Alice Springs Desert Park

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The Perentie (Varanus giganteus) is Australia’s largest lizard species that is found throughout the arid and semi arid regions of Australia, stretching from central Western Australia through the heart of Central Australia and outback regions of Queensland.

They grow up to 2.5 metres in length, inhabiting rocky ranges and outcrops, as well as the vast sandy deserts.

With their distinctive skin pattern, long neck, angular brow, powerful limbs and long, laterally compressed tail, the perenties are quite easily recognised. Each limb has five clawed toes and a mouth with curved sharp, backward pointing teeth. As well as being a fast sprinter, the perentie can stand on its back legs and tail to get a better view of the surrounding.

Visitors to the park should keep an eye out for the wild free roaming perenties.

Images © Greg Sully


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Check out our Fauna section for more images and information on Perenties.


  • Scientific classification
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Reptilia
  • Order: Squamata
  • Family: Varanidae
  • Genus: Varanus
  • Subgenus: Varanus
  • Species: V. giganteus
  • Binomial name: Varanus giganteus