“Look!!! A kangaroo!!!!!!!!!!!”
“Katie… they are the deer of Australia…”
While kangaroo sightings have been a daily occurrence on our Queensland road trip, seeing them still thrills me to no end. They are curious creatures with heart-meltingly cute faces and eyes that tell a story. I get a kick out of watching them use their big tails to casually move their bodies forward and how they furiously use their surprisingly small front arms to scratch incessant itches. Watching two males box or a mother with a Joey in pouch is better than any box office hit. Just hand over a bucket of popcorn and I’ll be entertained for hours.
Given my marsupial fascination, a Frugal Foodies post on what Kangaroos eat seems appropriate!
What Do Kangaroos Eat?
Kangaroos eat grasses, leaves, fruits, nuts, seeds, grains, and ferns, but it various based on types of kangaroos and their respective environment. Grazing off the land… how frugal
The below chart is from THIS site.
A Unique Exception…
There are four places in Australia where kangaroos have strayed from the land and moved towards the sea; Cape Hillsborough in Queensland being one of them. At this particular spot, seaweed and mangrove seed pods wash up onto the beach during overnight tides. Eastern Grey Kangaroos and wallabies mosey their way on over for the tasty sunrise breakfast.
Marsupials + beach + sunrise = the ultimate recipe for a fantastic experience.
We popped up at our 4:40am alarm to make the quick drive down to Cape Hillsborough Beach from Ball Bay. I made a coffee, Jeremy converted the bed back into the living room and we went down to the beach at 5:15 am to join 15 or so silhouetted figures lined up in front of 15 or so hopping marsupials.
There were “social distance signs” lined up that neither people nor animals abided by. An older man named Murray sporting ranger gear and one of those “I’m in charge” wide brimmed hats walked to the front of the crowd and gave an informative talk on the animals. He pointed out the kangaroos vs wallabies and explained the tidal patterns that allowed the unique occurrence. While the animals ate the washed up goodies, Murray also was feeding them a special pellet mix that was fortified with vitamins. He explained that it helped keep them strong and healthy.
After the spiel I took a seat and enjoyed the scene while sipping on my coffee.
There was a wallaby with a joey poking it’s head out time to time. Two males who kept on boxing. Two brave kangaroos that loved getting up close and personal with the excited spectators.
All the meanwhile, Murray walked around giving out interesting tidbits of information.
- Kangaroos usually live to be 16, but one of the ones on the beach was 18.
- The joey was 10 months old, it would start coming out of the pouch in the next two months while being fully out by the time it reaches 1 year old.
- Pre-COVID, the beach would often have as many as 200 spectators watching the animals eat.
- Never scratch, pet, or feed wild kangaroos. It makes them too accustomed to humans which can lead to aggressive tendencies. They might look cuddly, but those claws are sharp! Many “human” foods can also make the animals extremely sick.
After staying at the Hoizons Kangaroo Sanctuary in Agnes Water (click HERE for the experience), I was particularly interested in that final point. Gary was aye-okay with giving the roos a little pat and scratch. I asked Murray about it, and he explained that it’s different when you raise kangaroos from the time they are joeys. Dogs are much different if wild as oppose to domesticated. Same goes for roos!
By 7am or so the animals had cleared out, and so had most of the humans.
We rounded out the experience with the hike to Andrew’s Point for some vistas and time in nature.
Tips: check the tides! Low tide means you can make the hike a circuit, high tide means you need to backtrack. OR, do the circuit in the opposite direction starting along the beach. The trail entrance is decently far down, but you’ll see a wooden post indicating the way.
Getting to see kangaroos and wallabies eat on the beach during sunrise is an iconic Australia experience that is certainly worth the hype!