If you’re new to Australia or just stopping over, spotting a kangaroo is likely high up on your list of things to do. If you’re in Perth then you’re in luck! A short bus, Uber, or cab ride from the airport or city center will bring you to Heirisson Island, where you can meet a few local kangaroos for free. Heirisson Island is an island in the large Swan River that is connected to the city center and the suburb of Burswood by road. Five female western grey kangaroos have been placed on Heirisson Island, and are kept there by a fence that allows public access at no charge.
Getting to Heirisson Island
If you’re arriving at Perth Airport you’re only 16km from the city center and 15km from Heirisson Island. The public bus will get you to the island in about half an hour, just grab the 380 and pay the $4.70 AUD fare and away you go. IF you’re already in the city then head to the center and walk, bus, or drive three kms east toward Victoria Park Transfer Station. When you arrive you’ll want to head to the southwestern side of the island, which is the opposite side of the parking lot. Head through one of the two doors and start your search as the island is small but large enough to allow the kangaroos to hide a bit.
Wildlife at Heirisson Island
While you’re searching for the kangaroos, which will often be found in tall grass or under the shade of trees, make sure to look up in the tree tops for some of the local parrots and on the ground or in the water for the huge pelicans. Once you spot the kangaroos please refrain from feeding them or touching them. While they are tame enough to be petted, remember they aren’t domesticated animals and may be less excited about being touched than you are about touching them.
See if you can spot the common pink cockatoos, known as galahs during your visit.
Rainbow lorikeets are a small, colorful parrot you may also see while walking around.
From time to time dolphins can be spotted here as well, but you’ll need a lot of luck for a short glimpse!
A trip to Heirisson Island isn’t likely to take too much of your day as it’s a small island in a river, so if you’re just visiting, make sure to head a short way into the city and explore the center as well. If you have a full day on your hands and are looking for more wildlife, head an hour north to Yanchep National Park, where you can spot loads of wild kangaroos, a few non-native koalas, and tons of parrots.