There's one thing every visitor to Australia want to do: see a wild kangaroo. There's nothing like spotting your first kangaroo bounding across the road or sparring on the golf course. The first time we saw wild kangaroos was the moment we looked at each other and laughed, acknowledging that we really had made it to the land down under.
Most people think they're everywhere, hopping down the streets of city centres but they're actually harder to find than you think.You'll most likely see huge mobs of kangaroos in the areas we mention below.
There are often loads of gorgeous and comical joeys too. Female kangaroos are very safe to get close to but if there is a male around be wary and don't get too close. Make sure you never come between a male and the females and joeys as they can get aggressive.
Since most people will visit Sydney at some point on their Aussie trip we have chosen places that are within a few hours of the city. It's a bonus that these areas are gorgeous too and well worth a few days of your trip.
Whilst we know of places even closer to the city where you can see kangaroos, such as Lane Cove National Park, this is much more difficult. The places we have listed are guaranteed for sightings. Enjoy!
Where can I see wild kangaroos near Sydney?
Australian Botanic Gardens - Camden
The best place to see wild kangaroos nearest the city is the Australian Botanic Gardens in Camden, a suburb that is an hour west of the city centre.
The gardens are a nice place to meander around but it’s the large grassy entrance way where you are most likely to find some Eastern Grey Kangaroos.
Early morning or late afternoon are your best bet, and we’ve never had trouble seeing them here.
The best place to see kangaroos in the mountains is definitely by the Jenolan Caves Cottages, near Jenolan caves.
There is a large mob that always hangs around this area and are quite undisturbed by your presence.
It makes for a great spot to sit and relax and you can get close enough to take some great photos.
Map to Jenolan Cottages
If you aren't going as far as Jenolan on your visit the next best option would be Euroka campground. This is just outside the town of Glenworth at the foot of the mountains and only a very short detour from the main road running between Sydney and Katoomba.
Whilst the roos are spotted here regularly, for the best chance of seeing them go early in the morning or late afternoon. We've seen them very close to the campgroud itself, and also all along the final section of the drive into camp.
We absolutely love the Blue Mountains, it's one of our favourite places in all of Australia, if you're looking for ideas for your mountains itinerary, check out our guide to the best things to do in the Blue Mountains.
Map to Euroka Campground (below)
This is my favourite place in the whole list to see kangaroos.
There are so many of them you won't have to search long to find them.
You can see them in many different places around this area but for a magical experience head to Pebbly beach in the late afternoon. It is one of our favourite beaches in NSW.
The roos love a good trip to the beach as much as any Aussie and will happily pose for photos. Don't feed them though as it is really bad for their health, you can get close enough for lovely photo opportunities while observing their natural behaviour.
It's a really special wildlife experience and one not to be missed.
Map to Pebbly Beach (below)
It's quite common to see kangaroos in the Hunter Valley and they can be found in many different areas.
Most visitors tend to stay in the Pokolbin area close to the main wineries so we would advise heading to Crowne Plaza golf course in Lovedale.
They are regular visitors to the area and like all kangaroos, are most active early morning and late afternoon.
They tend to sleep in the middle of the day, though you can get lucky sometimes.
The Hunter Valley is also a great spot for indulgence, the wine here is of course excellent, but it's also a real foodie destination. It's one of our favourite weekend getaways from Sydney, and a great place to kick back and relax.
Map to Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley
Roos are commonly spotted all over Jervis Bay, including the driveway of our Airbnb in Hyams. Our favourite spot though is the campground beside caves beach in Booderee National Park.
This location has the added bonus of also having one of the best beaches in NSW too.
Head to the campground in the late afternoon (you do have to pay the $11 park entrance fee, but it's worth it!) and you will find a large mob of kangaroos.
We saw some excellent sparring practice happening here and also a particularly playful joey trying to get in its mother's pouch which she was having none of!
Map to the campground (below)
As you can tell, roos love a good golf course. The constant watering keeps the grass perfect for grazing and they don't seem to be put off by the chance of a stray ball coming their way.
We stayed at an airbnb on Horizons golf course, Salamander Bay, and the roos were there all the time.
They were very relaxed around people and happy to let you come fairly close for photographs. Keep an eye out as you drive around the whole area though, we saw lots of roos in people's backyards too!
Port Stephens is also an opportunity to see wild koalas, whilst not a guarantee like the roos, it is definitely worth having a look. We have more details on our post on best places to see koalas in the wild.
Map to Horizons Golf Course
This is a little further than some of the other places in this list but it would be remiss not to mention Canberra.
It isn't just Australia's capital city, it's the place with the highest concentration of kangaroos in the country!
When we visited, we were within a hair's breadth of running one over that leapt in front of our car, it's a place you'll want to drive fairly slowly in!
You won't find it hard to have a chance encounter with a roo or even a whole mob here and you'll see them in most fields right by the city centre as well as around Mount Ainslie
Map to Mount Ainslie (below)
Our favourite spot for seeing them in this area though was nearby Namadji National Park, on the drive to the wonderful Yankee Hat Walk where we saw hundreds chilling in the shade of the gumtrees.
Best place to spot wallabies: Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park
This is the closet of all the options to the city centre and a good spot to see swamp wallabies.
It is not as common though as the other areas mentioned for kangaroos so this is a good bet if you also fancy a bit of hiking or kayaking close to Sydney.
We've seen wallabies on many of the tracks, including Soldiers Point and the Sphinx and Warimoo tracks.
Map to Warimoo Track below
If you want to see more than wild kangaroos, then read out our blog on the best places to see other Australian animals in the wild.
Places to stay in Sydney
We’ve recently published an entire blog on the best places to stay in Sydney and our favourite neighbourhoods. Otherwise, here’s a couple of our favourites.
Our Pick - The Cambridge
A good value hotel in a great location, the Cambridge is our favourite place to stay in Sydney The rooms are stylish and very comfortable, making it a great place to retreat to after a day exploring. It is also in Surry Hills and close to a lot of great restaurants, meaning you won't have to go far for a good coffee or meal.
Luxury & Instagrammers’ favourite - The Sofitel
Sydney's newest 5* hotel is pretty swanky and the place to stay. With stunning views of Darling Harbour and the city in modern and stylish rooms, it was made for people who want that perfect shot on Instagram.
It is the newest 5* star hotel in Sydney and sets a whole new bar for luxury in the city. Cat wants to stay here just for the bath tubs with views!
Car Rental in Sydney
Sydney is suprisingly easy to drive around with wide open roads once you’re out the CBD. The other good news is that both rentals and fuel is relatively cheap! So there’s no excuse to not hire a car and go find the kangaroos nearby!
You can get a quote with RentalCars.com below.
If you're planning on visiting Sydney then check out our following blogs:
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Have you seen kangaroos in the wild? Where's your favourite spot? Let us know in the comments below.