Thursday, 21 November 2013

Bunyip billabong retains air of mystery

The legend of the bunyip has lived long in Australian history.

Elders and long-time cattlemen have told of bubbling water, disappearing cattle and eerie sensations throughout the generations.

Several communities claim the mythical creature lurks in their local rivers, but residents in one small Queensland township insist they have the waterhole where the bunyip resides.

The Bunyip Hole at Mulgildie in the upper North Burnett is unsettling.

It's a still pool blanketed with green slime, silent except for the occasional buzz of birds and flies.

Known to bubble and gurgle, some Aboriginal elders believe the hole is connected to a network of underground waterways.

Joan Farrell is the president of the local Bunyip Committee, and says the bunyip has a strong presence in the community.

"I came here in 1975 and I kept hearing about the bunyip at the Bunyip Hole," she said.

"Now, you don't go out there especially on dark and don't swim in it, because you can get dragged down never to be seen again."

She said it was always her aim to see the Bunyip Hole become an attraction.

"It was our 80th year in CWA and money became available, so we decided we would do it," she said.

"Because I've been fascinated; I've had this thing with the bunyip all the time, that I would like to see it become like it is."

On the side of the highway coming into Mulgilde stands a tall statue of the famed bunyip.

He looks like a cross between a crocodile and a small dinosaur, and he's the creation of Brett Benecke.

"We began with a bit of a design and nobody knew what a bunyip looked like so we made something up."

The bunyip statue, which holds a cow's skull in one arm and a lungfish in the other, is made of 6mm plate mild steel and took 18 months to construct.

The tiny 49-house township held its annual bunyip festival on the weekend, which attracted about 250 visitors.

The day was complete with a bunyip pie competition.


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