Who would have thought  that  whale watching would be a genuine tourist draw in the Blue Mountains,  two hours west of Sydney?    Unlike coastal whales the species, known  as hedgeritum greenius magnum  is  very  slow moving and easy to spot.  At certain times of year a  prime specimen can be viewed  at a property called Glenhaven, in  Craigend Street, Leura.


Whale’s last supper in Blue Mountains?


Now Leura is one of the most beautiful of the Blue Mountain villages, even though as a loyal Blackheathen I hate to admit it.

You may notice that the creature  has adapted perfectly  to its mountain home and become herbaceous. Oh no, sorry – herbaceous refers to  a garden border. I mean it has become herbivorous. The  great beast in the picture is about to munch into  a hedge of  the Australian native shrub, lilly-pilly,  or is it boring old  photinia?

Sadly,  the shrub will almost  certainly prove to be  the whale’s  last meal. On close inspection you may notice the sinister shadow of a harpooner on the whale’s side, weapon raised  ready to strike.  The wretched  offender should be prosecuted , but is he  human? The bulky shape of the shadow  matches reports of  a mythical  creature known as Hairy Man,  last sighted  near a lower Blue Mountains village. Hmmm; ‘Curiouser and curiouser’ as Alice famously said.

The Hairy Man poses threat to defenceless  whale!

Some of the earliest recorded sightings of a giant, ape-like creature date back the era when Blaxland, Wentworth and Lawson first crossed the Mountains. One account is of soldier in Governor Macqurie’s regiment who claimed he was hunting near what is now Springwood when he was threatened by a huge ‘ape-like’ animal.

At around the same time, a pioneering family at Newnes reported that a ‘hairy man’ approached their bark hut. They said it peered in through a window before taking fright and charging back into the bush.

In 1902 a short story called The Hairy Man was published by Henry Lawson. It began;

As far back as I can remember, the yarn of the Hairy Man was told in the Blue Mountain district of New South Wales. It scared children coming home by bush tracks from school and boys out late after lost cows; and even grown bushman would holler and whistle a tune when they suddenly heard the  thud thud of a kangaroo leaping off through the scrub….

The only reason I can come up with  to explain why Hairy Man would attack an  inoffensive  green whale is jealousy.   How sad, as there is room for many more  tourist attractions in the Blue Mountains, especially since the loss of our unique Zig-zag railway.

 Please restore the unique Ziz-zag Railway!

Please restore the unique Ziz-zag Railway as soon as possible!

A final word. We must never allow Hairy Man to get anywhere  near the glow-worm tunnel at Newnes, near Lithgow. Having dispatched  the Leura whale he would scrape the sweet little things off the walls  and sprinkle them on his breakfast blubber.


Mysterious  Glow-worm Tunnel at Newnes in the Blue Mountains



UPDATE – Well, well, well….I had a very  strange encounter  the other day.  Nothing scary, quite friendly in fact.








  1. Oh Pauline! I love this! What a sense of humour you have, (or is it sense of the absurd?) And just what is that shadow? was that done on purpose, or is it a trick of the light? I want a whale like that in my garden, alas my privet is only 8 feet long and four feet high , maybe a straight fat anaconda then! Good luck with the book!

  2. It’s a sense of the absurd bordering on insanity E.R. The result of being a writer for so many years…so you had better be careful! The anaconda may give your locality that touch of fame you were after! The Blue Mountains are renowned for sightings of Big Foot, and if the whale survives, well we will have hit the tourist jackpot for sure.

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