Did you know that kangaroos can swim? True fact, although this is breaking news to me. The neighbours in the swish campervan next door to our humble tent boasted about seeing kangaroos swimming at the beach. I assumed he was making up stories to fool us but it turns out I was the ignorant one for not believing him. According to the local park rangers, this part of the northern New South Wales coast is one of the few areas in Australia where kangaroos are often seen swimming great distances in the water. They are adept swimmers and can even use their forepaws to hold and and drown predators underwater. Funny that nobody ever warns tourists about the risks of getting drowned by a kangaroo in addition to being eaten by sharks at Australian beaches.
As luck would have it, we were enjoying the empty beach to ourselves in the morning until we spotted a very grand-looking male kangaroo in the water. He wasn’t swimming (or drowning another creature for that matter), but it was magical to see him all the same. Even after living in Australia for all my life, I forget how truly unique the animals are here.
Yuraygir National Park is positioned on a long stretch of undeveloped coastline on the New South Wales north coast between Yamba and Coffs Harbour. There are a number of remote campgrounds that are only accessible by dirt roads. Access by normal car is possible – you don’t necessarily need a 4WD.
We stayed at the Lake Arragan and Red Cliff campground which was ideally placed between a lake and beachfront. (There were basic toilet facilities only so be prepared to bring water and all other provisions.)