“Are there any mythical beasts which aren’t simple pastiches of nature? Centaurs, minotaurs, unicorns, griffons, chimeras, sphinxes, manticores, and the like don’t speak well for the human imagination. None is as novel as a kangaroo or starfish.” William Poundstone, Labyrinths of Reason
If there’s one place in Australia where you’re pretty much guaranteed to see a kangaroo in the wild, it’s the Grampians National Park. I’ve been there dozens of times and seen kangaroos on every occasion. On my most recent visit, in July this year, we set off on a short hike to Venus Baths – cutting through the Halls Gap camping ground – and immediately saw kangaroos hanging around. On our return, there were even more of them foraging in the grass.
The kangaroos here aren’t really afraid of people, as they have grown accustomed to large numbers of tourists. You can get fairly close, as I did to get some of these photographs. But that’s not to say you should get too close! Kangaroos can do substantial damage to humans that are a little bit too curious… especially if they feel threatened. They also shouldn’t be fed (although in a tourist town like Halls Gap, it’s sadly inevitable that some will be).
I remember my first time camping in Halls Gap, many years ago. At dusk, we were sitting by our tent, having a pre-dinner drink, and several kangaroos bounded through the campground, less than 10 metres from us. At the time, I was somewhat startled.
The Grampians National Park is such a wonderful place and I’m lucky enough to be heading back there for Christmas this year. We’ll likely play cricket on Boxing Day at the Pomonal football oval and there’s every chance we’ll see kangaroos in the outfield.
I’d like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas from Down Under. Thank you for reading my blog and commenting. I hope some of you have been inspired by my travels.