Wallabies On The Run

Kununurra Racetrack

Kununurra Racetrack

The Kimberley region is known for its abundant natural treasures, and people who live in such an incredible environment are used to being impacted by nature’s forces. Things that are unimaginable in other parts of the world are items in the daily newspaper here, and we are very lucky to be so close to the wonder that exists here. There is a limit, however, to what one can take, and there are times the natural order of things seems to need a bit of tweaking so everyone can get on with it daily business. Such was the case in Kununurra last August when racetrack officials had to protect their track turf from an ever increasing gang of grazing wallabies.

The foraging fauna found the grass growing on the racetrack to be so delicious, they must have sent the word out to their mates. In numbers not seen in the region before, the wallabies were digging up the track with their voracious feasting. Kununarra Race Club President, Gary King, said he counted up to a thousand of them! A small herd would have been tolerable, but little by little a lot of damage was being done. There was concern if the track became too damaged, it would no longer be a suitable venue for the annual Kununurra Cup, a popular $20,000 race.

Racetrack keepers initially ran them off the property with motorbikes and even sent an ambulance around the track several times to clear it, but in the rather relentless way nature has sometimes, they kept coming back. Eventually, organisers decided to fence the track to try to prevent the wallabies from doing any further harm. They spent $15,000 on a fence, and it seems to have done the trick. Apparently, at first, they needed to herd the wallabies out of there, but once out they didn’t find a way back in.

These days, a small herd of around 15 or 20 wallabies can still be seen in the area, but they are more welcome visitors that the previous hordes.

Of course, wallabies are something Australia is well known for. Even if they are mistaken for kangaroos frequently, our rugby side is named after one of our strongest and most energetic creatures. What went on in Kununurra is a great example of what can happen when we get too much of a good thing in the wrong place. Fortunately, although it wasn’t cheap, the solution is this case was quite simple. Living in the Kimberley offers many opportunities to exist alongside nature, and at MooWoo, we are happy to make our home here.