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Published March 26th 2017
Roos Don’t Hop Down Bourke Street But They Are In Melbourne
Kangaroos are undoubtedly Australia's most iconic animals. They can be seen and sometimes patted and fed in Melbourne's zoos and wildlife parks but nothing beats seeing our kangaroos in the wild. There are a number of places in and very close to Melbourne where this is possible.
Kangaroo sightings are more likely in early morning and late afternoon but in some areas are easily spotted throughout the day. Wherever your quest to see them takes you remember these are wild animals. You should always maintain a safe distance and never attempt to feed them.
Kangaroos at Cardinia Reservoir near Melbourne at dusk. (Photo by Chris Samuels CC By 2.0 via flickr)
1.Cardinia Reservoir Park Kangaroo Viewing Trail. Several groups of wild kangaroos make this park home. Who knows, you may be lucky enough to spot some with joeys in the pouch. The Kangaroo Viewing Trail runs adjacent to the reservoir wall. It commences at the Spillway carpark and heads downhill to the Crystal Brook picnic area. Information boards along the trail educate the visitor in all things kangaroo. The Spillway carpark is accessed from the Red Hill Road entrance. The Main entrance is on Cardinia Park Road via Wellington Road and a loop roads runs around the park. Click here for park notes and a map. The main gate is open from 9am to 8pm during daylight savings.
Eastern Grey Kangaroo at Plenty Gorge Park (Photo by Steven Porter via Friends of the Gorge - Plenty Gorge Park Melbourne - Facebook Page)
2.Woodlands Historic Park. The Park can be accessed from Oaklands Road or Somerton Road, Greenvale. The Back Paddock area is a good place to spot kangaroos with large mobs resident in the Park. The kangaroos are reasonably comfortable with humans nearby so you should be able to snap some terrific photos. Click here for the park notes and maps. The park is open to vehicles from 9am to 4.30pm and is open to pedestrians 24 hours a day.
3.Greens Bush, Mornington Peninsula National Park. Situated between Arthurs Seat and Cape Schank, Greens Bush is a great place to take a nature walk. The Kangaroo Viewing Area where Eastern Greys feed at dawn and dusk, is accessed via a short Kangaroo Trek from Highfield which is entered from Boneo Road, Flinders. Click here for park notes and maps.
A mob of kangaroos at Greens Bush in the Mornington Peninsula National Park (Photo from the Mornington Peninsula Facebook Page)
4.Sugarloaf Reservoir Park. Eastern Grey Kangaroos and Black-Tailed Wallabies call this park home. If you are lucky you may also spot an echidna or a wedge-tailed eagle. Enjoy a picnic lunch and set off on the walking tracks for some wildlife spotting. The park is open from 7am to 8pm during daylight saving and 7am to 5pm at other times. Sugarloaf Reservoir Park is located on Simpson Road, via Eltham-Yarra Glen Road, Christmas Hills.
A mother and her young (Photo in the Public Domain via Pixabay)
5.Lysterfield Lake Park. Kangaroos are often sighted from the many walking and riding trails throughout the park, particularly around sunset. You might also spot an echidna. A good choice for children this park also has a large lake with a sandy beach area, playground and BBQ and picnic grounds. Lysterfield Lake Park is accessed from Horswood Road, Lysterfield and is open 7am to 8pm EST. Click here for park notes and maps.
Roos crossing at Lysterfield Park (Photo by ghatamos CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons)
6.Churchill Park. Some original forest still exists in Churchill Park but most is regrowth woodland. This area is most significant for its native birdlife but kangaroos and wallabies are also frequently sighted here. Click here for park notes and maps. The main entrance to the park is on Churchill Park Drive, Endeavour Hills. The park is open from 10.30am to 4pm.
7.Plenty Gorge Park. The main entrance to the park is via Gorge Road, South Morang. Perhaps the best place to spot kangaroos is Hawkstowe Park which can be accessed from Gordons Road via Plenty Road. Often the kangaroos appear to be as intent on watching you as you are on watching them. Click here for the park notes and map. In addition to the kangaroos the park offers some spectacular views across Blue Lake and Plenty Gorge. You might even spot platypus in the Plenty River. The park is open from 7am to 7pm during daylight savings and 7am to 5pm at other times.
Mother and young female at Plenty Gorge Park (Photo by Mel McCall via Friends of the Gorge - Plenty Gorge Park Melbourne - Facebook Page)
8.Westerfolds Park. The Park which can be accessed from Fitzsimons Lane or Porter Street, Templestowe has a resident population of Eastern Grey Kangaroos. The kangaroos are easily seen in open grasslands at any time of the day. Keep an eye out for wallabies and echidnas as well as a variety of native birdlife. The Park runs alongside the Yarra River and is criss-crossed with walking trails. The gates are open from 6am to 9pm during daylight savings and 6am to 6pm at other times. There is 24 hour access for pedestrians and cyclists. Click here for the park notes and maps.
Watching you watching them. Eastern Grey Kangaroos (Photo by Thennicke CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons)
9.Gresswell Forest Nature Conservation Reserve.The Park can be accessed from Greenwood Drive, Watsonia and is one of a series of reserves adjoining La Trobe University. Kangaroos may be best spotted from the Grasslands Track. Several bounding away gracefully across open grassland is quite a thing to see and not one to be matched in a zoo or wildlife park. Be sure to take note of how they use their tails for balance. Click here for the park notes and maps.
An Eastern Grey Kangaroo grazing (Photo in the Public Domain via Pixabay)
What are you waiting for? Treat you children, your overseas visitors and indeed yourselves to seeing these amazing animals in beautiful surrounds. All of these parks have more to offer than just kangaroo sightings. Keep an eye out for other native animals and birdlife. Most parks have picnic and BBQ areas and some have children's playgrounds. Most have a several walking trail options. Some have wetlands, lakes or rivers and some have sweeping views across magnificent landscapes. Check the park notes to get the most out of your trip. For more information click on the links above or telephone the Parks Victoria Information Centre on 13 1963.