Petting kangaroos at Pebbly Beach, New South Wales / by Jessica Lee

We almost drove by Pebbly Beach on our way to Melbourne but that would have been a shame.

Where else would I meet a real live wild kangaroos who aren't afraid of humans?

Honestly if you visit Australia, and don't even pet a kangaroo, you have failed.

I was trying to see if kangaroos actually live up to the stereotype that they like to box, but it just looked at me strangely when I held my fists up.

Then I tried to play "paddy cake" with the kangaroo. (see photo below)

Skippy clearly wasn't having any of it by the look on his face.

I then wandered to the actual beach and was greeted by more of Skippy's crew lounging on the grass.

What a life right?

Pebbly Beach is a wild life preserve so it guarantees these kangaroos will not see their homes destroyed in the years to come.

As long as the grass still grows, the kangaroos will have a home and a source of food.

You can actually camp in Pebbly Beach, which is what we were going to do initially but when we arrived, we found that there was a camping fee of $10 per person and on top of that, $7 per vehicle. And why would we pay for camping in our own car when we could camp for free elsewhere, outside of the park?

Which is why we came back the next morning.

I had way too much fun with the kangaroos.

When it was time to go, as we still had a lot of road to travel that day, I was blessed with the icing on the cake when I watched a kangaroo hop across the park.

It was a magical moment.

Kangaroos travel a lot of distance through a couple of hops.

For a Canadian girl who had never seen an animal move in such a way in her home country, this was quite phenomenal. I cannot describe it in any other way except it was like the kangaroo had springs in its legs. Within a couple of seconds (but long enough for me to grab my camera), the 'roo was half way across the park. Being that it was quite heavy-looking, you wouldn't expect it to be able to travel so quickly, but it did. And that's what amazed me.

Kangaroos are definitely a top-ten "must see" in Australia and I would recommend stopping by Pebbly Beach if you're on the way to Melbourne from Sydney. Or at least find somewhere else where you can meet Australia's mascot.