Australian Adventures

A Guide to Feeding Kangaroos

So as much as I loved cuddling the koalas, I think I preferred interacting with their bouncy marsupial pals.

Why?

While you only have a limited amount time with the koalas (I think they belong to a union), the kangaroos roam the reserve freely. You could literally spend all day feeding the hoppers. To spend time with the koalas you have to pay for a photo. But you can walk into the kangaroo reserve at no additional cost. They do charge for food but kangaroo pellets are inexpensive.

Most importantly, there are HUNDREDS of kangas. So if one seems snobby, aggressive, or flips you off, you can walk five feet and meet a new one.


Top Ten Lessons Learned While Feeding Kangaroos
1. If you have a choice, visit the ‘roos during the off-season (April-July). The sanctuary gets less traffic and therefore, their animals are less satiated. They’re more likely to interact with you in exchange for goodies.
2. As much as I wished it so, the mama kangas do NOT keep Aussie hair products in their pouches. Yep, that was a letdown.
3. Buy at least two bags of food (they’re only $2/bag). Multiple marsupials will want pellets at once so it’s better to have more than less. You can only distract a kanga with love for so long before they’ll leave you for greener pastures.
4. Joeys will not always be in their pouches. And if they are, they may be upside down or is some awkward position. I concluded this was how mama ‘roos put their babies in time-out.

5. The kangas are more active in the late afternoon (right before dinner time). Most of the day they’ll be lounging but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. They’re less likely to want to fight you over a bag of food during nap time.
6. Males are more possessive of the pellets than the females. They can get mean, so if you feel nervous, walk behind them. Kangas can’t jump backwards and don’t really care about you once you’re out of their line of sight.
7. Roos have rodent-like teeth, so feed them with a flat palm like you would a horse.
8. You may notice the kangas don’t hop very often. They like to crawl using their tales instead. Yeah it weirded me out, too.
9. Be careful of stepping on their tales. I made that mistake once and made one guy very very mad. Pellets make good apologies, though.
10. Finally, beware of the turkeys and ducks. They will steal your pellet bags if given the chance, sneaky bastards.

And as promised, here is the video montage of my adventure. =)

34 Comments

  • Reply

    jennysserendipity

    August 20, 2012

    Lovely !

  • Reply

    Valerie

    August 20, 2012

    Your comment about the hair products was very entertaining haha What’s interesting is I follow a group of video producers on Youtube called Wong Fu Productions, and they visited Australia this year and also interacted with kangaroos. One of the members kept getting attacked by an emu or some other bird that wanted the kangaroo pellets.

    • Reply

      Hilary Billings

      August 21, 2012

      Thanks so much, Valerie! I always see the commercials with the purple kangaroo and just had to add that in!

      I’ll have to look up these guys! That sounds crazy! Yeah, I had one or two get a little handsy, but overall it was a very enjoyable experience! =)

  • Reply

    Browsing the Atlas

    August 21, 2012

    I’m taking notes now. I learned I *may* get to go to Australia next year and this is something I’d definitely want to do. Especially after seeing your picture of the joey upside down in his mama’s pocket. And I want to see them crawl. Sounds weird.

    I pinned this so I’ll remember it when my big chance comes!

    • Reply

      Hilary Billings

      August 21, 2012

      WOW! That’s so amazing! I’m so excited for you! You’ll have to keep me updated and let me know if it ends up going through! Even just the thought is nice sometimes =).

      Thanks for pinning! And yes, you have to see them crawl in person!

  • Reply

    Virginia

    August 21, 2012

    OMG! This is awesome too! Kangaroos are great! I need to plan a trip to Australia!

    • Reply

      Hilary Billings

      August 21, 2012

      Thank you, Virginia! And yes, you do! Let me know if you ever need help planning that out! =)

  • Reply

    Les Petits Pas de Juls

    August 21, 2012

    I’m a fan of the last picture, the one of both of you and the ‘roo from behind, they’re always my favourite, those ones… Quite another fun adventure!
    Happy next ones!
    Jul’
    (how’s your ankle?)

    • Reply

      Hilary Billings

      August 24, 2012

      Hey girly!

      Ankle is feeling much better, thanks. I still ice it just to be safe. =)

      Yes, that is my favorite picture, too! I feel like he’s looking at me thinking, “You’re not doing it right. You’re supposed to sit back on your heels and fold your hands over each other.”

      And same to you, my traveling friend!

  • Reply

    haileyjw

    August 22, 2012

    Ha! Bloody fantastic! Them crawling along creeps me out a bit too, I almost want to chase them around and make them hop properly.

    • Reply

      Hilary Billings

      August 24, 2012

      Thanks, Hailey!

      And right? It’s like, c’mon guys, you need to give a proper hop now and again! =)

  • Reply

    Gayle and Books

    August 22, 2012

    Hillary that looks amazing! You are definitely making me want to travel to Australia even more than before. The kangaroos are so cute. Oh and good advice on feeding the roos. If and I hope I will go to Australia I will remember the list :).

    • Reply

      Hilary Billings

      August 24, 2012

      Thanks, Gayle! I hope you get the opportunity! It definitely was an amazing experience. =)

      How have you been? What kinds of adventures has the summer brought you?

      Lots of love!

      • Reply

        Gayle and Books

        August 25, 2012

        I hope so too Hilary but only time will tell. The summer for myself has been quiet only side trips to Wisconsin. It was more down time than anything, Future plans are hopefully for England and later Ireland.

        • Reply

          Hilary Billings

          August 26, 2012

          I’ve heard Wisconsin is absolutely beautiful in the summer. No doubt a perfect place to relax and unwind! Can’t wait to see pictures!

          And wow! England and Ireland! How exciting! Be sure to let me know when you’re planning on going! Can’t wait to hear more about it!

          • Gayle and Books

            August 26, 2012

            Definitely will let you know when I will be going. Enjoy the rest of what is left of the summer!

          • Hilary Billings

            August 26, 2012

            Thank you! Same to you!

  • Reply

    aidaweb101

    August 23, 2012

    Amazing post!I am glad that you’re having the best time “Down Under”
    Cheers,mate!

  • Reply

    travellingmo

    August 23, 2012

    So cute!!! I too had a good time feeding the kangas. So did the little Japanese tourist girls. They’d swarm the kangas with the food and the kangas would be quite overwhelmed with the selection!

    • Reply

      Hilary Billings

      August 24, 2012

      Awww, that sounds exciting! Yeah, you either have no kangas or too many. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime moment, for sure!

      Thanks for sharing your memory. Always love hearing about your adventures!

  • Reply

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  • Reply

    lista de emails

    September 4, 2012

    thanks for such a great post and the review, i am totally impressed! keep stuff like this coming.

  • Reply

    Callie

    September 5, 2012

    Whoa, look at how many there are! They’re so cute (although I didn’t know they had rodent teeth, yikes).

    • Reply

      Hilary Billings

      September 5, 2012

      Yes, Lone Pine has many a kangaroo. You will never feel bereft. =) And I was surprised too, though I’m not sure why. They’re pretty much large bipedal rats when you think about it. Except much cuter. =)

  • Reply

    Erica

    December 21, 2012

    Love the list! And you are way more observant than I. Pretty sure I saw essentially the same things while I was petting roos (a long, long time ago now) and just thought “that’s a roo!.”

    • Reply

      Hilary Billings

      December 21, 2012

      Hahaha! You’re sweet. I was lucky I had a pal there who wasn’t so interested in feeding the roos as I who could take good notes for me. I’m pretty sure my brain was mush for the first hour I sat there petting them just like, “Gah! Happiness!”

      I’m pretty sure the happier you are the less you think. I don’t have any scientific proof on the subject, but I think there’s something to be said there…

      • Reply

        Erica

        December 21, 2012

        Aha! Found out your little secret! ;)
        Unluckily for me, my travel companions were even more thrilled by roo petting, and all 4 of us had to be dragged away…

        • Reply

          Hilary Billings

          December 23, 2012

          Haha! I can see it now. You calling out to the handlers that are pushing you out of the habitat, “No! Please let me stay!!! They are the light of my liffffeeee!”

          • Erica

            December 23, 2012

            Yup, that’s pretty much exactly what happened. Word-for-word. :)

          • Hilary Billings

            December 23, 2012

            Haha! We are one and the same. Love it.

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About Me

Hey fellow adventurers, my name is Hilary! After being rejected from grad school, I took off on a solo journey around the world. Now I constantly challenge myself to take on new experiences. This blog documents my journeys from Europe to Fiji, swimming with sharks and living with tribes, to becoming an accidental beauty queen and working for one of the top national media outlets. If you like what you're reading, please subscribe! Here's to the next great adventure!

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