Check out our guide for both visitors and locals on where to see kangaroos near Melbourne.
Kangaroos are perhaps the most iconic Australian animals. Therefore, many visitors who come to Australia are hoping to catch a glimpse of these famous marsupials. For anyone planning a trip to Melbourne, it is possible to enjoy the best of the city and see kangaroos as well.
Just by taking a day trip from the city you can view kangaroos in their natural environment. However, in the wild it is best not to approach kangaroos as they can be protective of their young. It’s best to spot wild kangaroos from a distance and you can do this in a couple of national parks near Melbourne.
If you would like to get up close to kangaroos on your visit to Melbourne, it is possible to do this in a wildlife sanctuary. Because in sanctuaries the kangaroos have been raised in captivity and are used to people being around. On our tours we visit Moonlit Sanctuary where you can actually hand-feed kangaroos and wallabies.
Where to see kangaroos near Melbourne
Grampians (Gariwerd) National Park
See kangaroos in their natural environment in the Grampians Gariwerd National Park. This is a nature-lovers tour as kangaroos, wallabies, emus and native birds are bountiful in the region. Its also home to amazing walks and waterfalls.
On our Grampians tour from Melbourne you can step out on the walking trails and be amazed at your surroundings. The Grampians are home to some spectacular waterfalls. The largest of these is MacKenzie Falls, flowing all year round with some fantastic viewpoints. From bushland to tall eucalyptus trees, and even areas of rainforest – there is much to be admired. You can also visit in Spring to see the wildflowers blossom, changing the landscape and bringing colour to the trails.
Traditionally known as Gariwerd, this region is home to many significant and ancient Aboriginal rock art paintings. Take in the views of this magnificent landscape from one of the many viewpoints. To do this, the Grand Canyon, Boroka Lookout and Reeds Lookout are all excellent places to explore the national park.
Where is the Grampians (Gariwerd) National Park?
The Grampians (Gariwerd) National Park is located west of Melbourne. It is an almost 3 hour drive from the city along the Western Highway and Grampians Way.
Visit the Grampians (Gariwerd) National Park on our Grampians Day Trip from Melbourne. Discover the walks, waterfalls and wildlife on our one day tour of this incredible national park.
Wilsons Promontory National Park
Discover kangaroos in the wild at the Wilsons Promontory National Park. This area is located at the southernmost tip of mainland Australia and is home to an abundance of flora and fauna. Kangaroos, wombats and emus are just some of the wildlife found – along with many native Australian birds. The Wildlife Walk is the best place to discover these animals.
On our day tour from Melbourne you can explore the many walking trails to take in magnificent views and pristine beaches. Squeaky Beach was named becaues it has white quartz sand that squeaks beneath your feet as you walk. Plus a walk along the coastal trails gives you wonderful panoramic views of the beaches and offshore islands.
Where is the Wilsons Promontory National Park?
Wilsons Promontory National Park is located south east of Melbourne in the Gippsland region. It is approximately 2.5 hours drive from the city through some beautiful rural areas.
Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Park
At Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Park you can see kangaroos up close. The sanctuary is home to many native animals that have been bred in captivity or rescued from the wild. The team at Moonlit do some fantastic conservation work and are dedicated to the protection of many native Australian animals.
On our tours there is an opportunity to hand-feed the kangaroos and wallabies at Moonlit Sanctuary. The sanctuary sells special feed which you can purchase and offer to the kangaroos and wallabies. If they are hungry, they will come up and eat right from the palm of your hand. For many visitors to Melbourne this is a once in a lifetime experience and one that will not soon be forgotten.
Where is Moonlit Sanctuary?
Moonlit Sanctuary is located approximately 45 minutes from Melbourne. You can visit the wildlife park on two of our tours:
Phillip Island Day Tour
Visit Moonlit Sanctuary on our ultimate Melbourne wildlife tour. Our Phillip Island Tour is the best way to meet Australian wildlife up close. Capture your magic moment hand-feeding a kangaroo, cuddle up to a koala, and also watch as thousands of Little Penguins waddle right past your feet. This tour from Melbourne visits the Brighton Bathing Boxes, Moonlit Sanctuary conservation park and the nightly Penguin Parade.
Puffing Billy + Penguins
For a day of iconic Melbourne experiences, take our Puffing Billy, wildlife and penguins tour. Ride on a century-old steam train – Puffing Billy – through the Dandenong rainforest. You can also meet and feed some of Australia’s iconic, native wildlife, at Moonlit Sanctuary. This includes kangaroos, wallabies and koalas. Finish the day with a visit to Phillip Island for spectacular coastal views and watching the resident Little Penguins waddle to shore in the nightly Penguin Parade.
Kangaroos are the largest of all marsupials. As such, the red kangaroo can stand more than five feet tall and weigh up to 180 pounds. However, Eastern gray kangaroos measure up to seven feet tall but they are leaner, weighing up to 120 pounds.
Kangaroos travel and feed in groups known as mobs. The mob is composed of between five to 20 kangaroos. In general, the mob is dominated by the largest male. But often males may fight over females in mating season by kicking, boxing, or even biting.
When moving around smaller areas at a slower pace, kangaroos often incorporate their tail as a fifth leg. It may look awkward, but research on red kangaroos shows their big, muscular tails can provide as much propulsive force as their front and back legs combined.
The gestation period for kangaroos is about five weeks. After this the females give birth to a single baby, known as a joey. Just a few centimetres in length, the newborn joey uses its forelimbs to crawl through its mother’s fur and into her pouch. The joey then lives in the pouch for the next several months until it grows old enough to get out on its own.
Written by: Leah Furey – Digital Content Coordinator @gowest.com.au