I came face-to-face with my first kangaroo…
…at Tower Hill State Game Reserve outside of Warnnambool, Victoria. He was about 20 feet away from me. I didn’t purposely get close to him — I believe in giving wildlife a wide berth — but he appeared and kept hopping closer and closer to me. The photo isn’t exactly crisp because I think I was shaking a little. He was huge, a bit more than intimidating and I’d heard that they had a nasty kick. But after I snapped his pic, he turned and hopped away. I can imagine the conversation in the kanga colony: “There’s another tourist. Bob, it’s your turn to go out and pose for a photo. Someone has to go or she’ll never go away.”
Tower Hill is a dormant volcano (last eruption: about 30,000 years ago) that became the state of Victoria’s first national park in 1892. We just took a quick drive through it late one afternoon but now — after reading all the info on it after the fact — I wish we had spent more time there. They have guided nature walks (during the day and at night) that explain the habitat in the context of the lifestyles of the original aboriginal inhabitants. There was also an information center run by the Worn Gundidj Aboriginal Cooperative, that provides information about the area’s aboriginal heritage.
After I met Bob, we came across dozens more kangas. I’m closing with another kangaroo pic, because the joey is so awwww.