Alice Springs Desert Park
Alice Springs Desert Park

If you’ve ever thought that Australia’s central deserts are empty wildernesses, then you must visit the Alice Springs Desert Park to learn all about the varied wildlife and plants that are just waiting to be explored. Just seven kilometres from Alice Springs, the park is an easy way to experience all the surrounding arid region has to offer without travelling too far.

Walking trails meander through the Desert Rivers, Woodland and Sand Country habitats that are designed to give visitors an insight into each of these distinct environments and their inhabitants.

There are plenty of opportunities to see the region’s interesting fauna as well, including the iconic thorny devil. A highlight for most visitors is the free-flying birds in the Nature Theatre Show. So, make sure you plan your day well, so you don’t miss that one. Walk-through aviaries allow visitors to see the many bird species that live in each habitat. These well-designed structures offer plenty of shady spots to sit and quietly birdwatch for a respite from the heat too. Wandering among the red kangaroos and seeing dingoes in their territory are also on the must-do list.

Obviously, a lot of the region’s unusual wildlife stay hidden during the day, so the Nocturnal House is a good way to see these animals. Visitors can also book a nocturnal tour for an amazing way to experience the desert’s night creatures, including the bilby, echidna and mala. Other special experiences available include the Eagle Experience and Living Desert Experience.

To learn about the area’s history, landscapes and Aboriginal culture, watch the 20 minute Changing Heart movie. Visitors can understand even more about the arid environment in the Survival in the Desert tour at 11am daily with an Aboriginal guide.

The park is open daily from 7.30am to 6pm, with the last entry permitted at 4.30pm. Entry fees apply. The Nature Theatre Show is on at 10am in summer months, and 10am and 3.30pm in winter. There are good facilities available here, with a cafe, gift shop and barbecue area as well as picnic shelters throughout the park