Hawkesbury River Monster Artists Impression

Hawkesbury River Monster – Australia

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The Hawkesbury River Monster is a legendary cryptid that many believe lives in the Hawkesbury River in New South Wales, Australia. It is said to be similar to the Loch Ness Monster in Scotland and The Flathead Lake Monster in the USA. It is sometimes also called the Moolyewonk or Mireeulla by the indigenous people.

Cryptid Name:Hawkesbury River Monster / Moolyewonk / Mireeulla
Location:Hawkesbury River, New South Wales, Australia
Hawkesbury River Monster Location Map
Category:Aquatic Cryptid
Description:Large aquatic creature with a serpentine or elongated body. Reports vary, but it’s generally portrayed as having humps, a long neck, and sometimes flippers or limbs.
Size:Varying sizes, ranging from 13 feet to 20 feet (3 to 6 meters),
Behavior/Characteristics:Elusive and rarely seen. Said to move gracefully through the water, occasionally breaching the surface. Some reports mention it creating ripples or waves as it swims.
Diet:Unknown. Speculation includes fish, aquatic plants, and other river-dwelling creatures.
Habitat/Environment:Hawkesbury River, a large tidal river with a mix of freshwater and saltwater environments.
Evidence:Limited scientific evidence; mostly anecdotal reports, eyewitness accounts, and occasional photographs or videos that are often blurry and inconclusive.
Sightings and Encounters:Reports of sightings have occurred sporadically over the years, with descriptions of the creature’s appearance and behavior varying from witness to witness.
Skepticism/Explanations:Skeptics suggest that sightings could be misidentifications of known animals like large fish, eels, crocodiles, or logs. Some sightings may also be hoaxes or exaggerations. The lack of concrete evidence fuels doubts about its existence.

What Does The Hawkesbury River Monster Look Like?

Hawkesbury River Monster Artists Impression

The Hawkesbury River Monster is described as resembling a large eel-like animal with a long neck and humped back. Some witnesses have specifically mentioned that the creature does not have dorsal fins which could help distinguish it from other animals like dolphins or sharks.

There are different accounts about how big the Hawkesbury River Monster is. Some witnesses estimated that the cryptic was about 13 feet / 4 meters long while others have described it as being a lot bigger at around 20 feet / 6 meters.

It is said that the Hawkesbury River monster moves quickly and effortlessly through the water with some describing its movement as being quite serpent-like.

Hawkesbury River Monster Investigations

Although there have been many sightings of the Hawkesbury River Monster going all the way back to the early 1900s, there haven’t been many official investigations into whether it is real or not. However, in 2020, a cryptozoologist by the name of Tony Healy decided to investigate more thoroughly.

Mr. Healy is the author of two books on Australian cryptozoology:

  • “Out of the Shadows” (published in 1994 by Pan Macmillan)
  • “The Yowie” (published in 2006 by Anomalist Books)

During his expedition, Mr. Healy conducted many interviews with locals, including fishermen, boaters, and residents, who had reported seeing the monster. He also did on-site investigations and spent time on the river itself gathering data hoping to shed more light on the monster’s existence. Mr. Healy noted that there was a lot of skepticism about the monster and the sightings.

Although no concrete evidence was found to support the existence of the Hawkesbury River Monster, Mr. Healy said that he was intrigued enough to investigate further.

Besides Mr. Healy’s investigation, the only other formal research I could find was done by another cryptozoologist by the name of Rex Gilroy who saw a 12m giant cryptid surface from the Hawkesbury River in 2009. Mr. Gilroy is reported as saying that he believes that the creature might be a plesiosaur from the Jurassic period.

Is The Hawkesbury River Monster Real?

There is a lot of skepticism around the Hawkesbury River Monster, with many believing that eyewitnesses may simply be seeing natural objects like logs, debris, or other natural objects floating in the water and mistaking them for the monster.

However, I personally would suggest that there are far too many sightings that can’t be explained so easily.

There are many who believe that the creatures that are being seen can be misidentifications of known animals. These include:

Loggerhead Turtles (Caretta caretta)

These large reptiles are known for their very distinctive large heads and strong jaws. The humped appearance of their shell, long neck, and overall reptilian features might lead to misidentification if seen from far or in certain lighting.

Loggerhead Turtle
Loggerhead Turtle
Source: Funfood, CC BY-SA 3.0

Australian Longfin Eel (Anguilla reinhardtii)

The Australian longfin eel is an eel species that is native to Australia. It is known for its elongated body and snake-like appearance. With reports of adult eels growing up to 3 meters long, this could explain some of the eyewitness reports and descriptions.

Australian Longfin Eel
Australian Longfin Eel
Source: Edgar Ravenswood Waite


A couple of witnesses described the monster as looking crocodile-like. Depending on the species and location, crocodiles can live in both freshwater and saltwater and could account for some witness sightings.


Plesiosaurs are aquatic dinosaurs that lived during the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods. They had long necks, small heads, and large bodies that resembled the typical description of lake monsters such as the Loch Ness Monster. Although plesiosaurs are believed to be extinct and there isn’t much evidence to support the theory that they were able to survive to the present day, it is possible that there are some of these ancient dinosaurs hiding below the surface of the lakes.

Plesiosaur Image
Source: Popular Science Monthly Volume 53

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