Josephine's Gallery and Kangaroo Orphanage
Back to nature
Your kids will love the chance to pat or cuddle the babies in the Kangaroo Orphanage, and feel their soft, downy fur. They’ll giggle at the sight of joeys snuggling down in artificial pouches, or sucking eagerly from bottles of milk. The baby kangaroos you see here are red kangaroos, native to dry regions like Coober Pedy. Sometimes the mother kangaroos are killed by cars, and at other times they’ve been shot by local Aboriginal people hunting for food (nowadays they use guns instead of spears). If hunters find a joey in a dead mother’s pouch, they bring it to the orphanage.
131–133 Hutchison St, Coober Pedy; (08) 8672 5931
■ The spectacular opal display – look for the opalised fossils of a tree, seashells, and even worms!
When kangaroos are born they look like tiny pink worms. They are blind, hairless and only a few centimetres long. Their hind legs are just stumps, but they use their forelegs to drag themselves through their mother’s thick fur into her pouch. Once inside, they start to suck on a teat, and stay there drinking milk and growing for a few months. It is hard to believe these tiny creatures can grow so big – red kangaroos are the largest marsupials in the world. They can jump 3 metres high and move forward 8 metres in one leap!
■ Allow at least an hour for your visit.