Kangaroos: a photographic memory 3rd April 2012






Up close and personal with the kangaroo at Cleland Wildlife Reserve near Adelaide, Southern Australia.

Kangaroos at Look at Me Now – 5th December 2011

In my stereotypical view of Australia it’s hot and sunny all the time, but today it’s grey and dull again. The wind heaves in from the South, bringing down the temperature and howling with power. The waves are, indeed UP! The surfers must be happy.

A lifetime of British weather induces a need to be cosy and laze in this weather, but it will not ease up. I settle to writing my blog and reading about out surroundings

North is Woolgoolga. It promises such names as Sapphire Beach, Emerald Bay but this is not the day for beaches. However, who could resist “Look At Me Now ” headland near Moonee Beach National Park? Well it’s got to be done hasn’t it? Better still it promises kangaroos.

The Pacific Highway is assaulted by roadworks and it’s very difficult to find the correct turnoff. The wonderful Australian government provide a car park, an information shelter and a paved footpath. The latter are found throughout Australia because of the snakes!

As soon as we get out of our car we encounter kangaroos. Ten of them in all of varying sizes and the biggest is huge!

The information board declares: Be Kanga Aware! Don’t stare at them, don’t approach or threaten them, if they’re angry, crouch down and back away. If attacked roll into a ball, and protect your face and throat!
Well that’s ok! They are behind a fence! (I sometimes wonder just how stupid I can be, considering I am approaching 60 and used to be a headteacher!) Let’s follow the path, taking photos discretely.
They look like monster rabbits. Mostly in docile family groups but the dominant males are enormous, some 6 feet high and very broad muscular chests.

Right – that’s kangaroos then, lovely! But as we approach Look At Me Now headland a dozen or so huge rabbit heads pop up from the bracken. They span out, blocking all access to the headland, and they are very alert to our movements. Where’s the fence?

Well, seen one headland, seen them all? We’re NOT passing a 6 foot high kangaroo and his family to get there. Please remember, dear reader, that only yesterday we had a very close encounter with a venomous snake and are now quite respectful of animals and their privacy.

So we cross the grass to the other side of the looped path (looking for snakes underfoot as we go) and take the path to Emerald Beach. It is quite deserted, cold and windy but how do you get off the beach again? There’s a path. But where are we now? More kangaroos, maybe 20 of them. We watch for ages, frequently crouching out of respect. They are delightful.

We begin to make our way back towards the car via the roads, as we don’t wish to offend the kangaroos! But what do we find on the path- yes a kangaroo, well probably a wallaby. This is becoming more complex than snakes. At least there was only one of them!

Back at last via the town the original set of Roos are still there and, as we watch, they demonstrate that the fence is only for decorative purposes. They can climb through it, even the big ones.

Woolgoolga is the only town we have found to date in Australia with a Sikh temple. It also has a fantastic viewing point for whale migration but they have all gone by December. The waves are really impressive though.