Andrew Lang was, in his day, a famed writer and anthropologist, particularly noted for his work in chronicling the folklore of the British commonfolk. However, his devotion to ‘fairy stories’ did him little good on his trip to Australia. Lang spent some time tramping around the upper reaches of the Mornington Peninsula, at about the region where it projects from the mainland.

Lang was actually a devoted hunter, particularly fond of shooting rabbits, but certainly willing to expand his range of targets to include the strange new wildlife of Australia. If it was small, furry and burrowing, it was near enough to being a rabbit for his purposes. And unlike a lot of his contemporaries, Lang was willing to listen to the natives when they told him their stories. From this he learned much of the habits of assorted marsupial diggers, and no small amount of what he regarded as primitive superstition (although a close analysis of the writings left behind by Lang, published and unpublished, suggests that the dividing line between ‘primitive superstition’ and ‘folklore’ in Lang’s mind had more to do with how much and what colour of skin the person telling him about it was). Perhaps aware of this, some of what the talespinners of the Boonwurrung had told Lang was, to put it mildly, fanciful.

Nonetheless, Lang believed that Australian digging mammals might be sufficiently different from the European counterparts that they might well create large burrow networks, stretching for miles. Lang spent a fruitless 18 months searching for the burrow he had been assured existed in the area, but in the end, exhaustion, the demands of his publisher and the desire to stop reeking of wombat shit drove Lang to give up on his search. But unsuccessful as his search may have been, and nonexistent though its target may have been, the search for Lang’s Warren is still commemorated in the area’s name even today.

Suburbs near Langwarrin:

Carrum Downs Skye Skye Skye Cranbourne South
Frankston North Langwarrin Langwarrin Langwarrin Cranbourne South
Frankston Langwarrin Langwarrin Langwarrin Cranbourne South
Frankston Langwarrin Langwarrin Langwarrin Pearcedale
Frankston South Langwarrin South Langwarrin South Langwarrin South Pearcedale
Frankston South Baxter Langwarrin South Langwarrin South Pearcedale
Baxter Baxter Baxter Langwarrin South Pearcedale
Baxter Baxter Baxter Pearcedale Pearcedale
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