‘I was wiping down the campsite barbecue when a giant roo attacked me!’

Published: August 22, 2023

When grey nomad Graham Power pulled up at a quiet caravan park on the edge of Lake Wyangala near the NSW town of Cowra, he was looking forward to a peaceful stay … and a spot of relaxing fishing.

But that’s not how things played out! As his fully self-contained 20’ off-road Kokoda was the sole van in the park, Graham was able to set up right on the water’s edge and things were looking good. The enemy though was hiding in plain sight.

“Typically, as you drive into that park, you are greeted by any amount of grey kangaroos, grazing and lounging in the sun,” said Graham. “On lawns, amongst the cabins, the kangaroos were everywhere … they all appeared very quiet and accustomed to humans and motor vehicles.”

After setting up, and without a care in the world, Graham strolled 50 metres or so to cook dinner on the park’s barbecue.

Then things went wrong.

One of these roos could have been Graham’s attacker.

“I had just finished cooking a steak and was wiping down the hotplate when I suddenly heard an almighty roar and swung around to see this big buck kangaroo lunging at me,” said Graham. “Luckily, I was quick enough to step aside as he landed and he grabbed me with both claws on my arm, and then he grabbed my head and managed to pull my cap off.”

Graham, still clutching a spatula, managed to avoid a kick before grabbing hold of the still-roaring roo’s arm and an ear, which proved enough to persuade the marsupial to give up and hop away at speed.

The stunned fisherman was left badly shaken and with nasty scratches on both arms.

“I’m off the land so I’ve seen the damage they’re capable of doing to sheep dogs,” said Graham. “I’ve heard stories of kangaroo attacks, but always discounted it as being due to humans provoking them … not anymore.”

Graham, who is newly retired, is getting ready to head off on the Big Lap ‘with no end date’ … but he says he will never again trust kangaroos.

“I would hate to think of what could’ve happened if that was a small child or a lady cooking dinner there,” he said.

  • Have you ever had a nerve-wracking encounter with a campsite kangaroo? Comment below.
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Yes. It wasn’t a particularly big roo either. Probably only a metre high and I was shocked at it’s strength and display of aggression. They do roar and grunt, they look all cute and docile in the paddocks but when one burrs up they are a different story. Also my late father in law was once attacked by one in the Warrumbungles many years ago and I wasn’t there but the story went that it had him lined up in front ready to give him the big danger front on kick. Daunting stuff. I don’t go near them either.

I had similar encounter with a very large goanna at glenlyon dam whilst cleaning my fish a couple of years ago. I look down and he was only a foot away from my leg . I went way and I dropped the fish I was cleaning so he grab it and scurrying off with it.


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