West Macs | Birthday Waterhole > Fauna | Flora

The Birthday Waterhole is a semi-permanent pool on the Hugh River in the Tjoritja /​ West MacDonnell National Park that is fringed by large River Red Gums and other native trees and shrubs.

The Birthday Waterhole plays an important ecological role, providing a refuge and habitat for a variety of creatures including birds, and a number of waterbirds. Some of the creatures found here such as insects, desert rainbow fish, frogs and other aquatic invertebrates, provide food for larger animals.


Spencer’s Burrowing Frog (Opisthodon spenceri)

When conditions are right, especially when there is a decent amount of rain, visitors to the Birthday Waterhole will get the opportunity to see the Spencer’s Burrowing Frog (Opisthodon spenceri). After significant rain, water can also be seen pooled in the rutted tracks. Frogs will also take opportunity to spawn in these ephemeral pools of water, so keep your eyes out for tadpoles.

There is more information in our Fauna section about the Spencer’s Burrowing Frog.


Australian Golden Orb Weaver Spider (Trichonephila edulis)

Unknowingly, as we were driving towards the Birthday Waterhole we had driven through an Australian Golden Orb Weaver Spider (Trichonephila edulis) web, as it was stretched across the track. The spider was retrieved and safely deposited on a nearby shrub. The female spider picture here, is also known as the Golden Orb Weaver.

There is more information in our Fauna section about the Australian Golden Orb Weaver Spider.


Toadhopper (Buforania crassa)

Long-nosed Dragon (Gowidon longirostris)

Keep your eyes out for a variety of reptiles in the area, such as the Long-nosed Dragon (Gowidon longirostris) seen basking on the rock.

There is more information in our Fauna section about the Long-nosed Dragon.