Our Bunyip

“Can you please tell me what bunyips look like?”

“Yes.  Bunyips don’t look like anything.” 

A bunyip (pronounced bun-eep) is a legendary creature from Aboriginal folklore.  A bunyip is said to lurk around the Bunyip River, water holes and other areas of the bush and outback.  There a many descriptions of its appearance from glowing eyes to feathers to a haunting ghostly figure.

We picture our bunyip to look like this:

The children’s book, The Bunyip of Berkeley’s Creek by Jenny Wagner is a story of a friendly bunyip who emerges from a billabong and questions his existence by asking other Australian animals about his appearance.

However, as a young child I remember the movie Dot and the Kangaroo and being extremely frightened of the bunyip that appears in the movie. 

Bunyip from Dot and The Kangaroo, 1977

I was so frightened of it and its eerie music (check it out on youtube) that I am still scared today.  Honest.  My children have not seen the movie or read the book.  We will look into it when we return stateside as a reminder of our animal adventures. 

Bunyip postage stamp

Looking for more?   The National Library of Australia has a fun, interactive website for children.  For the adventurous, you can trek into Bunyip State Park outside Melbourne, camp overnight and try your luck at spotting your very own bunyip.  Torches (flashlights) optional.

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3 Responses to Our Bunyip

  1. dsduffy says:

    I loved “Dot & the Kangaroo!” So much so that I bought the DVD a few years ago and tried to get my son to watch it, he wasn’t nearly as into it as I was. “Kanga-woo! Kanga-woo!” It was so sad at the end …
    Thanks for the fun memory, now I’ll try to dig up that DVD again, but it’s probably been left behind in storage somewhere in Massachusetts.

    • Megan says:

      You are welcome! This movie has really gotten around as it seems. I will never forget the ducks, the scariest monster ever or the yellow post-it reminder on my parents VHS.


  2. Gabi says:

    As the mother, I vaguely remember the name, Dot and the Kangaroo but nothing about the movie or the yellow post-it. Funny, the things we remember (or forget).

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