The Monster that Ate Canberra

The story of Alexander Bunyip

Alexander is a large, greedy bunyip who likes to eat national landmarks. He’s been eating his way around the iconic features of Canberra, Australia’s capital, since 1972, when he featured in Michael Salmon’s first children’s book, The Monster that Ate Canberra.

He’s been feasting on Canberra’s famous buildings ever since, and in the process become a ‘figure of national importance’. His adventures have been serialised on radio, he has starred in children’t pantomimes, featured in board games, and his TV career began in 1978 when he was co-host of Arvo on ABC-TV. He’s since starred in Alexander’s Afternoon, The Alexander Bunyip Show, and Alexander Bunyip’s Billabong.

In 2011 the ACT Government commissioned a big bronze statue of Alexander, which stands outside the Gungahlin Library, a tribute to the greedy, ill-mannered bunyip who has delighted four decades of children, and helped them learn to read.

As for Alexander, he’s still chomping his way through important buildings, and hoping someone would give him a lamington.

Alexander Bunyip remains an enduring star in Halstead’s stable.