1 October 2015
After travelling around Australia for 18 months, our two kids (and us big kids) never got sick of seeing kangaroos in their natural habitat. And that’s coming from an Aussie family, so I can only imagine how excited a foreigner would be to step on our shores and sight our beloved mascot in the wild.
When I think back to my own childhood, the first time I saw a kangaroo in the wild just happened to be on Pebbly Beach when I was 19. My parents used to take us on family holidays to the south coast so it was exciting to relive that experience now as a parent with my own kids.
It’s here that kangaroos graze on the grass like herds of sheep. Yes, they’re wild at Pebbly Beach, yet so used to humans they allow you to come close without so much as an eye raise.
We spent three days in Murramarang National Park and had many conversations about how all visitors heading south from Sydney should drive the few hours and visit Murramarang. You’ll see kangaroos in the hundreds, wild and free, and unspoilt pristine beaches.
As soon as we drove into the national park heading to our accommodation at Pretty Beach Cabins, we came across a paddock in the middle of town near Merry Beach with so many kangaroos near the side of the road that we thought it must have been a kangaroo farm.
They were grazing in people’s gardens, roaming the streets, lazing around on the side of bush walking trails, and hopping around the front of our cabin. We could barely contain our delight at seeing our kids faces light up, it’s what makes these moments travelling as a family so special.
They still talk about the experience two years later, and our cabin stay turned out to be one of our most cherished memories from our Australian road trip. The kangaroos, well they loved it too, chilling outside our front porch lazing in the sun like they were on holidays with us.
Almost every mumma had a joey all snug in their pouch as they stood around scratching and watching as we played frisbee and rode our bikes along the trails. Little Savannah sat mesmerised in her camp chair taking it all in.
As I did my early morning yoga routine down on the headland overlooking beautiful Pretty Beach, they curiously gathered around, just me and the roos, and I’m sure they were wondering what on earth I was doing!
The cabins and campground at Pretty Beach make for a perfect retreat. There’s no internet access so you’re forced to take a much needed digital detox, and besides the wildlife opportunities you can enjoy the beaches, picnic, take nature walks – we recommend the family friendly Pretty Beach to Merry Beach coastal walk which offers stunning ocean and beach views.
From Pretty Beach take the short drive to Pebbly Beach through the National Park. Pebbly is most famous for being the place where kangaroos like to hangout on the beach, and we found a group of roos on the dune who let us walk on by and take photos without a worry in the world – I wouldn’t try and pat them though, just enjoy being in their company!
Nearby to Pretty and Pebbly we found another discovery, Depot Beach, which turned out to be an excellent spot to see kangaroos as well. You can camp here too or stay in cabins! We spent a few hours on Depot beach playing in the rock pools whilst the roos kept watch over us from a close distance.
Murramarang National Park is a special place. It offers several walking trails, including rainforest trails, and hikes up nearby Mt Durras. And it’s one of the only places in Australia where spotted gums grow right down to the beaches.
Compared to North Coast NSW and other more well known National Parks, there’s hardly another soul around and you’ll have Australian natural beauty and wildlife at its best for you to soak up.
If you want to see kangaroos in Australia, add Pretty and Pebbly Beach to your NSW itinerary. At just 250 km south of Sydney it’s a great place to spend a day, or consider staying for a while in the choice of campgrounds or cabins. The roos are welcoming and waiting to share their home with you!