Reason 567,402,101 why I love Australia:
On our road trip from Uluru to Alice Springs we casually stop for lunch at Mt. Ebenezer Roadhouse Outback NT, one of the few rest stops in the Outback. As we’re ordering my Dad casually asks the lady working at the counter if she ever sees any kangaroos, because we were expecting kangaroos to be all over the Outback and had managed to see none. She laughs, tells us that she’s got some kangaroos in her backyard (O.M.G.) and she happens to live 30 seconds away and says that we can come over and see them after lunch. Not only that, she also only charges me $1 for my hot dog and fries because I’m gluten free and didn’t want a bun, so I saved $6!
The woman’s name was Kim, and after lunch we walked over to her house behind the restaurant. She told us that the two wild kangaroos names were Skippy and Oppie and that she rescued and adopted them as Joeys (babies) when some locals killed their mothers for meat. Both kangaroos were less than a year old.
When Kim called over the kangaroos they shyly poked their heads out to look at us. She had to talk them into coming over to seeing us.
In the video below these shy Joeys are talked into coming to over to meet us (don’t miss the part where Skippy hides behind Kim as he followers her to come over and meet us). You can see in the video that as Skippy starts to warm up to us being there he starts to kick Kim…. I’m pretty sure he was just excited to see us! Oppie was pretty much terrified of us the entire time and didn’t come over, probably enjoying his half hour break from Skippy, who ended up being a little psycho.
Kim invited me into her gated yard to pet Skippy. As you can see, it looks like Skippy’s beating me up and trying to eat my blue hair, and as that might be a little true, he was just playing and didn’t hurt me at all… Well actually I later realized that I got two scratches and one was bleeding. Anyways, now we’re blood buddies and it didn’t get infected and is healing just fine. By the way this is Skippy on his good behaviour….
If you happen to be in the Outback and you get a little hungry don’t hesitate to stop at the world’s best pit stop, Mt. Ebenezer Roadhouse Outback NT. You probably won’t be as lucky as we were to get to meet Skippy and Oppie (or may have no desire to get kicked by a wild kangaroo) but it’s a great place with good food and they even have an aboriginal art shop. If you do happen to go, don’t forget to drop your spare change into the donation can to help Kim take care of Skippy, Oppie and any future kangaroos that she adopts. Park Rangers often drop baby Joeys at Kim’s doorstep when their mothers have been killed for meat, but unfortunately most are too young to survive.
Meeting Skippy, Oppie and Kim was the highlight of my entire Outback trip and an unforgettable experience that was one of a kind!
*It is important to note that you should never get close to wild animals and especially wild kangaroos. I was able to do this because Skippy is no longer a fully wild Kangaroo since Kim has so kindly adopted him. Most people would not have been comfortable interacting with Skippy like I did, and I was only able to do it because I am extremely comfortable around animals and Kim was there supervising.