Tweed Heads, New South Wales 1978
Location: Tweed Heads, New South Wales
Event: Yowie Sighting
Terrain: Ridged swamp area beside open fields
I was 11 or 12 years old, at South Tweed Heads at the Billabong Caravan Park. Unfortunately a freeway now runs through the area of our sighting.
There were tracks running through the area, which we were checking out for motorbike riding. On one side there were reasonably high ridges, and down below seep holes which were pretty swampy, except when it rained a lot, and they became creeks.
One of the old locals, he was a caretaker on one of the properties, had told us that he caught fresh water perch, somewhere in the area, so we were also looking for where that could be as well. He called it his secret fishing swamp.
So my mate and I ventured off to explore. Behind the Caravan Park, there was a clearing, we they were preparing to expand it, then the fence. Beyond the fence, there was grass, then bracken, then the swamp area, and across to Billabongs.
We cut through to the track on the North side, which ran along the edge of the swamp, we cleared the bracken, and the ridge came to a stop, and we were walking along a path on the waterline. We heard growls. I questioned my mate. He said it's probably a feral cat, they get huge around this area.
We kept walking along, and would have been about a kilometre from his house, we were still walking along the waterline, and there was a ridge track about 30 metres above us.
We heard a disturbance in the bush. We assumed it was a cow or something, and thought nothing else of it.
We carried on walking, talking about fishing, and where this fishing hole could be. My friend stepped across a snake, it took off up the ridge, and came back down in front of us. We decided to head up a cutting to the ridge track, to avoid the snake. As we got to the track at the top, we heard an animal crashing through the bush like we had startled it. It was covered up in the foliage, but we could hear it moving saplings and stuff.
We picked up a stick each, and ran in the direction of the noise, just for fun. We thought that we might scare the animal even more. We came to the edge of the bush, where there was long tufty grass.
From the hill we were on, it dipped down into a valley, and in the middle was a large Weeping Willow tree. It was about 30 or 40 feet high and about 30 feet across. It was strange, we couldn't see a cow or any other animal, nor any marks in the grass where it may have gone.
The tree started to shake violently, we both just stood there in shock. There were strange bellowing noises, (I can only compare it to the sound of a cow stuck in mud) and they kept repeating. It was like a distressed yell. A deep bellow and each yell coincided with the tree shaking.
The tree would have been about 60 metres away from where we stood and down about a 15-degree gradient.
We were so scared, we bolted across to the track across the ridge to the rear of the Caravan Park. We could hear movement in the bush behind us, either chasing or shadowing behind us. That scared us even more. We just kept running together as quickly as we could. We actually ran in a horseshoe direction, we jumped a couple of channels and got into the clearing at the back of the Caravan Park. It probably took us 5or 6 minutes to get back.
We stood there panting, but we didn't hear any more noise. We looked up to the ridge where we had come from, and caught a glimpse of something walking down the hill.
It was in the medium scrub, coming down to the tufty over grown paddock. It was back Northwest, and at the side of the bush and to the edge of the trees, we could see this silhouette of a figure, as the sun was going down.
I can only describe it now as a Chewbacca type creature, it was extremely large, I'd estimate 8 to 10 feet tall, but the body was in proportion. It was approximately 80-90 metres away from us, but it had to get through the grass and a trench of mud, and over a pile of trees to get to us.
It was covered in shaggy hair, a few inches long. Its head was a diving bell shape with no neck. I think the hair was dark brown. As it walked down the hill, it was stooped forward, moving exactly the same way a human does.
It sat crouched on its haunches, supporting itself, by one hand on a tree branch. It was like a grizzly bear when it stands up, as you see on TV. Not as thickset, the arms were long, but not out of proportion, and its legs again in proportion just like a tall person, but I would estimate it was at least twice the weight of a thick set tall man. It stayed there watching us, and we stayed there not moving. We were whispering to each other, what's that thing, it has to be a Yowie. We must have sat there about 5 minutes watching it, then thought we had better leave as it was getting dark.
We told my mates parents, and they automatically thought it was the prowler. They didn't take any notice of what we said about the shaking tree, which made us more intent to prove what we had seen. Our parents and friends were regularly prowled, they thought it was an old hermit.
The next day we planned to go out in daylight with the dog, and check it out, in the daylight. It was a well- trained Doberman watchdog.
We thought we would check out the tree, where it crouched, but we thought it lived in the willow tree. At the tree where he crouched, there was leaf litter, and hard ground, so we couldn't see any footprints. Going down to the tree, the hill was slippery, and we had to stoop a little to keep our balance. The first branch, where it had been leaning its arm, was well over our heads, at about 5 or 6 feet high. When it was crouching, its head was about 1 foot below that branch. So it must have been at least 8 foot tall.
We tacked back down via the back of a quarry, where we rode our motorbikes, and then another kilometre, back up a steep ridge. We had to clamber up it was so steep, there was a small pond at the bottom of the ridge with lilies growing in it. And on the other side, it sloped down into the paddock and to the willow tree. We were just about to climb to the top of the ridge to peak over to the willow tree, when we heard that bellowing sound again, and coming from over the ridge, but coming from a tall tree, probably a silky oak about 30 or 40 metres high.
It was in a tree, but we couldn't see it, the tree was shaking, and these birds were swooping and attacking something in the tree, like it was stealing a nest or something. There were magpies, hawks and a crow all attacking together at the one thing. The bellows coincided with the birds swooping.
The Doberman broke loose, barking fiercely as it went up the ridge. We had a tomahawk and a machete in hand, so we followed the dog up. It was at the top of the hill, and disappeared out of sight. It had a confrontation with something, as it was making attacking noises. Then it went quiet. Before we had got halfway up the ridge, the dog was coming back down, with its stubby tail stuck so far between its legs it was totally scared. We also turned and went down the hill.
The dog leapt into the pond, and was pawing at its face with the water, like it was trying to get something off its face.
We ran off, the dog caught up with us. We didn't hear any other noises following. We got back to my mate's house, and his Mum just commented "you boys and your wild imaginations."
Our neighbour's mentioned sometime later, that the wife had heard the horses going crazy in the paddock, and she had gone out to check it out, and saw what she said was a bear skirting around the outside of the paddock.
It was only a couple of weeks later, that we heard about a group of Scouts sighting one in Springbrook.
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