London lifestyle & travels with kids and babies

Volunteering Australia animals : Kangaroo Island

Hello Kangaroo Island wildlife sanctuary and 2nd pregnancy trimester! What better way to spend it than volunteering Australia animals and dedicating a couple of weeks to kangaroos and koalas?  That was my reasoning early 2013 and below are the notes & pictures from my time spent few years ago at Hanson Bay Wildlife Sanctuary.

And very sadly Kangaroo Island like many other parts of South Australia became very topical end of 2019/ January 2020 – over one third of this magic island has been wiped by fires, so now more important than ever to help rebuild this wonderful fire ravaged community. Go, explore, stay, buy delicious local wine & artisanal food. Kangaroo island adventure tours are still feasible, explore it safely and in the know with Kangaroo Island Guide. They did survive the terrible firecrisis but they need us now.  For our article Kangaroo Island 3 day tour & aftermaths of fires head here.

Not many will be surprised to hear I fell in love in Australia. Precisely at Kangaroo Island wildlife sanctuary, volunteering with Australia animals at Hanson Bay I fell in love with the kangaroos. Rufus, aged 1, was my Ozzie crush: gentle, curious, cute, loving and occasionally cheeky. The kangaroo mums were next and feeding them most of the evenings was such a treat: little paws grabbing and hugging, little tongues cleaning the wheat and the pellets from my hands.

Koalas were quite a different story. Whilst looking so huggable and sweet, once you get to spend some time, you get to know their sleepy habits and solitary nature. Always cool to spot them in the eucalyptus tree, in funny postures – but bear in mind the claws before trying to cuddle! At evenings and night have also discovered their incredibly bizarre mating habits : strange groans and rape like rituals to be more specific !?!

The wildlife at Hanson Bay was at the best I’ve seen: shy and lunatic wallabies with the exceptional cheeky guy playing hide & seek when it comes to the food storage rooms; quick goannas; possums sleeping all day and crunching salad at night; the slow and spiky echidnas, hiding their noses in the dust; the wild grey geese with their beautiful bright yellow marks; the cheerful magpies; graceful galas and colourful rosellas.

And south of the island we also had the most beautiful encounter swimming with wild dolphins for over an hour: playful, big, quick and graceful. A very special place in my heart and prime position for snorkeling with wild dolphins – my favourite collection of places in here.

The stars at Kangaroo Island wildlife sanctuary come out shy at first, slowly getting bigger and brighter – the brightest and biggest I’ve ever seen. The Milky Way is there, then galaxies and foggy constellations.  Night noises of the wildlife sanctuary delicate in the background: possums and wallabies munching, koalas groaning , the wild geese and little birds singing .

Took many days to miss the city life; volunteering with Australia animals translated into spending 2 weeks feeding my soul. Magritte skies, night gently falling over the eucalyptus trees and bushes, bringing relief to the very hot days.  For further reflections on Kangaroo island, head here.

Kangaroo island, we will be back , I always dream about bringing the kids to show them all the Ozzie wonders I was so lucky to witness!


On December 2019 Australia was rated the worst-performing country on climate change policy out of 57 countries in a report prepared by international thinktanks. The report also criticised the Morrison government for being a regressive force internationally. And his actions December 2019 & January 2020 are rather unconcerned and appalling.  Up to January 10th 2020 it was estimated that the bushfires released a huge quantity of carbon dioxide – 2/3rds of annual number in just one season. The scientists call it a positive feedback loop – the consequences are dire.  I can’t believe Australians are not all in the streets asking for accountability and change. The apocalyptic scenes and heartbreaking damage are afterall only a glimpse of further global warming days, sombre future for our kids and planet.



16 comments on “Volunteering Australia animals : Kangaroo Island

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  2. I think this was the best life decision ever – cheers to adventures!

    • Zen Babytravel
      October 15, 2017

      Absolutely Emma! Have been very lucky to be made redundant with a generous package and let to enjoy my first pregnancy and hunger for travel and adventures. Thanks for stopping by!

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  12. Stuart Forster
    January 22, 2020

    From my base in England I don’t think I can comprehend the widespread destruction caused by the wild fires.

    The experience you had sounds magical.

    • Zen Babytravel
      January 23, 2020

      Hi Stuart, yes it’s beyond heartbreaking to see the devastation and consequences! Likewise sitting in London miles and miles away but I think we all have a duty to lobby for that irresponsibe government to get on board sustainable development and stop hurting the planet.

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