Victor Harbor has one of the most fun places on earth! Urimmburah Wildlife Park just 10 minutes northeast of Vic Harbor’s CBD (Aussies fondly call their “downtown” Central Business Districts, CBDs). For a mere AU$6 (about the same in US$ unfortunately) gets admission to the park (actually, that was with a tour group, and we qualified by riding in with a group from Adelaide!), and for another AU$1 you can get a rather large bag (almost a quart-size) of pellets to feed the ‘roos and emus (though we were warned about how HARD they can peck at our hands!). We bought one bag!
The Koala feeding was to begin at 11 am, and we were there JIT (just in time)! The fur of these cuddly-looking creatures isn’t all that soft, BUT, they’re so funny-looking with their big noses and slow deliberate movements that one can forgive that minor flaw. Not much distracts them from munching on eucalyptus leaves. We petted, and groups photographed and posed by them, poked, talked to them, and kids pulled their fur, yelled and screamed, and finally left them in peace to steadily munch through their boughs. And they DO decimate the eucalyptus branches pretty quickly. Did you know that they don’t have the same number of fingers as toes? Nope – four fingers, three toes, all with rather pointy claws. They don’t care for the pellets we had, but the ‘roos were almost all over us! They’re smaller than I remember them, and definitely smaller than the grey kangas in Healesville’s Sanctuary. Some were Red Kangaroos and some were Grey, but they were all rather HUNGRY! Our bag disappeared in no time.
We stayed with the group for another hour, and then went to the CBD for breakfast. It was Ryan’s dad (I met him also at Our House Backpackers with Emma at the Tribal Travel in the hostel) who drove us from Adelaide to Victor Harbor, and we shared a sweet roll with him with some coffee.
After the group took off, Amy and I hired a cab and went right back to the Urrimburrah for the kangaroos! We bought THREEE bags of pellets for the kangas this time! We thought we’d feed the emus, too, but the first two that greeted us took the bag from Amy’s other hand while she held out her hand with the pellets! There went one bag flying in the air, and gone in no time! And they DO peck pretty hard on the hands with their strong thick beaks.
The amazing thing about the kangas is their joeys – some nurse though they are about the size of the mommy! And, they jump into the pouch so quickly – head first. The legs hang outside of the pouch if the juvenile ‘roo is too big, and sometimes the head pops out, too, so it looks like the ‘roo is bent U-shaped! The kangas’ legs are so strong that even with a full pouch, the moms can hop around! Each hop covers quite a bit of ground – so chasing one is pretty hopeless. These ‘roos knew visitors and were VERY friendly. Even to the point of holding your hand when feeding them, and those sharp claws hold pretty tightly! They’re also rather competitive, and there’s some semblance of pecking order. A bigger one WILL box the ears of a younger or smaller ‘roo to get at the hand of pellets. Moms will push one another away to get at the food. Joeys sometimes don’t bother to eat as they are still nursing and don’t need the pellets yet. By the time we finished feeding the animals, our hands were pretty well slimed by the ‘roos.
At 4 pm, there was a python handling time, and of course, Amy just HAD to be there for that! We handled Jerry pretty much most of the time, till he got tired of us, and wanted to go back to his den.
Here are only a few of the millions of shots and vids I got while we visited pretty much the entire day there! We even got a ride back to town from one of the park rangers! Urrimburrah is a privately owned and run wildlife park owned by a family interested in keeping the wildlife safe.
Of course, Amy wanted to take one or two of the kangaroos home, as well as a koala or two. The Dingo wasn’t bad looking either, and was under consideration as well.
There are some other animals, too, native to Australia at this park. Here they are! Not all as most are nocturnal and wouldn’t come out even for us!