|Other Name/s||Yowie-Wowie, Puttikan, Tjangara, Yahoo|
The Yowie is an ape-like creature reported to live in the vast wilderness of Australia.
Descriptions of the Yowie have evolved many years, with most modern reports describing a Bigfoot type animal.
The Yowie comes from Aboriginal folklore, with reports often describing it as looking like an ape with red eyes, which are weirdly located on the sides of its head.
The folklore paints a picture of a variety of man-like, hairy beasts that were in Australia before the Aboriginals arrived.
The Aboriginal tales portray these beasts as dangerous and to be feared, but these tales can be a little confusing because many different types of beasts are described.
Legend says the Yowie is a nocturnal creature and is believed to sometimes feast on humans. This creature differs from the more modern European legends.
Jonathan Swift’s 1726 book, Gulliver’s Travels, contains a race of creatures named Yahoos. One theory is that the early European settlers conflated the original Aboriginal word Yowie with the fictional Yahoo.
Some researchers, on the other hand, say that the Yahoo and the Yowie are one and the same. However, it appears that the Yahoo tends to be quadrupedal, whereas the Yowie is a biped. Plus, the Yowie seems to have a more monstrous appearance and more human-or ape-like characteristics.
Strangely, different areas have different types of Yowie, and today’s Yowie generally differs from the Yowie of old.
The Yowie has similarities to the legendary Bigfoot of North America, given its ape-like appearance and bipedal stance. Alarmingly, it is also reputed to be up to 3 meters tall.
Sightings and Tales
Sightings have primarily been reported in New South Wales and Queensland’s Gold Coast. However, it is worth noting that sightings have also been reported in New Zealand.
The European settlers began to report sightings of the beast in the 18th century, and over time there have been reports of the beast attacking people, houses, and vehicles.
There are also footprint casts, some of which are rather compelling due to their shape and/or size. Then there was the instance of a hand or claw that was found severed in a farmer’s gate. Photos of the hand have survived, but the hand itself was thrown away and there is no sense of scale in the photos.
Rex Gilroy says his wife believes she saw a Yowie in the Barrington Tops. He managed to take a plaster cast of a footprint that was 38cm long and 16cm wide across the toes.
Marc Downton encountered a creature while traveling down Brown Mountain on his way back to Eden.
He described a bipedal five-and-a-half-foot tall creature with broad shoulders. He said it was totally black and was covered in hair. Standing about 15 feet away, the creature looked right at Marc, who said it was the most terrifying experience he had ever had.
Maria Speer saw a similar creature in the mid-1990s. The creature Maria came across was brown, thickset, and had a short neck and powerful shoulders. Also bipedal, but well over a foot taller than the creature Marc saw, this beast was apparently very man-like. It moved off into the bush when it saw Maria.
Dean Harrison has dedicated his life to hunting the Yowie and says he has had two life-threatening encounters with Yowies over the years.
The first came in 1997 in Ormeau in the Gold Coast hinterland, with the second occurring in 2009 at Kilkivan. He felt he was lucky to escape with his life on these occasions.
Dean claims the creature that knocked him over was able to run at steep angles in pitch darkness, avoiding obstacles such as trees and logs and leading him to believe that Yowies can see in the dark.
Dean also claims he saw intelligence agents tag a Yowie with a tracking device, but this claim is strongly refuted by the intelligence agencies.
Tony Duffy says he actually spoke to a Yowie near Gympie, telling the Gympie Times that the creature was very intelligent and was able to learn a few words of English. Tony believes that the Yowies need to be protected because humans are destroying their homes.
Former Queensland senator Bill O’Chee had a run-in with a Yowie in the 1970s while he was camping in the Gold Coast hinterland. He says he saw an ape-like beast that was around 8 feet tall.
Sightings in the 21st century
In 2019, a truck driver in Queensland, identified only as Gary, reported a terrifying experience with a Yowie in broad daylight.
Gary was driving in the outback near the Gold Coast when he saw a boulder tumble down a steep slope onto the road. The trucker was then horrified to learn the boulder was an ape-like creature which then stood upright, right in front of his truck.
He described the Yowie as about 10 feet tall, with a body covered in hair about two inches long. He added that the Yowie had a round face, like a chimpanzee.
Gary said the Yowie let out a grunt and started bashing the hood of his truck. Thankfully, the creature soon disappeared into the bush. The trucker refused to give his surname out of fear that people would think he was crazy.
Although skeptical, scientists remain open to the possibility that there may be an undiscovered species lurking in the Australian wilderness.
Where to find
Dean Harrison’s Australian Yowie Research
paranormal-encyclopedia.com, “Yowie,” accessed September 01, 2017,
newanimal.org, “The Cryptid Zoo: Yowie (or Yahoo),” accessed September 01, 2017,
exemplore.com, “Yowie Sightings: Is Bigfoot in Australia?”, accessed September 1, 2017,
theherald.com.au, “$5000 bounty to catch a panther not a good idea”, accessed September 04 2017,
news.com.au, “Meet the man who claims he’s been almost killed by a yowie – twice,” accessed September 04, 2017,
https://thewest.com.au/news/offbeat/truck-driver-claims-yowie-bashed-his-bonnet-in-queensland-bush-ng-b881083645z, “Truck driver claims Yowie bashed his bonnet in Queensland bush,” accessed March 17, 2023.
- A drawing of a Yowie from 1907. Pic credit: R. H. Mathews/Public domain
Last modified on March 17th, 2023 at 5:59 pm