The Australian coat of arms has both a kangaroo and an emu and it is said that they were chosen because neither can walk backwards, thus symbolising a progressive nation. Although both are plentiful it is always exciting to see them for two reasons.
Firstly being such large creatures both can cause horrific damage to cars, so the navigator is always on alert for kangaroos and emus and shouting something like “Emu on the right!” Grey Nomads like ourselves aren’t on a strict timetable like younger drivers so we tend to stay off the roads in the early morning and late afternoon when kangaroos are on the move and feeding. Emus on the other hand move about all day long and seem to enjoy racing beside your car. No matter what your speed and without warning they will suddenly dash in front of you just to test your alertness. As the John Williamson song ‘Old Man Emu’ says “He can run the pants off a kangaroo”.
Secondly, they are a delight to see in the wild. To see a flock of emus grazing in a paddock or running at full pelt is awesome and they, like kangaroos can be as tall as a man. In our travels we’ve seen thousands of kangaroos all over Australia, and the numbers of emus are high too. Roos are incredible to watch as they bound effortlessly over fences and there’s always a hushed stillness when watching them feed at dusk.