How Many Types of Kangaroos are here in Australia

Written by: Cameron Ward

Published: 04/13/2020

Reading time: 3 mins

It’s every tourist’s favourite fun fact, there are more kangaroos in Australian than people. In fact, there are more than two kangaroos for every person in this country!

There are four species of kangaroos; red kangaroo, eastern grey kangaroo, western grey kangaroo, and the antilopine kangaroo. These species are spread across Australia, and though they may be found living together in captivity, you’re very unlikely to see them mixing in the wild. Learn a bit more about this incredibly unique animal and when you might see them around Australia.

But wait, with an island named Kangaroo Island, surely there’s a lot of kangaroos there? There certainly is, but there are a lot of kangaroos across the rest of the country too, and we think they’re just as important.

  • Red Kangaroo

    Red Kangaroos are some of the largest kangaroos in Australia. They are found particularly in outback Australia through the Northern Territory and are generally the type of kangaroo people envisage when thinking of the animal.

    These massive creatures get their name from the males orange coloured fur. Though females are generally more grey, both can look red after laying in red dirt semi-arid zones.

  • Eastern Grey Kangaroo

    Eastern Grey Kangaroos are a mob species of kangaroo, generally congregating in groups of ten. They have huge hind legs and light grey fur. It is easy to identify this species by their faces as they are far darker than their bodies.

    As their name suggests they are found predominantly down the east coast of Australia.

  • Antilopine Kangaroo

    Perhaps the least known kangaroo species is the Antilopine Kangaroo. They are found only along the top coast of Australia and are commonly seen grazing in open fields. They have longer and more slender limbs than other species of kangaroo and look slightly different from other kangaroo species.

  • Western Grey Kangaroo

    This is a special species of kangaroo, why might you ask? Because the Kangaroo Island Kangaroo is a sub-species of the Western Grey.

    They are a particularly small kangaroo with dark brown fur and a soft muzzle. They are quite relaxed kangaroos and not as dangerous as other species. Males are known for having a curry-like odour, no one is quite sure of its exact cause but it may come from their herbivore diet.

The Kangaroo Island Kangaroos, in particular, are very special. Living only on Kangaroo Island they are some of the most tame kangaroos in Australia. They have no natural predators on the island and are, other than humans, on top of the food chain.

When visiting the island you may find that they come close to you as they can be quite curious. If you stay still and quiet you might be able to take some lovely pictures of the animal. They are incredibly social creatures, so if you ever see one, chances are there are plenty more nearby.

However, we cannot state enough that you should never feed or touch wild animals.

A trip to Kangaroo Island is the best way to see these incredibly special animals.

Related article: The Marine Wildlife of Kangaroo Island

Cameron Ward
Cameron Ward
Managing Director at Sightseeing Tours Australia

Cameron Ward turned his travel passion into a thriving Australian tourism business. Before he co-founded his own business, Sightseeing Tours Australia, he was enjoying being a Melbourne tour guide. Even now, Cameron delights in helping visitors from all around the world get the most out of their incredible Australian trip. You’ll see Cameron leading tours or writing about his favourite Australian places where he shares his local insights.