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Alice Springs Desert Park

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Alice Springs Desert Park - Alice Springs, NT, Australia

The Alice Springs Desert Park is your essential introduction to Australia’s desert, showcasing the landscapes, animals and plants of central Australia’s and their traditional use and management by the Aboriginal people.

Nestled at the base of the spectacular MacDonnell Ranges, the park introduces a new dimension in environmental presentation through the integrated display of the plant, animal and human elements of Australia deserts. The introduction to the incredible subtle richness of Australian deserts encourages the further exploration of the regions spectacular network of national parks and reserves. It is indeed a a great way to introduce yourself to the area, especially those venturing out on tours through the region.

The park is divided into three typical desert habitats that include the Desert Rivers, Sand Country and Woodland. There are a number of ‘Guide Presentations’, aviaries (including walk-in ones), Nocturnal House, free-flying birds of prey in the Nature Theatre, and Exhibition Centre.

For those planning a visit, an ideal length of time to allocate is 4 hours or more. This will allow for at least one guided presentation, the Nature Theatre Birds of Prey Show, a visit to the three desert habitats, and the Nature Theatre Presentation. For those with only a couple of hours to spare, the Nature Theatre Display, the Nocturnal House and maybe a quick walk through the aviary and Desert Rivers Habitat is a good start, with the hope you can come back for a longer visit.

Source: Parks & Wildlife Commission of the Northern Territory

Information Centre

Alice Springs Desert ParkAlice Springs Desert Park
Larapinta Drive
Ph: +61 8 8951 8788
Fax: +61 8 8951 8720

Check out some of our images from Alice Springs Desert Park

Open 7 days a week 7:30 am to 6:00 pm daily
Allow at least four hours to visit.
Last suggested entry 4:30 pm
Closed Christmas Day
Hours may vary, contact visitor centre
Check the Alice Springs Desert Park website for a map of the Desert Park.

TIP: for those visitors who need more time to explore the park, and they intend to come back within the next few days, they can ask at the exit counter, for a re-entry ticket. Of course, Territories can apply for a yearly pass, they just need proof of ID and residence.

Territorian Pass for Wildlife Park

Alice Springs Desert Park Attractions

Attractions at the Alice Springs Desert Park include:
  • Pygmy mulga goanna (Varanus gilleni)“The Changing Heart” — a 20 minute cinematic journey in the theatre takes you through four and a half billion years of desert evolution, with a stunning finale.
  • Birds of Prey — an astounding display of free-flying birds of prey. Raptors such as the Australian Kestrel demonstrate survival skills rarely seen in the wild.
  • Aviaries — there are a number of wonderful live bird exhibits throughout the park, including a number of walk in aviaries.
  • Desert Rivers, the Sand Country and the Woodland Habitats — come and explore these wonderful habitats. See the amazing variety of animals and plants that water brings to the desert. Learn how plants, animals and people live in the desert. Discover how people have changed this fertile habitat. The Sand Country encompasses examples of clay pan, gypsum pan and salt pan.
  • Daily Presentations — include sensitive insights into Aboriginal culture and traditional use of the deserts' resources including bush foods and medicines.
  • Nocturnal House — have close encounters with rare and elusive wildlife in this stunning spacious Nocturnal House.
  • Interactive Interpretive Exhibits — for children and adults, be entertained and informed with the interactive exhibits.
  • Guide Presentations — there are a number of guided presentations. Information available provided on entry. You can also do the self-guided walk with the Audio-guide.

Click here to check out some of our images from Alice Springs Desert Park.

‘Critter Watchers Needed’
If you are living in Alice Springs, you could volunteer your services for being a ‘Critter Watcher’. The role of a ‘Critter Watcher’ is someone like you, who has a couple of hours a week to spare, who comes out to the Desert Park and sits and watches ‘Critters’ (mammals, birds and reptiles), whilst recording their behaviour. You will be given instructions by the zookeepers as to what observations need to be made. Behaviour such as breeding, feeding, fighting and other general behavioral patterns all get recorded to help the keepers at the Park with their management of these animals. This might be of how birds are coping when placed in a new aviary, or how a new male-female pair is getting on when first put together in the Nocturnal House. Check the website under ‘Friends of the Park’ for more information.

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Did You Know

Following are the Aboriginal Seasons:
Gunumeleng • October to December
• This is the pre-monsoonal storm season. This is the build-up to the big wet, being very humid and with more thunderstorms. The many waterbirds disperse and mosquitoes are on the increase.
Gudjewg • January to March
• This is the period with the most rain. There are violent thunderstorms and an abundance of wildlife. It is hot and moist.
Banggereng • April
• Animals are caring for their young, and plants are fruiting. There are also violent, windy storms (called “knock ’em down storms”).
Yegge • May to mid June
• Early morning mists hang over the plains and water holes, as the air starts to dry out. Waterfalls are still full and most tracks are open.
Wurrgeng and Gurrung • mid June to August
• Temperatures around 30ºC and low humidity. This is the high season for tourist with birds crowding the receding waterholes.
Brown Falcon
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