Kangaroos are active in winter and are no doubt loving having the run of the region! They can be found throughout the Grampians National Park and around many of our towns and villages including Halls Gap, St Arnaud and Dunkeld.
In winter kangaroos spend most of their time (when they’re not resting) eating so that they can fuel up with energy to keep warm when temperatures drop. Did you know that temperatures in the Grampians have gotten as low as -2.6 degrees Celsius?
Emus are also on the move in winter and will be roaming freely throughout the National Park, curiously exploring Halls Gap and surrounds, including Halls Gap Lakeside Tourist Park where they love to visit. Winter is mating season for emus so we joke that they might be enjoying the relative privacy of winter 2020! Once their eggs are laid the female will leave the nest and the male will keep the eggs warm by sitting on them for eight weeks straight. So, it could be a cosy winter of nesting for many of our male emus while the mums enjoy the wilds of the Grampians and forage for food.
The swamp wallaby is also known as the black wallaby. It’s not unusual to spot them around the roads and walking trails of the Grampians. They inhabit the thick undergrowth of our forested areas and sometimes shelter in grasses during the day, emerging at night to feed on vegetation. Unlike other wallabies, the swamp wallaby gets around with its head down low and tail out straight, like it’s perpetually sniffing out what’s next to eat - not unlike most of us seeking out snacks in isolation! Check them out in this video from Halls Gap Zoo, where they seem to be enjoying some delicious lunch!
Nothing sparks joy quite like an echidna sighting in the Grampians, but unfortunately in winter these sightings are very rare. During the winter months, echidnas snuggle in their burrows to hibernate. These guys will be in deep torpor, with their body temperature, heart rate and breathing rate right down low to conserve energy, ready to emerge when the weather warms up and it’s time to mate. Imagine the subterranean landscape of the Grampians punctuated by sleepy echidnas staying at home just like we are right now…