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Surfing Kangaroos of Pebbly Beach


The young grey kangaroo bounded effortlessly over the sandy beach, and to the delight and quiet awe of the holidaymakers nearby, jumped pouch deep into the ocean. Quickly grabbing my camera I joined a steadily increasing crowd of suntan lotion coated kids as they happily converged on 'Skippy', dragging lethargic parents in tow.
The roo remained in the water as we approached, and seemed undaunted by the presence of a dozen or so dancing and cheering children splashing around near it. It stood its ground and stared out at the distant horizon, as if entranced by the gentle swell as it rolled hypnotically onto the shore. I aimed my camera carefully, flashed the kids a fierce 'get the hell out of my shot' look, and managed to snap the following picture, miraculously child free. I now had a great momento of my visit to Pebbly Beach.
The turn-off to Pebbly Beach is well marked, but easy to miss if you are not looking for it. It lies around 10 kilometres North of Bateman's Bay, on the South Coast of New South Wales. If you are making the two and a half-hour trip from Sydney you will need to turn left before you enter the city limits. The dirt road down to the beach is well maintained, but drive carefully, as it can get busy at times, and there are a few blind corners. At the end of the road, there is a large car park and a camping ground.
Pebbly Beach is part of the National Parks system, so you need to purchase a day pass from the ticketing machines provided.
Checking out the surf
A local ranger patrols the area, and can provide assistance if needed. If you wish to stay overnight, you must arrange a special permit beforehand. Contact the National Parks services for more information.
A track winds down from the car park to the beach. The information stand near the start is well worth a read. It outlines the history of the local area, the extent of the park and walking trails, and lays out some interesting facts about the local wildlife. Moving down the track you may notice a flock of rosellas that are native to the area.
Kangaroo's grazing near beach
These brightly coloured birds are semi-tame and a joy to watch as they scamper around looking for food. Before the sandy beach there is a large open plain, and it is here that you will usually find a kangaroo or two, grazing on the green grass or lounging around in the shade of the picnic and barbecue area.
The kangaroo's are completely free to come and go as they please, and may make themselves scare at times, but I have yet to miss sighting at least a couple of them.
The kangaroos are quite approachable, but they are wild animals, not pets, and are therefore unpredictable. Your best bet is to observe, not interact. I find it is much more enjoyable, and environment sound, to simply sit and watch the kangaroos interact with each other, rather than to risk distress by trying to pat one. Although they will readily accept food from you, you should not feed the kangaroos, as this may make them unwell. Pebbly beach itself is a typical cove, with two points separated by about a kilometre of water. Despite its name, there is more sand than rock. Surrounded by lush bushland and complimented by a couple of rugged offshore islands, the overall impression of the area is that of an unspoilt wilderness that well deserves National Park protection. Activities in the area include fishing, surfing, bushwalking, wildlife watching and sunbaking. Don't forget to bring the aerogard, though. Pebbly beach is a special place, and uniquely Australian. It is well worth a visit if you are in the area.

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October 16th, 2001