In July 1791 while exploring the Hawkesbury River system, Matthew Follet’s small boat became separated from his companions.
After days of frantic search, they found him on a river bank far down-stream, bedraggled, red-eyed and with a shocking story.
He had been passing through a wild, narrow gorge when a monstrous ‘Hairyman’ had descended on him and forced his boat against the rocks.
Follet had hammered the bugger, but with the vessel fatally holed he had just one option: two barrels, lashed together and emptied of their contents (the expedition’s ration of cool, clear satisfying Pacific Lager), had made a crude but effective raft to escape on. In view of all that Follet had gone through, it was thought best to cut short the expedition.