Mysterious Australia | Myths, legends, and unsolved mysteries

Have you seen the light?

Do you believe in Australian urban legends? From the Yowie to Drop Bears, Min Min lights and more, Australia is full of unexplained occurrences, unsolved mysteries and tall tales. Some of these legends are based on First Nations folklore, others are conspiracy theories, ghost stories or claims of UFO sightings. Australia also has many cases of fact being stranger than fiction with mysteries like the disappearance of the Beaumont Children and the Somerton Man

Australia’s favourite urban legend, the drop bear tells the story of bush walkers being 'dropped on' by these creatures; injuries include lacerations and bites. It is also told that tourists are more likely to be attacked than locals. Placing forks in the hair or spreading vegemite behind the ears are suggested repellents. As the spooky season approaches, we’ve gathered a range of creepy, strange, mysterious and mythical reads to intrigue the curious minds. 

Top Australian Urban Legends:

  • Drop Bears: When even the Australian Museum is in on this urban legend, it’s no wonder tourists are confused when visiting Australia.
  • The Yowie: hundreds of witnesses have claimed to have had encounters with a 2m tall, hairy ape-like creature stalking the Australian bush. 
  • Lithgow Panther: More than 560 people have reported seeing black panthers in the Hawkesbury, Blue Mountains and Lithgow area since 1998.
  • Hawkesbury River Monster: Reports of large reptilian or eel-like animals have been received since as far back as 1924.
  • Min Min Lights: described as floating, fast-moving balls of colour that glow in the night sky and stalk people, some believe the lights are the spirits of elders.
  • UFO Sightings: Over the past 20 years, about 1000 sightings have been logged Australia-wide.
  • Picton Tunnels: reports of lights floating above people's heads, sudden drops in temperature, and ghostly children appearing out of the darkness.



Libraries love these eBooks:

To get started download the cloudLibrary and Libby apps. Select Sunshine Coast Libraries and enter your member number and password.


To get started download the Libby app. Select Sunshine Coast Libraries and enter your member number and password.

Enjoy these Australian mystery audiobooks:

To get started download the BorrowBox app. Select Sunshine Coast Libraries and enter your member number and password.


Set up a playlist with these tunes on Freegal:

  • Monster Mash by Bobby “Boris” Pickett
  • Thriller by Michael Jackson
  • Ghostbusters by Ray Parker Jr
  • The Purple People Eater by Sheb Wooley
  • This is Halloween (From Nightmare Before Christmas) by Halloween Town
  • The Time Warp from The Rocky Horror Picture Show
  • I Put a Spell on You by Screamin’ Jay Hawkins
  • The Devil Went Down to Georgia by The Charlie Daniels Band
  • Highway to Hell by AC/DC 
  • Black Magic Woman by Santana

First time customers, select log in and enter your library membership number and password. 

More Library Resources

  • Learn about the origins of Halloween with World Book Online. Log in with your library membership number and search “Halloween”.

Get into the spooky spirit with these websites

  • Old Melbourne Gaol Virtual Tour: Built in the mid 1800’s, the Old Melbourne Gaol dominated the Melbourne skyline – inside held dangerous criminals. The Old Melbourne Gaol was also the site of the infamous bush ranger Ned Kelly’s hanging. 
  • Burnima Homestead: Join Tim the Yowie Man in exploring the Burnima Homestead near the New South Wales township of Bombala, said to be one of the most haunted buildings in Australia.
  • The Winchester Mystery House: Witch’s hats turrets, spider web windows and Gothic spires – the Winchester Mystery House in California, U.S.A was built across several decades and has doors to nowhere, 40 staircases,  ambitious architectural innovations and…ghosts? 
  • Join locals in the HAUNTED: Sunshine Coast Facebook Group. A group for anyone 18 and over, interested in the paranormal or spiritual world. Discuss your beliefs, share contacts or experiences, share images etc.
  • Discover all the Yowie sightings in Queensland on the Yowie Hunters website.


Hear unsolved mysteries with these podcasts: 

  • Australian Strange Stories (Apple Podcasts): Listen to strange stories about hair-raising encounters, unnerving events, weird happenings and dive into the eerie side of life...
  • Forgotten Australia (Apple Podcasts): True crimes, dark histories, unsolved mysteries, eccentric personalities and strange happenings: Forgotten Australia is history as you've never heard it before.
  • The Night Driver: Janine Vaughan’s disappearance 19 years ago is at the heart of a mysterious case that has split a close-knit community left wondering if a murderer walks among them.
  • Welcome to Night Vale: Twice-monthly community updates for the small desert town of Night Vale, where every conspiracy theory is true.
  • All Aussie Mystery Hour: Each episode, Pedestrian's resident true crime nuts Josie and Mel bring a different unsolved Australian mystery yarn to the table and share their theories on what happened.


Top 10 Australian Scary Urban Legends

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