European settlers of the 1800s were told about the bunyip by local Aboriginies, according to the City of Murray Bridge website.
The bunyip was said to live in creeks, riverbeds, waterholes and swamps, emerging at night to terrify and devour any animal or human prey in the vicinity. Its terrifying cries were said to ring out, disturbing the stillness of the night. Lonel and isolated white settlers heard these unfamiliar sounds, wondering and worrying about the existence of an animal monster, native only to Australia.
Aborigines seemed genuinely afraid of the creature and would not go near any area of water where they thought a bunyip might be lurking. Settlers were anxious to prove or disprove its physical existence. Various believed the sightings of bunyips and were reported in the press with the findings of fossil bones being scientifically examined.
It was not until the turn of the century that the physical existence of the bunyip was disproved.
Some Local Bunyip Facts
- The Murray Bridge Bunyip was built by Dennis Newell and launched in 1972.
- For 20 cents the bunyip emerged from below the water a gave a very loud roar - twice. This roar could be heard up to one kilometre away. The ugly looking monster did frighten many small children.
- His name was Bert the Bunyip.
- The Bunyip was given a baby about 10 years after the launch... Bert then became Bertha.
- The sound box has had many problems during its time... at one stage vandals somehow worked out how to jam it so it would continue to roar - often through all hours of the night.
- Then the Bunyip and baby were also vandalised and part was broken off.
- A quieter, more friendly looking bunyip was built and his cave was revamped in 2000.
- The price rose to $1 for three appearances.
- The bunyip recieves in excess of 20,000 visitors per year.
- The Murray Bridge Bunyip can be found lurking in his cave today on the banks of the Murray River at Sturt Reserve Murray Bridge.