The “Long-necked” variety of the bunyip, also called Tunatpan or the wawee is an unknown mammal reported in eastern Australia, particularly in Victoria. The long-necked bunyip is described as 8 to 15 ft long, they also have black or brown fur, three toes, an otter-like tail, a head similar to a horse or kangaroo, large ears, Small tusks and an elongated neck covered in bristly or feathery hairs. Long-necked bunyips are said to be nocturnal, semi-aquatic and swim quite swiftly. Their call is often described as a roar or bark. They are usually thought to be carnivorous. Some Indigenous Australians say they lay their eggs in abandoned platypus burrows, implying that long-necked bunyips are either monotremes or some other order of archaic mammal.
In June of 1801, mineralogist Joseph Charles Bailly of the French Le Géographe Expedition reported hearing the bellow of some large animal in the Swan River, Western Australia. Hamilton Hume and James Meehan found skulls and bone fragments of amphibious animals the day after they discovered Lake Bathurst, New South Wales, in April 1818. The earliest sighting recorded by a colonist was in December of 1822 at Lake Bathurst by Edward Smith Hall, later a founder of the Bank of New South Wales. Hall was drying himself off after bathing in the eastern shore of Lake Bathurst when he saw a 3-foot, black head and neck gliding along the surface for about 300 yards. Edward Smith Hall is notable for witnessing a separate dog-faced bunyip the year before. According to the March 1st, 1940 issue of the Australian Museum Magazine, a large brown aquatic animal with a kangaroo-like head, a long neck and a shaggy mane was reported around the Eumeralla River in 1848.
In escaped convict William Buckley’s 1852 autobiography while he was living with the Wathaurong mob, he described seeing a bunyip the size of a full-grown calf multiple times in Lake Modewarre. He described occasionally seeing its back sticking out of the water, which was covered in dark grey “feathers”, presumably bristly hairs.
In 1965, multiple farmers heard a strange animal roaring and barking around the Nerang River in Gilston, Queensland. A day later, strange tracks and churned up mud were found at the riverbank where the animal was heard.
Illustration of a long-necked bunyip by John Conway
An 1848 illustration of a long-necked bunyip by an unknown Aboriginal man