Would you consider riding a kangaroo? I certainly wouldn’t, but the idea of doing so won me a great lunch many years ago.

I have to say that the only prizes I have won in my life are for being very silly, and this was no exception

I was listening to Sydney commercial radio back in the 1980s (before I grew old and switched to Auntie ABC.) when 2GB presenter Bruce Barnett asked listeners to send in some facetious advice for tourists. One of his examples was that if travelling on the London Underground you should introduce yourself to your fellow passengers and shake hands with them. 😎 Entries had to be under 100 words as I recall.


Bruce Barnett, the man responsible for my Kangaroo Express idea.

Anyway, the following is my effort;

ATTENTION FOREIGN TOURISTS – It is no longer necessary to cross Australia’s Nullabor by the traditional means of plane, train or private motor vehicle. My advice is to book on the new Kangaroo Express. Similar to the old Pony Express, this adventure style travel service provides fresh mounts every 100 kilometres. Back braces may be advisable for the elderly or infirm. Ample water supplies, bedding, and billycans can be stored in the kangaroo’s pouch, which is surprisingly capacious! A special hint for the ladies; a nylon stocking can be easily adapted to form a nosebag for a restless roo.

Well, I warned you it was silly.

The lunch was at a restaurant called Veranda, near King’s Cross. I don’t remember much about it to be honest, except that my husband Rob and I had a most enjoyable time with Bruce.

Recently I discovered that I was not the first person to write about a Kangaroo Express. The following tall story was so much more creative than mine. It was published in the United States in the 1930s, and stated that one Johnny Creighton was in San Francisco buying paint for his unique Australian postal service, which had a stable of 15 kangaroos. Here is an extract;


The express company utilizes the nomadic habits of the kangaroo and its personal pockets to send messages, small packages, tobacco and supplies into areas where there is no transportation. Kangaroos engaged in the express business have huge white crosses painted on them that can be seen from a distance.

When an isolated rancher wants to use the express company he keeps a sharp eye out for ‘a white X kangaroo’. When he sees one he gets on his horse and ropes it. Then he puts money in the pocket with a note on which he writes an order for whatever he wants. Kangaroos go north in the summer and south in the winter. (Katoomba Daily 21 August 1936)

According to the story the express roos would arrive in the south, and the orders would be taken out and filed away. When it was time for the semi-annual migration back north their pouches were filled with packages, and they were released to go skipping back to the hills, there to be caught and unloaded. Apparently very few packages were lost. 😎

Kangaroo Express book delivery.

Now back to my own notion of personal transport. With a very large hopper you may even be able to beat the Indian Pacific, or a coach. Just look at this…a photo finish, but it’s definitely the kangaroo by a head!

Kangaroo Express beats the bus.

NOTE -I should point out that attempting to ride a kangaroo would be considered harming a protected native animal. It would also be impossible; one mighty hop and a foolhardy passenger would fly in the air and probably land on their head. A kangaroo is also capable of standing completely upright, so the least alarming scenario would involve slithering down its back in an embarrassing fail. 😬

Old Man Kangaroo
  1. love it!

  2. What a wonderful story!!

Leave a Reply

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.