Australia is famous – among other things – for its magnificent kangaroos. But are you aware of exactly how many different kinds there are? Its extended Macropodidae (from the Greek “large foot”) family contains more than 60 members, with around half a dozen more that have become extinct.

Australia is famous – among other things – for its magnificent kangaroos. But are you aware of exactly how many different kinds there are? Its extended Macropodidae (from the Greek “large foot”) family contains more than 60 members, with around half a dozen more that have become extinct.

While some of the smaller members like the Dengiso and Tenkile tree kangaroos are found only in Papua New Guinea, it’s to Australia you must travel to see the remainder of the mob on home soil. And an excellent place to get up close is at the Rainforest Habitat Wildlife Sanctuary in Port Douglas, Qld.

Nowhere else in the world can you encounter eight species of kangaroo in one wildlife park. A classic Eastern Grey might not impress you any more, but how about a red-legged pademelon, an endangered Lumholtz’s tree kangaroo, a whiptail wallaby or the shy parma wallaby, which was thought to be extinct for more than a century? Not only will you be absorbed into their private world, they might even feed out of your hand. And if you’re not a big ’roo fan, don’t worry; the sanctuary has enough birds, turtles, crocs and koalas to keep you captivated for hours.

Where // At the entrance to Port Douglas, 50min north of Cairns, Qld. (07) 4099 3235, www.rainforesthabitat.com.au

Did you know? // The tree kangaroos are the only members of this extended family that can move their legs independently. They can leap up to 15m from tree to tree.

 

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