Kangaroos in South Australia
Australia is, of course, home to the Kangaroo, a large marsupial that occurs right across the entire continent, in all States and Territories.
In South Australia there are numerous parks and reserves where kangaroos can be observed in their natural habitat.
If planning a visit to South Australia, the numerous wildlife parks abound with kangaroos, most of which allow feeding of the animals. If you are interested in observing kangaroos in their completely natural habitat, then many of the States National and Conservation Parks are the ideal places to visit.
There are quite a few wildlife parks in South Australia. The most popular, and closest to Adelaide apart from the Adelaide Zoo, is Cleland Wildlife Park. Featuring a large number of native animals, including kangaroos, koalas, wombats and dingoes, as well as birds and reptiles, the Cleland Wildlife Park is certainly a must visit. The kangaroos have the run of the park and are very tame. Feeding them is allowed, with food purchased from the office. It is very easy to spend at day at Cleland.
The Parndana Wildlife Park is on Kangaroo Island, which lies about 2 hours south of Adelaide and necessitates a ferry trip across Backstairs Passage. This park is quite large and has an exceptional range of native birds including the Wedge-tailed Eagles. The well loved natives, koalas, kangaroos and wombats can be found here too. You can hold a koala at certain times. The kangaroos here are very tame also and can be fed.
Pauls Place is a wildlife park, also on Kangaroo Island. Set on high ground overlooking Backstairs Passage to the mainland, it is a beautiful setting. Pauls Place is a unique experience, and I won’t go into detail here. Lots of native animals to be ‘experienced’. The kids will love it and the adults will have a laugh.
Victor Harbour lies about an hour and a half south of Adelaide. A beautiful seaside town itself, there is a small but well run wildlife park on the Victor Harbour to Mount Compass Road. There are lots of kangaroos here and they can be hand fed.
NATIONAL AND CONSERVATION PARKS
There are many National and Conservation Parks in South Australia. Almost all have a population of kangaroos but they are not always easy to see. In the more remote parks, they are very shy and it is difficult to get close to them
The Para Wirra Recreation Park is about 1 hour north of Adelaide. It is a large park and offers large picnic areas. Kangaroos are commonly found near open grassy areas and around the picnic grounds, especially morning and late afternoon. Emus will also wander through your picnic spot at times, whether you want them too or not.
Deep Creek Conservation Park is just over and hour south of Adelaide. There are several large camping grounds and picnic areas here and kangaroos are very common. Once again, early morning and late afternoon are the peak times, but they are usually present during the day also.
Further north, places like the Flinders Ranges National Park are massive areas, and kangaroos are likely to be found spread out over much of it. This far north, both Red Kangaroos, the largest of the kangaroos, and Western Greys will be found. Add to this several species of wallaby and you’ll not be disappointed.
The Riverland Parks such as Loch Luna Game Reserve, Murray River National Park and Pooginook Conservation Park all have large numbers of resident kangaroos; however they are not tame at all. They are most likely to be sighted whilst driving through the park. However, early morning and evening they quite often venture down to the water’s edge to drink. (Pooginook Conservation Park in nowhere near the river, but the kangaroos wander out onto the grassy plains to feed morning and night).
The Mount Remarkable National Park is set in the Southern Flinders Ranges and the camp ground and picnic area at Mambray Creek, about two and half hours drive north of Adelaide is an excellent spot to sit and watch kangaroos. I enjoy camping here and just sitting quietly as the sun begins to set. The kangaroos come out and feed along the banks of the creek and in the creek bed itself when it is dry (which is almost always). Emus are regulars here too and are not shy about walking through your camp site.
Kangaroo Island has lots of kangaroos funnily enough, but they are a smaller species than the mainland roos. They have very thick coats, due to the cooler weather, but they are particularly abundant. Over half of Kangaroo Island is still natural bushland so native animals abound. The Flinders Chase National Park on the southern coast of the Island has a few camping grounds and numerous picnic areas. The kangaroos have become very tame here, so much so that fencing has been erected around eating areas, as the kangaroos were becoming such a nuisance pushing for food and eating tourist’s lunches.
Not matter where in South Australia you visit, a wildlife park or a national park will not be far away. Kangaroos are still very common and you will have the opportunity to hand feed them or see them in their natural habitat. Apart from those mentioned above there are literally dozens more such areas in which kangaroos can be found.