordinarily long, furnished at the extremities with great talons, and the feet turned backwards, so that, on flying from man, the imprint of the foot appears as if the being had travelled in the opposite direction. Altogether, they describe it as a hideous monster of an unearthy character and ape-like appearance.[15]

Another story about the name, collected from an Aboriginal source, suggests that the creature as a part of the Dreamtime.

Old Bungaree a Gunedah aboriginal ... said at one time there were tribes of them [yahoos] and they were the original inhabitants of the country - he said they were the old race of blacks ... [The yahoos] and the blacks used to fight and the blacks always beat them but the yahoo always made away ... being ... faster runners.[16]

On the other hand, Jonathan Swift's yahoos from Gulliver's Travels, and European traditions of hairy wild men, are also cited as a possible source.[17]

History of sightings[edit]

In a column in the Sydney Morning Herald in 1987, columnist Margaret Jones wrote that the first Australian yowie sighting was said to have taken place as early as 1795.[18]

Nineteenth Century eyewitness accounts[edit]

In the 1870s, accounts of 'Indigenous Apes' appeared in the Australian Town and Country Journal. The earliest account in November 1876 asked readers; "Who has not heard, from the earliest settlement of the colony, the blacks speaking of some unearthly animal or inhuman creature ... namely the Yahoo-Devil Devil, or hairy man of the wood ...”[19]

In an article entitled "Australian Apes" appearing six years later, Mr. H. J. McCooey claimed to have seen an "indigenous ape" on the south coast of New South Wales;

"A few days ago I saw one of these strange creatures ... on the coast between Bateman's Bay and Ulladulla ... I should think that if it were standing perfectly upright it would be nearly 5 feet high. It was tailless and covered with very long black hair, which was of a dirty red or snuff-colour about the throat and breast. Its eyes, which were small and restless, were partly hidden by matted hair that covered its head ... I threw a stone at the animal, whereupon it immediately rushed off ..."[20]

McCooey offered to capture an ape for the Australian Museum for £40. According to Robert Holden, a second outbreak of reported ape sightings appeared in 1912.[21] The yowie appeared in Donald Friend's Hillendiana,[22] a collection of writing about the goldfields near Hill End in New South Wales. Friend refers to the yowie as a species of bunyip. Holden also cites the appearance of the yowie in a number of Australian tall stories in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century.[23]

Present-day accounts of yowie sightings[edit]

Yowie reports have continued to the present day with the trail of evidence following the pattern familiar to most unidentified hominids around the world – i.e., eyewitness accounts, mysterious footprints of hotly disputed origin, and a lack of conclusive proof. Some recently reported yowie incidents claim that the death and mutilation of household pets, such as dogs, are the result of yowie attacks. Other people claim that the animals' deaths can be attributed to attacks by wild animals such as dingoes.[24]

Australian Capital Territory[edit]

In 2010, a Canberra man spotted a creature that may have been a yowie in his garage. The man reported the creature as being covered in hair, juvenile with long arms. He said it was definitely trying to communicate with him.[25]

New South Wales[edit]

There have been hundreds of accounts of yowie-sightings in New South Wales, including:

In the mid-1970s, the Queanbeyan Festival Board offered and 2CA together offered a AUD200,000 reward to anyone who could capture and present a yowie: the reward is yet to be claimed.[30][31]

Northern Territory[edit]

In the late 1990s, there were several reports of yowie sightings in the area around Acacia Hills.[14] One such sighting was by mango farmer Katrina Tucker who reported in 1997 being just metres away from a hairy humanoid creature on her property.[14] Photographs of the footprint were collected at the time.[14]


The Springbrook region in south-east Queensland has had more yowie reports than anywhere else in Australia.[13] In 1977, former Queensland Senator Bill O'Chee reported to the Gold Coast Bulletin he had seen a yowie while on a school trip in Springbrook.[12][13] O'Chee compared the creature he saw to the character Chewbacca from Star Wars.[32]

A persisting story is that of the Mulgowie Yowie, last reported to be seen in 2001.[33]

Prominent yowie hunters[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Healy & Cropper 2006.
  2. ^ Graham. C Joyner (1977). The Hairy Man of South Eastern Australia. ISBN 0908127006. 
  3. ^ "Layers of significance – Reconciliation Place and the Acton Peninsula, Canberra". National Museum of Australia. 28 August 2009. Retrieved 17 March 2013. 
  4. ^ Healy & Cropper 2006, p. 6.
  5. ^ Holden 2001, p. 69.
  6. ^ "Yowie sighting near Mount George". Manning River Times. Before It's News. 7 August 2009. Retrieved 18 March 2013. 
  7. ^ Paul Willis (13 June 2002). "Yowie". Catalyst. ABC Television. Retrieved 18 March 2013. 
  8. ^ a b c Rex Gilroy (7 August 1980). "Why Yowies are Fair Dinkum". Australasian Post. Retrieved 18 March 2013. 
  9. ^ "Sydney Morning Herald article, 1912". Dean Harrison's Australian Yowie Research. 23 October 2012. Retrieved 18 March 2013. 
  10. ^ Clark 2012, p. 227.
  11. ^ Emmer 2010, p. 83.
  12. ^ a b Samantha Healy (2 May 2010). "New film needs beast of a man to be the next yowie". The Sunday mail (Qld). Retrieved 18 March 2013. 
  13. ^ a b c d e Tim the Yowie Man 2001, pp. 41-48.
  14. ^ a b c d Matt Cunningham (21 April 2009). "'Dog killed by Yowie'". NT News. Retrieved 17 March 2013. 
  15. ^ Anon.(1842)"Superstitions of the Australian Aborigines:The Yahoo" in Australian and New Zealand Monthly Magazine, Vol 1, No 2, February 1842, cited in Holden 2001, p. 47
  16. ^ William Telfer in R.Mills (ed)(1980) The Walladabah Manuscripts:Recollections of the early days, p.55, cited in Holden 2001, pp. 76–77
  17. ^ Holden 2001, pp. 39-49.
  18. ^ Margaret Jones (31 July 1987). "It's spot the yowie time again". The Sydney Morning Herald. p. 15. 
  19. ^ Australian Town and Country Journal, 18 November 1876, p.811, cited in Holden 2001, p. 70
  20. ^ Australian Town and Country Journal, 9 December 1882, p.747, cited in Holden 2001, pp. 75
  21. ^ Holden 2001, p. 76.
  22. ^ Friend, Donald (1915-1989) (1956). A collection of Hillendiana: comprising vast numbers of facts and a considerable amount of fiction concerning the goldfield of Hillend and environs. Sydney: Ure Smith. 
  23. ^ Holden 2001, p. 77-79.
  24. ^ "Yowie may have killed puppy", "ninemsn", 2009-04-21. Retrieved on 2009-04-21.
  25. ^ Ritchie Crick (26 September 2010). "The truth is out there". Sunday Herald Sun. Retrieved 17 March 2013. 
  26. ^ "Missing link sought in mystery". The Sydney Morning Herald. 13 March 1977. 
  27. ^ a b c d Patrick Lion (4 June 2012). "Panthers, yowie men and a headless roo, the real X-files of New South Wales". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 17 March 2013. 
  28. ^ Jeff Corbett (30 November 2010). "In search of yowies". Newcastle Herald. Retrieved 17 March 2013. 
  29. ^ Geoff Shearer (26 May 2012). "Animal Planet TV crew capture audio they believe proves existence of yowies". The Courier-Mail. Retrieved 17 March 2013. 
  30. ^ Tim the Yowie Man (20 September 2013). "Respect the lore". The Sydney Morning Herald (Fairfax Media). Retrieved 11 October 2013. 
  31. ^ "Home-made 'Yowie'". The Canberra Times. 26 October 1976. p. 7. 
  32. ^ Clark 2012, pp. 226-227.
  33. ^ Joel Gould (1 June 2013). "Legend of elusive yowie living on in Mulgowie". The Sunday mail (Qld). Retrieved 14 June 2013. 
  34. ^ Gilroy 2001.
  35. ^ Bowen, Jill (15 December 1976), It's huge, hairy and from Cape York to Tasmania the monster Yowie prowls, The Australian Women's Weekly 
  36. ^ Healy & Cropper 2006, p. 13.
  37. ^ Shuker, Karl P. N. (1995). "The Alien Zoo". In search of prehistoric animals; Do giant extinct creatures still exist? (1 ed.). Blanchford. p. 189. ISBN 0-7137-2469-2. "Rex Gilroy... collected over 3,000 sightings of a giant hairy creature sighted across the continent." 
  38. ^ Andrew potts (27 November 2012). "Yowie seeker, 68, has something to prove". GoldCoast.com.au. Retrieved 18 March 2013. 
  39. ^ "The Search For Bigfoot: Is Bigfoot Real?". The Huffington Post. 12 April 2013. Retrieved 6 May 2013. 
  40. ^ Rex Gilroy: Yowie Hunter, Special Broadcasting Service (SBS), 7 October 2013, retrieved 24 November 2013 
  41. ^ Gould, Joel (1 June 2013). "Yowie not to blame for stock losses". The Queensland Times. Retrieved 19 October 2013. 
  42. ^ "I was rugby-tackled by a Yowie, man claims". The Australian. 26 May 2009. Retrieved 18 April 2013. 
  43. ^ "Tim the Yowie Man licks chocolate giant in court". The Canberra Times (Fairfax Media). 15 December 2004. 
  44. ^ "Yowie Man, chocolate maker go head-to-head". ABC Canberra. 14 September 2004. Archived from the original on 12 October 2013. 


  • Clark, Jerome (2012), Unexplained! : Strange Sightings, Incredible Occurrences, and Puzzling Physical Phenomena, Visible Ink Press, ISBN 9781578594276 
  • Emmer, Rick (2010), Bigfoot: Fact or Fiction?, Infobase Publishing, ISBN 9781438130477 
  • Gilroy, Rex (2001), Giants from the dreamtime : the Yowie in myth and reality (1st ed ed.), URU Publications, ISBN 978-0-9578716-0-1 
  • Healy, Tony; Cropper, Paul (2006), The Yowie: In Search of Australia's Bigfoot, Anomalist Books, ISBN 1933665165 
  • Holden, Robert (2001), Bunyips: Australia's Folklore of Fear, Canberra: National Library of Australia, ISBN 0-642-10732-7 
  • Joyner, Graham Charles (2009), Monster, myth or lost marsupial? : the search for the Australian gorilla in the jungles of history, science and language, Canberra, ACT: Hayes UK & Thomas, ISBN 978-0-646-51637-0 
  • Tim the Yowie Man (2001), The adventures of Tim the Yowie Man, cryptonaturalist, Sydney: Random House Australia, ISBN 174051078X