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The Kangaroo Trail
TM will take you on an unparalleled journey of discovery across the vast Australian continent and its offshore islands. You will see supreme athletes such as one of the four species of plains dwelling kangaroos, rock climbers who seem to defy gravity such as one of the fifteen species of rock-wallaby, and one of the best noses for truffles in the world, the long-nosed potoroo. The trail will take you into the hinterland from each of the state and territory capitals to explore the fascinating world of the bounders of the bush. Your leaders will be one of the six species of large kangaroos who are the most recognisable of the multitude of macropods. In their wild habitat you will follow the mob to their smaller kin and learn about the diversity and structure in the communities of Australia’s unique marsupial grazers and browsers. The more adventurous can follow a Big Red into the spectacular landscapes and big skies of the Outback. The Wallaroos that span the continent will lead you into the most spectacular wilderness through the gorges and ranges of the Great Divide, the Flinders Ranges, the Red Centre, Cape York, Arnhem Land, the Kimberley and the Pilbara.

...more about the multitude of macropods

...more fascinating facts on the bounders of the bush
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Our Mission

Our aim is to be the flagship of a ‘See Australia’ promotion based around wildlife tourism with the marvellous mob of marsupials - the kangaroos and their kind. Through partnerships with conservation agencies, tourism organisations, operators and gateway communities across the continent and offshore islands our vision is to place Australia at the forefront of nature-based tourism destinations for both our international visitors and our citizens. Australia will be the destination for seekers of the natural world as we capitalise on our unique wildlife heritage. We seek to expand wildlife tourism with the kangaroos as our flagship fauna by revealing an array of opportunities and a diversity of experiences. We  encourage visitors to make it a mission to see all of Australia’s species of kangaroos so that their tourist dollar will have real and realisable benefits through the economic activity of wildlife tourism to nature conservation and the local communities and agencies who maintain habitat for flagship species such as the kangaroos. We unashamedly promote kangaroos as a wild living entity to be enjoyed and appreciated many times over for their fascinating behaviour and biology and not their meat and hide products.

...more about the value of kangaroos in tourism

...more about attitudes towards kangaroos
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Kangaroo! Kangaroo!
Thou spirit of Australia,
That redeems from utter failure,
From perfect desolation,
And warrants the creation
Of this fifth part of the earth;...

Justice Barron Field, 1819
Eastern grey kangaroo hopping

Consummate Australia: Kangaroos express diversity, the successful occupation of most of Australia’s terrestrial ecosystems, resilience to our climatic extremes, athleticism, careful conservation of energy and water needs, and individualism in a rich social life.

Information for travellers

Australia and its offshore islands are a very large landmass and so to complete the kangaroo trail is not a trivial journey but one of many months by air, road and sea. If you succeed in seeing all 50 species and the additional recognised subspecies in the wild then you will be amongst a very small and select group of wildlife travellers. The destinations are widespread, some are very remote and challenging to access, and once you arrive the species may be elusive requiring much patient observation well into the nocturnal realm. We encourage you to complete the kangaroo trail but recognise that for many the journey will be short and selective based on a region, a type of habitat or species of interest. Certainly no nature-based traveller should depart Australia or head home without taking at least one hop along the trail.

The web portal for Tourism Australia is www.australia.com. Each State and Territory has a tourism portal to assist you in planning your journey. Furthermore, each State and Territory has a Parks and Wildlife authority where you can gain more information on the national parks and nature reserves which are your destinations, and on the fauna and flora you can expect to see. We list the websites for the best-place-to-see destinations in the fact sheets for each species or recognised subspecies.  

Air services to national and regional gateways are provided by various carriers including Virgin Blue, Tiger Airways, Regional Express and the Qantas group.

The International Society for Ecotourism
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Viewing kangaroos and their kind

The best place to see each species or subspecies of kangaroos and their kind has been selected to maximise the likelihood of close viewing in the wild. However, with the exception of the Musky Rat-kangaroo, species are most active at night leaving cover and resting places around dusk and retiring back to these refuges around dawn. The best time to view most species is therefore towards dusk and into the early evening when they commence foraging. If you have the option, you should choose still evenings without rain as most species retreat to cover or are particularly flighty under inclement weather conditions, especially strong winds. Some species habitually use dense cover (e.g. long-footed potoroo) and will be very difficult to see. However, most emerge into clearings or open habitat adjacent to forest edges or sparser shelter, and stationing yourself at such sites is usually rewarding. Rock-wallabies often sun themselves in cooler weather and may remain visible amongst the rocks towards dusk and for a period after dawn. During dry and warm periods, water bodies are an attractant and drinking, like foraging, usually starts around dusk and continues into the early evening. Many species are inactive for a few hours around midnight as they digest a filled gut before foraging again.  

The best strategy to employ for your viewing experience is to get local knowledge from wildlife rangers. Back this up with your own observations of sign such as faecal pellets (usually black and hard and not massed like rabbits or goats), tail drags and foot prints in suitable substrates like sandy soils. Station yourself comfortably in a good viewing location against a background that masks or disrupts your shape, and wait patiently for your subjects to emerge. If you prefer to stalk, then an oblique rather than a direct approach to a subject is preferable. Macropods have excellent senses of smell and hearing but vision is optimised for the night rather than the day and so you can mask your presence by being downwind, quiet and against a non-contrasting background. At night you will need a form of illumination – strong torch (flashlight) or spotlight. Detection is best achieved by scanning at maximum illumination but observation should be by holding the subject at the edge of the light or at minimal intensity if your device has a dimmer or switchable intensity (e.g. LED devices). Red filtering of light only has an effect through reduced intensity and not colour and so it is not recommended. Natural behaviour will be maximised and disturbance minimised if you have access to a generation 2 or better Night Vision Device supplemented by infrared illumination (e.g. spotlight with infrared transmission filter or array of infrared LED). However, NVDs are very expensive and binoculars and dim supplementary lighting may suffice.

...more about watching Australian wildlife at Wildlife Tourism Australia
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This website is the electronic sibling of 'The Kangaroo Trail Map', a large format map (A1) of the best place to see the kangaroos and their kin. This paper map is available by postage - contact info@rootourism.com with your postal address. While a paper map is static and evolves only if a new edition is printed, this website is dynamic and participatory. 'The Kangaroo Trail Map' project is a not-for-profit initiative developed to provide an understanding of the marvellous diversity of Australia's iconic kangaroo fauna. The kangaroos and their kind provide key services to the function of our ecosystems (e.g. spread beneficial fungi in our forests, maintain diversity in our grasslands, turn over and fertilise soils) and our well-being (including our connectedness to the land). Without them we are much dimished, and so we hope to engender a respectful attitude to the 'mighty macropods' and your proactive support for their conservation.

This project is a private endeavour and is not sponsored by any Australian government tourism or wildlife agency. However, we do thank NT, SA, TAS, WA and QLD tourism for letters of encouragement and Tourism Australia for assistance with the launch of the Kangaroo Trail Map. The project was conceived within the Wildlife Tourism sub-program of the now de-commissioned Sustainable Tourism Cooperative Research Centre. A further life was provided by conceptual support from Wildlife Tourism Australia. Seed funding for the concept, map and website has been provided by the International Fund for Animal Welfare, in a grant to the Sustainable Toursim CRC; and Voiceless, the fund for animals, in a grant to the Australian Wildlife Protection Council. These organisations have been consistent in their support for and generous funding of wildlife tourism projects that lead to a non-consumptive and respectful treatment of animals. Even so their views are expressed on their websites and publications and not here. Likewise their funding has finished and is not ongoing. If you feel moved to make a financial contribution to the upkeep of the project then there is a PayPal button on the feedback page. We're happy if you get out there and (metaphorically) embrace your chosen kangaroo species!

Banner image - Red Kangaroos on the stony downs of Sturt National Park - taken by Ulrike Kloecker. Thanks to Michael Williams (www.itsawildlife.com.au), Jiri Lochman (www.lochmantransparencies.com) and Garrie Douglas (At A Glance Pty Ltd) for assistance with images.
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Contact Information

+61 (0)8 89781131
Business address
RootourismTM is registered in the Northern Territory at
2650 Dorat Road, Robin Falls NT 0846, AUSTRALIA
Postal address
Burrell Creek Estate, C/- Post Office, Adelaide River NT 0846 AUSTRALIA
Electronic mail
General Information: info@rootourism.com
Webmaster: webmaster@rootourism.com
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Disclaimer: The information contained on this website has been prepared by rootourismTM, a wildlife tourism information provider. The information is general only and does not purport to be comprehensive. The currency of the information is at the time of production only. New information and the correction of inaccuracies may be placed on this web site but there is no obligation to do so. The information is not intended to provide or make any recommendation on which you should rely – if you rely on this information then you do so at your own risk. The producers of this website exclude any liability for any error or inaccuracy in, or omissions from, the pages and any loss or damage which you or any other person may suffer. The producers do not necessarily endorse any company, product, service or organisation represented on the website.
Send mail to webmaster@rootourism.com with questions or comments about this web site.
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Last modified13/11/10->->