We were the only two on the tour making the day additionally special and informative. Our driver/guide and owner of the tour company, Roger, was born in the bush near Queensland in the northern part of eastern Australia. His love of the land was evident in the way in which he spoke gently and kindly of the animals we saw and the birds we observed.
Our day began in the sun albeit cold and brisk. Once at the Serendip Sanctuary, we walked into a large field in which two “mobs” of Kangaroos were settled, as well as a mother and her young offspring who hugged the fence. We learned about approaching the animals, walking slowly, never directly towards their gathering places. One mob observed us and hopped away rather quickly, the second allowed us to walk about 100 yards from them, stopping often, to be observers and observed.
We enjoyed a delightful lunch of sandwiches, fruit, cakes and “Billy Tea,” a tea made with eucalyptus leaves gathered from the trees in our eating area. Our guide sang and explained the meaning of “Waltzing Matilda,” which I had not known, a song celebrating the poor and dispossessed and their care for one another.
The afternoon took us to the You Yangs range of hills in which we walked among the gum/eucalyptus trees to see two Koalas in their natural environment
The experience of being a “a guest” in the midst of the natural setting of the kangaroos and the koalas is a spiritual wonder. I was aware that living in a city, the beauty of nature is lost and misunderstood. The clouds against the sky above the distant hills and the green fields below, falcons playing overhead, the almost statuesque stillness of standing kangaroos watching us and observing our moves should they feel threatened, the quiet and almost isolated aloneness of the koalas in their wind-swept trees has been a wondrous gift.