When tourists think about Australian native animals they expect them to be quite easy to find. For the most part, this isn’t true, especially if you’re around Sydney. So it was with some apprehension that I went to Bendeela Picnic Area seduced by the promise of plentiful wombats. Thankfully I was pleasantly surprised! We saw 4 wombats waddling around the grass here and were able to get close enough for photos. Wombats are known for their adorable bear-like appearance.

Bendeela Picnic Area is a recreational camping park in Kangaroo valley. It’s a year long camping ground but it’s more crowded in Summer. I drove to the end of the park, to the river. Look for the public bathrooms – I parked there. The Google maps location I’ve put at the end of this blogpost is where you should go. This is where the overflow camping ground starts. I saw 4 wombats here.

What is a wombat, really?

Wombats are marsupials which are a special category of mammal. This means that they carry their young in a pouch. They are one of Australia’s most famous native animals. They live in many types of environments – from the snowy mountains of Tasmania to the woodlands of South Eastern Australia. They are mostly active at night, however on cool quiet days you may see them during the day. In Kangaroo Valley you can see them later in the afternoon. They live for 15-30 years.

Wombats build a burrow for a safe place to sleep. Female wombats have a unique backwards pouch that stops dirt from getting into it while digging. If a predator tries to come in, wombats have a special hard plate on their backside that allows them to crush intruders into the tunnel walls. Wombats above ground amble along very slowly, far more interested in eating than anything else. If startled or threatened they however run quite quickly, and because of their dense body composition (they weight up to 35kg / 77 pounds) it’s possible that a wombat could knock you over!

Are Wombats Dangerous?

Wombats are quiet and docile animals. If you are calm and don’t make too much noise you can get quite close to them, to observe them eating. Do NOT try and touch or bother a wombat, this is actually illegal. They are protected under Australian law.

Wombats may run at you if they feel extremely threatened, however this would only happen if you threatened their burrow or hurt them. I have never seen a wombat acting aggressively Like 99% of Australian animals, their first reaction is to run away.

If you’re calm and non threatening, you can get quite close to a wombat.

When is the best time to see the Wombats?

I went to Bendeela Picnic area in the afternoon, about 3pm in winter. So, 1-2 hours before sunset would probably be the best time to find them.

Location of the Wombats

What else is there to do Nearby?

If you are keen to do a secret hike – check out my blogpost about Hiking to Belmore Falls.