Who doesn’t love kangaroos? They are an iconic animal woven into the fabric of the Australian landscape. After more than twenty years living in Australia, I can confirm that they are indeed able to be seen in their natural environments with only a modicum of effort. Here is a photo of an Eastern Grey Kangaroo in the bracken of an empty campground taken in 2004 on a family road trip around the NSW snowfields. Looking back on it, I realise that I really was too close for comfort (no zoom used) because if he’d viewed me as a threat he could have done me some damage with those powerful hind legs, but fortunately for me he didn’t seem to mind.
Another place to find kangaroos near Canberra is at Tidbinbilla Nature Park. Just be sure while you’re photographing that imposing kangaroo in the next field…
…that you don’t leave your barbecue untended for your lunch to be stolen right off the grill by stealthy emus and swooping kookaburras.
Our friends Don and Robin live in a suburb north of Bateman’s Bay with many patches of remnant native forest. These patches are inhabited by a resident mob of kangaroos. As we came to visit one day in June of this year, three of them were reclining on a street corner enjoying the early morning sun (the curb not visible but I took this through the open car window).
Residents of the area are quite accustomed to giving way to these local inhabitants as they hop about the suburb, but there is much angst when prize roses are on the kangaroos’ menu.
Of course, sometimes kangaroos don’t want to be seen. I don’t even know how I managed to spot this one on the shores of Coila Lake – can you see him in the photo?
The same kangaroo pictured above did something unexpected not long after I photographed him in the shadows. He jumped into Coila Lake and taught me something that I didn’t know: kangaroos can swim.
It is particularly special to run across kangaroos in unexpected places. I have seen a kangaroo hopping down Barry Drive in Canberra City, and others hopping along the boardwalk in Tuross Head. Once, in the wee hours of the night while sitting out under the pergola in Kaleen, I heard the quiet tippy-toe hops of a large kangaroo passing along the other side of our backyard fence, invisible behind the thick hedge of cottage roses. Wherever you find them, and no matter how often you see them, kangaroos are unique and magical. With their doe-eyes, soft fur, bounding leaps and gentle natures, they are one of the things that make Australia special.
And, apparently kangaroos seek the serenity of the beach as much as we do.
A few days after publishing this post, a snow storm hit Australia, and my friend Marina Lobastov shared with me this Facebook photo of kangaroos in the blizzard by Christie Panozzo. It is wildly popular for good reason; I love the way it shows the resilience of these lovely creatures.
With the exception of the kangaroos in the snow photograph, all photographs by Sabrina Caldwell; other than resizing for web use, no alterations have been done to the photographs.
The kangaroos in the snow photograph is by Christie Panozzo, Ballarat, Victoria, taken on 5 August 2015. It is not known if any alterations were made to this photograph, but it is likely to have been cropped.