There are more kangaroos than people in Australia. Therefore, it came as no surprise (just a lot of excitement!) when we found HUNDREDS of wild ‘roos “chilling out, maxing, relaxing all cool” in some half-used psychiatric hospital ~100km north of Sydney.
I know, right?
We thought it was so awesome the first time, we went again only a few days later! The hospital is up a private road in a town called Morrisett, near Gosford, NSW.
So I say “wild”, and, don’t get me wrong, they are… But give them some of the good human food and they’re your #1 fan.
We parked up on the side of the road after seeing a couple of kangaroos, and I swung open the door enthusiastically. Suddenly one of them (Arnie, as he was known from then on) was hopping towards me at full speed. I slammed the door shut in a panic and he stopped abruptly. “No food for me then.” Seriously, you’ve got to be quick! He would have been in the car. And as much I *think* I would love to take one home… No.
My favourite part though, was as we were driving out, there were some ‘roos loitering by the roadside so we slowed down. Then without warning, 15-20 jumped out from the trees and bounded across the road RIGHT IN THE FRONT OF US! Looking back, I should have made a video, but I chose to try and photograph it instead.
A few things to keep in mind:
- If it’s hot, they’ll be sheltering in the trees, not out and about.
- They prefer to come out after dusk, but that doesn’t mean you can’t see them earlier.
- Don’t approach the kangaroos quickly or from behind.
- Staring into their eyes is a threat.
- The males are huge (up to 8 ft). They’re probably fine but I avoided these guys, especially if they’re near their young.
- They will try and climb into your car if they think you have goodies stashed in there.
- They are covered in fleas and you will be too. (So worth it though!)
So if like me, you’re a tourist in Australia and seeing a kangaroo or three hundred (koalas here!) would complete your Aussie dream, then this is the place to go. It’s free, it’s wild, it’s brilliant.
Some fun facts to finish with:
Female kangaroos can determine the sex of their joey. They can even prolong the length of the pregnancy if environmental factors don’t look good for their young’s survival!
Groups of kangaroos are called “mobs”.
Kangaroos can’t walk / bounce backwards. The kangaroo in the Australian coat of arms symbolises that Australia is always moving forwards, never backwards. Nice idea!
What’s that Skip, it’s the end of the post? Aw, alright then.