This is one of our favourite attractions in Alice Springs, having visited it many times over the years. Different times of the years, bring different experiences and the evolving Birds of Prey show changes as well with new introductions of birds and on occasions other animals. Of course the Nocturnal House is also very special and the place to be when the summer temperature rises.
Located at the base of Mount Gillen, 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 into the spectacular West MacDonnell Ranges and at the foot of the iconic Mount Gillen, the 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.
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 and August to October
- Temperatures around 30ºC and low humidity. This is the high season for tourist with birds crowding the receding waterholes.
Check out some of our images from Alice Springs Desert Park.
Alice Springs Desert Park Landscape and Flora Images
Set against the wonderful backdrop of the West MacDonnell Range and Mount Gillen, the desert park is packed full of examples of arid desert plant life, many of which form part of the Indigenous cornucopia of bush medicine and bush tucker.
Images coming soon…
The Alice Springs Desert Park Nocturnal House is recognised world wide as one of the best, providing the opportunity to view wildlife that only come out at night. The park also provide examples of wildlife in the other enclosures including walk-in avaries. Keep your eyes open for free-ranging wildlife including a variety of local lizards and insects.
Check out our complete listing of the Alice Springs Fauna section – with more images coming soon…
Alice Springs Desert Park Fauna – Bird Images
A major feature of the park are the number of birds on display throughout the park in enclosed and walk-through aviaries, as well as the non-captive birds.
More images coming soon…
The Nature Theatre is a popular highlight providing a free-flying ‘bird of prey show’. The show changes depending on time of year and circumstances, as well as the birds themselves. If you are lucky, on occasions there may be guests appearances by other wildlife. Check their website for show times.
Popular with interstate and overseas visitors is the kangaroo enclosure. Please do not touch the animals and stay to the path.
Check out our desert park images of the Red Kangaroo.
The Alice Springs Desert Park provides some great examples of the flora to be found in Central Australia. During certain times of the year they present a great example of mass flowering.
Check out our complete listing of the Alice Springs Flora section:
- Desert Grevillea (Grevillea juncifolia)
- Georges Indigo (Indigofera georgei)
- Honey Grevillea (Grevillea eriostachya)
- Parrot Pea (Crotalaria cunninghamii)
- Pink Everlasting (Schoenia cassiniana)
- Poached Egg Daisy (Polycalymma stuartii)
- Sturt’s Desert Pea, (Swainsona formosa)
More images coming…
Images © Greg Sully / Images © Ausemade PL