Is there anything more quintessentially Australian than seeing kangaroos on the beach? A one of a kind animal experience, the Lucky Bay kangaroos have become a ‘must see’ when you’re in Esperance. Look up Lucky Bay and you’ll see endless photos of cute kangaroos lazing on the sand. While it may seem like all you have to do is pack a bag and head to Lucky Bay and you’ll be sunbathing with kangaroos in no time, there’s actually a lot more to it than that.
Having been to Lucky Bay years prior and being disappointed by the lack of kangaroos on the beach we decided to do a bit more research this time to make sure we’d definitely get that iconic experience while in Esperance. Yet we struggled to find any information on the Lucky Bay kangaroos online. So after spending a couple of days at Lucky Bay (and having a successful kangaroo sighting!) we decided to put together this guide on everything you need to know about the Lucky Bay kangaroos, such as; when you can see the Lucky Bay kangaroos, how much it costs to see them, how to interact with them, what facilities are at Lucky Bay and more.
Where Can I See Kangaroos at Lucky Bay?
You can see the Lucky Bay kangaroos within the Cape Le Grand National Park along the shores of Lucky Bay beach. The best spot to see them is usually close to the bushland that backs onto the beach or near a pile of seaweed as they nuzzle through it and look for snacks. However, they can be spotted anywhere along the beach. When not on the beach, the Lucky Bay kangaroos frequent the day use picnic area and the Lucky Bay campground.
Make sure to navigate to the Lucky Bay car park (Google maps link here), from here you can either drive onto the beach or park up and walk onto the beach.
When Can you See Kangaroos at Lucky Bay?
The Lucky Bay kangaroos can be seen consistently all year round, across all seasons.
What Time are Kangaroos at Lucky Bay?
Kangaroos can be seen on the beach at Lucky Bay anytime throughout the day. The best time to see them on the beach however is in the afternoon, just before sunset. Kangaroos typically rest in the shade during the day and only move out into the open to graze from the late afternoon until the early morning. Which means you’re most likely to spot them early morning or late afternoon. Thankfully, these are also the times when the beach is quieter and has less crowds.
While staying at the Lucky Bay Campground we found that the kangaroos grazed throughout the night and in the early morning at the campground, chomping on plants there. They then took cover in the bushes throughout the campground during the day, only making their way to the beach and the bushland that backs onto the beach in the afternoon. We saw a kangaroo on the beach at 4:30pm, about 30 minutes later two other kangaroos (a mum and a baby) made their way out of the bushland at the back of the beach and onto the beach also.
Are Kangaroos Always at Lucky Bay?
No, the Lucky Bay kangaroos are wild so there is no guarantee they will be there when you visit. We stayed at the Lucky Bay Campground for two nights and while we saw them around the campground constantly we only saw them on the beach once.
How Much Does it Cost to See the Kangaroos at Lucky Bay?
The only cost involved in seeing the Lucky Bay kangaroos is the park entry fees for the Cape Le Grand National Park which Lucky Bay is located within. At the time of writing this (March 2023) the price is $15 per standard vehicle (with 12 or less occupants). As you enter the Cape Le Grand National Park there is an entry station where you can pay the park entry fee and get information on the park.
If you’re visiting multiple national parks during your trip we would recommend getting a holiday pass or an annual all parks pass as these will be better value for money. Holiday passes are available for 5 days, 14 days or 4 weeks and annual all parks passes are available for a full year. You can buy these online (here) on the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions website.
Can I Feed the Lucky Bay Kangaroos?
No, don’t feed the Lucky Bay Kangaroos, it’s illegal. The ranger will issue infringements to people who feed the kangaroos. A kangaroo’s diet consists of vegetation like grasses, flowers, leaves, ferns and moss. They can get very ill from eating human food.
The kangaroos are very comfortable with people and are happy for you to go close to them, you don’t need to lure them with food. Feeding them is just hurting them and can kill them.
If you want to feed kangaroos we recommend finding an appropriate place to do so, like a wildlife sanctuary. Do not feed wild kangaroos.
Can I Touch the Lucky Bay Kangaroos?
No, you cannot touch the Lucky Bay kangaroos. They are wild animals and you need to be respectful of their space. If they feel threatened they can be dangerous.
If you want to touch kangaroos we recommend finding an appropriate place to do so, like a wildlife sanctuary. Do not touch wild kangaroos.
Is it Safe to go Close to the Lucky Bay Kangaroos?
Yes it is safe to go near the Lucky Bay kangaroos (at a distance). However, wild animals are unpredictable and it’s important that you’re respectful of their space and give them a minimum of 2 metres. If they move away and don’t seem comfortable with you leave them be and don’t follow them.
In the wild kangaroos are typically docile and shy creatures who usually flee at the sight of humans. The kangaroos at Lucky Bay are more comfortable with people and instead of fleeing are happy to ignore people and keep doing what they’re doing. Even though the Lucky Bay kangaroos are more comfortable with people it’s still important to remember that kangaroos can attack humans when they feel threatened or when they expect food. Always be respectful of them and their space.
Are the Lucky Bay Kangaroos Dangerous or Aggressive?
As mentioned previously, wild kangaroos are typically very docile and shy creatures who flee at the sight of humans so kangaroo attacks are very rare. However wild animals are unpredictable and can attack if they feel threatened. Make sure to give the Lucky Bay kangaroos their space and respect their boundaries to protect both the kangaroos and yourself.
Are the Lucky Bay Kangaroos Hard to Spot?
No the kangaroos are typically very easy to spot when they come onto the beach. The contrast of the kangaroos brown fur against the bright white sand makes it easy to spot them.
If you’re there on a busy day just look for the crowd. As soon as one person spots a kangaroo on the beach everyone will head over to get a photo!
Why do the Kangaroos go on the Beach at Lucky Bay?
The Lucky Bay kangaroos head to the beach to feed on the washed up seaweed and any other snacks they can find. Kangaroos are very opportunistic eaters who frequently eat outside of their ‘normal’ diet. So in addition to nuzzling through the seaweed you may also see the Lucky Bay kangaroos snacking on washed up fish or other sea creatures. The kangaroo that we saw on the beach was eating a seahorse.
While no one really seems to know why they do this we did see that Peter Masters, a ranger for Cape Le Grand, has previously said that Curtin University and Perth Zoo were doing taste testing research and their research was currently showing that kangaroos enjoy salty tasting food. Which may explain their love of seaweed and sea creature snacks! We tried to find more research on this but had little success.
What Type of Kangaroos Visit Lucky Bay?
Western Grey Kangaroos visit Lucky Bay. They are large marsupials that typically weigh between 30 and 53kg and have a body length between 94 and 222cm.
Even though they’re called grey kangaroos, their fur is a light to chocolate brown colour with lighter undersides. The tips of their paws, feet and tails vary in colour from brown to black. They also sometimes have white marks on their forehead.
Can you Drive on the Beach at Lucky Bay?
Yes you can drive on the beach at Lucky Bay. From the Lucky Bay car park there is an access road that takes you onto the beach. The sand is so hard that many people drive onto it in their 2WD.
We would only recommend driving on the beach if you are comfortable doing so. You should also discuss the surface conditions and tides with the ranger prior if you’re unsure. Lucky Bay does have signs warning vehicles that Lucky Bay is notoriously treacherous for vehicles as it’s easy to become bogged in sand that looks like it would be fine to drive on so be cautious.
Is Lucky Bay Dog Friendly?
No, dogs (and all other pets) are not allowed at Lucky Bay and within the Cape Le Grand National Park. Unfortunately you’ll need to leave your furry friends at home during your visit.
Are there Toilets at Lucky Bay?
Yes, there is a toilet block at Lucky Bay. The toilets are wheelchair accessible and are close to the Lucky Bay car park.
Is there Phone Reception at Lucky Bay?
Yes, there is some Optus reception at Lucky Bay. Unfortunately there is no Telstra signal.
What Facilities are at Lucky Bay?
In addition to the large, sealed car park and toilet block, Lucky Bay has designated picnic areas with barbecues. These are the perfect place to have a picnic if you’re spending the day at Lucky Bay, so make sure to pack your picnic supplies.
Can you Camp at Lucky Bay?
Yes, the Lucky Bay Campground is available for visitors who want to camp at Lucky Bay. You cannot camp on the beach or in the day use area, you must book and stay at the designated Lucky Bay Campground.
At the time of writing this (March 2023) the Lucky Bay Campground costs $15 per adult and $3 per child. The campground does need to be booked in advance. We’d recommend booking in as soon as possible, the campground is very popular and is often booked out for a couple of months, even more so during peak school holiday dates and on long weekends.
The campground features 56 compacted crushed rock reverse-in campsites, flush toilets and no-flush pit toilets, showers (which sometimes have hot water), kitchens (with gas barbecues, dishwashing sinks, food preparation areas, picnic tables and benches), unsheltered gas barbecues and unsheltered picnic tables and benches.
You can stay at the Lucky Bay Campground for a maximum of 14 nights if you’re staying during the public school holidays and 28 nights outside of public school holidays.
We stayed at the Lucky Bay Campground for two nights and had a fantastic time. If you’re looking to get close to kangaroos and have the best chance of seeing the kangaroos on the beach, this is it. While we only saw kangaroos on the beach once during our two night stay, we saw kangaroos constantly throughout the campsite. The kangaroos are very comfortable with people and were happy to snack on leaves on the walking paths and hop right past your campsite.
Is there Parking at Lucky Bay?
Yes, Lucky Bay has a large car park with a lot of available parking spots that are free of charge. In addition to having loads of parking spots (50+) there are designated accessible parking bays and long vehicle bays.
Is the Road to Lucky Bay Sealed?
Yes, Lucky Bay Road (the road that leads to the Lucky Bay car park) is sealed, making it suitable for all vehicles to drive on. The Lucky Bay car park is also sealed.
What Else is Special About Lucky Bay?
Besides being one of few spots to see Kangaroos on the beach, Lucky Bay has many other features that make it special. Firstly, Lucky Bay is known for having the whitest sand in Australia. This is due to the size and composition of the sand which is very fine quartz sand.
This quartz sand also makes the beach squeaky. The sand particles are compressed and rub against each other when you walk on them causing friction between the uniformly sized sand particles, which results in the sand making a high-pitch squeaking noise.
Are there Sharks at Lucky Bay?
There can be sharks at Lucky Bay as sharks do frequent Esperance waters. Shark attacks are rare and majority of the time sharks keep to themselves. However you can take extra steps to be ‘shark smart’.
- Check the Shark Smart app or website before heading to Lucky Bay to check if there have been any shark sightings near there recently.
- Stay close to shore when swimming.
- Stay out of the water if you have a bleeding wound.
- If possible have someone with you.
- If fishing, avoid disposing of fish waste in the water.
- If spearfishing, remove all speared fish from the water quickly.
- If you see a shark, leave the water as quickly and calmly as possible, avoid splashing or making lots of noise.
- If you see a shark make sure to report it to the Water Police on 08 9442 8600.
Where is Lucky Bay?
Lucky Bay is located in the Cape Le Grand National Park in the Goldfields-Esperance region of Western Australia. If you’re in Esperance for awhile make sure to check out our post on the 21 best things to do in Esperance.
Why is Lucky Bay called Lucky Bay?
Captain Matthew Flinders gave Lucky Bay it’s name. He named it after his vessel HMS Investigator was navigated through a dangerous route of the Recherche Archipelago, surrounded by reefs, rocks and islands to take shelter from a summer storm. It was too risky to navigate through the Recherche Archipelago to make it to the open sea so they steered towards the mainland and dropped anchor just offshore from Lucky Bay.
Captain Matthew Flinders wrote in his journal ‘The critical circumstance under which this place was discovered induced me to give it the name of Lucky Bay’.
Is Lucky Bay Overrated?
There’s no doubt that seeing kangaroos on the beach is a very unique one of a kind animal experience. As we already discussed however, the kangaroos aren’t always on the beach at Lucky Bay. Many people (like we did a few years back) expect that the kangaroos will always be on the beach which is far from the truth. They then go out of their way to head to Lucky Bay only to be left heavily disappointed.
This may be an unpopular opinion but excluding the kangaroo experience we believe Lucky Bay is far from the nicest beach in Cape Le Grand and Esperance as it’s no longer an ‘untouched’ beauty. Firstly it’s a very busy beach; cars line up all along the beach making it look more like a car park than a beach and if you do see a kangaroo it’s likely that it will have a crowd around it. Not only that, people don’t take care of the beach, walking along it we saw oil spills and rubbish all along the coast. Lucky Bay also has a lot of seaweed, it does get much clearer the further up the bay you go but at the main access point to the beach the water is filled with seaweed and there are huge piles of seaweed built up on the coast. Thistle Cove and Hellfire Bay are much nicer beaches to swim at and spend the day as they’re more ‘untouched’ and have that stunning pristine beauty that Esperance beaches are typically known for.
While we recommend heading to Lucky Bay if you’re in the area and have the time, we don’t recommend heading to Cape Le Grand National Park and going out of your way just to see Lucky Bay for the kangaroos on the beach. Spend a full day enjoying the Cape Le Grand National Park, take on the Frenchman Peak hike and enjoy swimming at the other beautiful beaches before popping by Lucky Bay in the afternoon to try and see the kangaroos.
What Else Can you do in Cape Le Grand National Park?
There are loads of other things to do in the Cape Le Grand National Park, such as:
- Take on the challenge of the Frenchman Peak hike
- Check out the Whistling Rock at Thistle Cove
- Go fishing, scuba diving, snorkelling, surfing or swimming at Hellfire Bay, Thistle Cove, Dunn Rocks, Le Grand Beach or Rossiter Bay
- Go bird watching at Rossiter Bay
- Have a picnic at Hellfire Bay
- Make the short walk to Little Hellfire
- Go four-wheel driving at Dunn Rocks, Lucky Bay and Rossiter Bay
Enjoy Your Trip to See the Lucky Bay Kangaroos
That’s the end of our full guide on everything you need to know about the Lucky Bay kangaroos. We hope this post helped you with your upcoming trip to Lucky Bay. We’re sure you’ll have an amazing time there!
Watch Our Experience with the Lucky Bay Kangaroos!
If you’d like to watch our experience with the Lucky Bay Kangaroos you can in our YouTube video below.