Kangaroos, wallabies and more - all on Kangaroo Island

A recent stay on Kangaroo Island gave us the opportunity to come up close and personal with some Australian wildlife, and for visitors wanting to see some Australian animals that are not in a zoo-like environment, it was a great experience.

Kangaroo Island camping review
Wallabies in wild
Wallabies and kangaroos are  found in abundance (and plenty of dead ones on the road too give you an idea of how dangerous it could be driving at night).   It is always a little thrilling to see your first kangaroo on a trip - no matter how many times we see them, we do enjoy being the first person to say in the car "kangaroo".

At first we crept up stealthily to take their photos in the bush, but soon found out that by sitting at our campsite they would come very close to us and no stealth was necessary on our part.   At one stage we had so many wallabies around us; I was literally falling over them.
Possums and birdlife are on the Island in huge volumes too.    Too many varieties to list here!

And of course, the seals.    Plenty of seals to be seen at Seal Bay and Admirals Arch!   

Kangaroo Island camping review
Seal and baby at Seal Bay
Kangaroo Island camping review
Seal at Seal Bay

Kangaroo Island camping review
Koala seen in tree near campground
Koalas are trickier to see due to always being high in the trees, but I must say that we did not see anywhere as many as we would have anticipated.   Back home, we live 15 minutes away from some scrubland here in the suburbs, and on a short 1km walk, we can see around 15-20 koalas each time we go there.   Yet we did not see that many koalas in total for our entire trip to KI.   
We met some overseas tourists who were disappointed not to see them in the wild as well.    So don’t raise your expectations TOO high with these furry critters!

Echidnas, the cutest of all Australian animals in my opinion – were nowhere to be found.   Rangers at the National Parks said they were everywhere, and despite a lot of bushwalking by us, zero to be seen.    Hiking friends went on a 3 day trek in the middle of KI, where there were no roads and saw no echidnas.   The weather was good, so don't know where they all got to on our break.      It was not until we travelled to Parndana Wildlife Park on KI, that we saw these cute little mammals.    

Kangaroo Island camping review Australian Animal

I am not sure what I was expecting when I came to this Wildlife Park - possibly a few Australian animals in enclosures - enough to appease the overseas tourists who long to see a kangaroo or koala and possibly have a pat or hold.    What I found was a park that made me depressed to see so many beautiful birds from not just Australia, but elsewhere in the world, to be in cages in such multitudes.   And there were cage after cage after cage of these birds.   

The wedge tail eagle – a mighty bird – looked manic.  It was throwing itself against the cage as we walked past - was it out of boredom, frustration or panic - who knows?  But it was unsettling to see one of the great birds of Australia like this.

To see the eagle cooped up in a cage when it should be flying free, and naturally hunting was very sad.   Another cage held 3 more eagles, all together.     Owls, galahs, cockatoos – prolific on the Island, yet here, caged together, unable to get a good stretch of their wings.   Another section housed a Cassowary from tropical Queensland.....Why is that here in dry South Australia, in a very non tropical cage?

Kangaroos and wallabies (in large numbers) were also penned in.   Why they had so many of these animals in enclosures did not make sense.    To see a few in a zoo can be understandable.  But to see large numbers in a barren field – more than any visitor needs to see – just made me very uncomfortable.  And there were a number of enclosures which seemed to have wallaby after wallaby in it.   What is the point in having so many?   

 Likewise seeing 2 crocodiles in these tiny enclosures (surely this is  not allowed by RSPCA?).   

My children enjoyed seeing some of these animals as close as they wanted but even they came away disheartened at the number of birds in cages.

Kangaroo Island camping review
Cape Barren Geese - seen in wild, not at zoo
KI is a great place to see some of Australia’s unique animals and birds but my preference will always be to see them in their natural surroundings, even it means I don’t get to see them up close and personal.

Kangaroo Island camping review

Do YOU have any experiences with wildlife on KI or Australia that you want to share?    Please let us know below.