Seeing wild kangaroos on the beach is one of those iconic Aussie sights that visitors to Australia (and many Australians themselves!) dream about.
Sadly, the experience is a little more elusive than many of us would like. But on our recent road trip down the New South Wales coastline we heard about a spot where you are almost guaranteed to see wild eastern grey kangaroos on a headland overlooking the beach. And, if you’re lucky (like we were!), you might even see them lazing in the shade of one of the Pandanus trees that line the sand.
Honestly, this is an experience that is not to be missed! Look At Me Now Headland has stunning scenic views, the wild kangaroos are plentiful, and the beaches are some of the best you can experience. It was a highlight of our trip and we will definitely be back.
Wild Kangaroos on the beach at Look At Me Now Headland
Look at Me Now Headland is part of the Moonee Beach Nature Reserve and is a 15 minute drive north of Coffs Harbour.
To find Look At Me Now Headland take the Emerald Beach turnoff from the Pacific Highway, before turning right onto Dammerel Crescent. Follow the road to the end and you will find a decent sized carpark with covered National Parks & Wildlife Services’ information boards with interesting facts about the area.
Take the track that leads from the information boards and follow it around to the left up onto the headland. It’s a short, easy walk and suitable for children if they are supervised. As it’s a headland, it’s surrounded by drop-offs that they should be made aware of, but the top of the headland is fairly flat and if you stick to the paved track and grassy middle section of the headland, you should have no problems at all.
The kangaroos live on the headland in the scrub that you’ll see on your left behind the fence as you walk along the track, so chances are you’ll easily spot them. The day we went was sunny but not too hot (about 24 degrees Celsius) and a large group of kangaroos were easy to spot as they grazed on the grasses that grow on the headland.
As they are wild animals there is, of course, no guarantee you’ll see them. But if the weather is fine and you wait patiently and quietly, it shouldn’t be too long until one or two emerge from the scrub. You can improve your chances of spotting them by visiting early in the day or on a sunny day that’s not too hot, like we did.
They are quite friendly and obviously used to being the centre of attention. But remember that these are wild animals and, as such, will strike out at you if they feel threatened or cornered. As the information signs explain, do not try to touch or feed them as they may become aggressive or dependent on people.
Whales, birdlife and amazing views
While you’re at Look At Me Now Headland, make sure to also take in the spectacular views, which include the isolated and picturesque lighthouse on South Solitary Island. During winter and spring (from May until November) you may also see breaching whales, while white-bellied sea eagles, ospreys and brahminy kites are also often seen soaring above the coastline on the hunt.
You can return to the carpark the same way you came or alternatively (and this is the option we highly recommend) take the stairs down to Shelley Beach. It’s a fantastic spot to explore the rockpools and is also where we spotted two of the resident kangaroos taking a nap in the shade of a Pandanus. About two-thirds of the length of the beach, there is another track that leads back to the other side of the carpark.
Important Aboriginal site
Please keep in mind that Look At Me Now Headland is an important Aboriginal site of deep significance to the local Gumbaynggirr people, so you should treat the area with respect and leave it in the same state as you found it.
What to take
Remember to take a hat and slather on the sunscreen before you go, as it is exposed on top of the headland. There is also no water available on the headland, so make sure to take a water bottle along with you.