A real-life big foot.

Wallabies are macropods, meaning ‘large foot.’ These large feet and huge hind limbs come in handy, enabling them to hop super-fast while expending little energy.

Wallabies may seem elusive during the day, as they are crepuscular animals – animals that are most active during the morning and evening but rest during the day. In their natural habitat of Australia, it can get very hot in the middle of the day which is why wallabies will often be resting. If they get too hot, wallabies will lick their paws and forearms to cool off.

Jumping jellybeans!

When a joey (baby wallaby) is born, it is blind, furless, weighs less than a gram and is about the size of a jellybean. You may only catch the shortest glimpse of a joey this size as it crawls into the mothers pouch where it stays for up to 9 months and feeds on its mother’s milk.

After about 6 months, you may spot the joey outside of the pouch for short periods exploring and playing. However, the world is still big and new, so the joey will jump back in if it’s scared or wants more milk. After about 9 months, it is time to move out as the joey becomes too big for the pouch. Usually they will hang out close to the mother for a few more months.

Meet the mob:

Naturally, wallabies spend a lot of time resting during the day. Their habitat at Auckland Zoo is planted with large trees to provide shelter from either sun or rain while they enjoy their nap. When you visit the Australian Bush Track, take your time to spot the wallabies. They may not be hopping around, and when lying down, they can look surprisingly like rocks in the habitat!

Pouch life

Wallaby joeys can spend up to 9 months living in their mother’s pouch. This is a place of comfort and safety for the joey. Keepers train young joeys to hop into an artificial cloth pouch. When inside the pouch, keepers are able to perform regular checkups – an essential part of maintaining a healthy mob. It also ensures that trips to the vet for health checks are as stress free as possible.

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Video

Meet our wallabies

Wallabies are amazing - says our animal experiences team leader Lizzy. Join her in our wallaby joey crèche to hear more about these marvellous macropods.

How we're helping

Although we associate wallabies with Australia, five species of wallaby have been present in New Zealand for over 140 years! They are considered a pest species here because they compete with livestock for pasture, browse seedlings in plantation forests and damage indigenous vegetation. Some of our mob of wallabies are orphans. They were found as joeys in Waimate, in the South Island, and hand raised here at Auckland Zoo. They are here to help tell the story of the weird and wonderful animals from Australia. 

How you can help

You can donate to the Zoo here. 

Other Australia Bush Track Species