Are you expecting overseas visitors desperate to see the iconic Aussie kangaroos in the wild - and the zoos just won't do? Or do you fancy spending some family time in a stunning location, having a picnic, while watching kangaroos watching you?
When we first moved to Australia we lived in the centre of Melbourne. And it actually took us quite a while to see kangaroos in the wild - because we didn't know where to go! Well, there are plenty of places to see these beautiful, iconic creatures in the wild, and Plenty Gorge Park is one of them.
Plenty Gorge Park is only 25km from Melbourne CBD, but when you enter the park you feel like you've arrived somewhere remote. The park offers some stunning views of the gorge, across Blue Lake - and the Plenty River bordered by gum trees is beautiful.
Scenic Plenty Gorge Park
The feeling of remoteness was helped by the fact that there were hardly any cars parked in the picnic area when we visited a Sunday in May. And as we started walking on one of the signposted tracks, we didn't meet anyone at all! Well, apart from the kangaroos and there were mobs of them.
We started off in the Hawkstowe picnic area, which was showing off some stunning autumn colours. There were several tables and gas barbeques, but you can as easily have your picnic on the grass under the gum trees, like we chose to do.
Hawkstowe picnic area
BONUS PLATYPUS SPOTTING?
We decided to head off on one of the walking tracks in the park. There are several to choose from and all of them with stunning views of the gorge as well as open spaces and grassy areas for games and your picnic. Check out the park notes and map here.
Plenty of grass and open spaces for your picnic - just watch out for the kangaroo poo!
The Plenty River and a walk on the river gorge would also have made an interesting bush walk. However, my daughter spotted a sign warning for snakes and declared she is more of an ''open spaces and kangaroo spotting''-type of girl rather than one who likes snakes.
It is rumoured you can spot platypus in the Plenty River. I would love to have seen one of these evasive creatures in the wild, but no luck this time as we hurried off to see the kangaroos. However, we did see some galahs and other birdlife in the pond near the picnic area.
Mobs with as many as 30+ kangaroos in the Plenty Gorge Park
Oh my goodness they were everywhere. Watching you in the bushes, big mobs of them in the open plains, and some of them just relaxing lying on the grass. We even managed to spot a couple of joeys peeking out of their mothers pouches.
Kangaroo joey peeking out of the pouch
These kangaroos are pretty muscular fellows, so it is probably wise not to go too close. Having said that they must be quite used to people as they mostly didn't run away from us.
"6 foot 4 and full of muscle"
Overall the Plenty Gorge Park receives top notch mark from us for kangaroo spotting as well as for beautiful, quiet location and grounds. The only negative was that you can't take your dog with you further than some of the picnic areas, but that goes without saying, as kangaroos and dogs sadly don't mix.
Have you visited this park? If so, what did you think? Please let me know in the comments and also if you know any other good spots for seeing kangaroos in the wild near Melbourne.
How to get there:
Plenty Gorge Park and Hawkstowe picnic area is accessible via Gordons Road via Plenty Road, South Morang.