Kangaroo Hunt, part 2.
Thu 10 Dec 2015 07:47
Sugar cane fields alongside the Clarence River.
We were up bright and early next day, to try to catch those kangaroos, and this time we headed North, taking the wriggly road up though Coramba towards Grafton. The area around Coffs Harbour is known for bananas so we were suddenly transported back to the Caribbean, surrounded by plantations, as we climbed the hills.
Wriggly roads to Grafton.
We scanned continually for Kangaroo. No luck. “Well," we thought, "maybe we’ll see them in the fields once we get on the plateau.”. But we still didn’t see any. Eventually we stopped at a garage to ask for directions to the kangaroos. The lady was a little surprised by the question “Haven’t you seen any?” she asked “They’re everywhere!”. So we’d been told, but they obviously didn’t want to be seen by us. The garage lady helpfully informed me that there had been 40 on her place that morning and another dozen actually at the garage when she’d arrived that morning. Then, even more helpfully, she mentioned in passing that they’re basically nocturnal, being seen grazing in the early morning and late evening but hiding in the shade under trees in between. Ah, maybe that’s why we’d not seen them. This kind lady then took the trouble to draw us a map to where we’d find kangaroos hiding from the midday sun in Grafton “If you don’t see any before then” she added “they’re everywhere!”. We knew, everywhere and no where it seemed to us!
She was perfectly right. Looking like a combination between an over grown rabbit and a deer, there they were right where she said they’d be, under the trees on the edge of the golf course!
Pose for the camera: First Mum and the kids, then Mr and Mrs.
Left: Having a bit of a wash and brush up. There’s clearly a joey hiding in there. Right: dad’s been working out - I love how he uses his tail as an extra leg.
I’m outa here!
Of course, as soon as we’d seen them at the golf course we came upon a small mob (the official word for a group of kangaroos) by the side of the road. These had joeys feeding with them, one of whom decided he didn’t like the look of us and hopped back into mum’s pouch:
I’m heading for safely…
Nearly in, then “Joey? What joey?”, with tell tale tail and feet sticking out.
Peek-a-boo! I can’t quite get the tail and feet sorted but at least I’m safe.
After Grafton we headed alongside the Clarence River, passing sugar cane fields (see picture above) taking us back to the Caribbean again. Every now and again there were lovely wooden bridges crossing tributaries and, passing through a village, we stopped to watch a Sacred Ibis wandering around someone’s garden.
See the bare patches under his wings? They’re for ventilation, like those strange zippy bits under the arms on super technical rain coats.
We crossed on the ferry at Lawrence and drove along the South of the river into Maclean, a Sunday ghost town, with it’s famous lampposts painted in different tartans all through the town. I have discovered that some places this side of the world are more Scottish than Scotland.
We saw Bottlenose Dolphins in the river, it surprised me to find them so far up stream, but it was time to leave the river and turn back South so we drove down the A1, past Woolgoolga (cool name, hey?) back to Coffs. Most of the drive was through National Parks and from time to time there were wire ladders going across the highway above our heads. I thought they were for Koalas, because there were lots of those misleading warning signs, but they were for possums and gliding squirrels. Koalas get too tired to cross long ladders. They need logs, through tunnels, to mimic tree branches, with a forked branch every 10 m or so for them to have a restorative kip. I expect a few eucalyptus leaves would be appreciated too. It’s a hard life being a koala.
We’d had another wonderful day, and we’d done it - we’d seen them. Not only seen them but sat alongside them long enough to be able to watch how they behave - and one female even got inquisitive enough to come really close to us at one time. So it wasn’t all a massive ploy to try to get people to come to Australia, kangaroos really do exist. I’m not sure I can believe that duck-billed platypus story though….
That penalty’s not getting by me...