ALICE SPRINGS DESERT PARK

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This is the most incredible park – like a combination of Australia Zoo and the best native botanic garden rolled into one. We stopped and chatted with one of the horticulturalists doing some new planting and it was mind boggling the amount of planning that goes into each “region” of plantings.

Lots of (wheelchair friendly) well laid out walking trails, plenty of toilets, a kiosk, gift shop (with actual interesting stuff), animal shows, animal enclosures and displays. Awesome.

Below are some of the birds that performed in the amphitheatre for the bird show.

I should have kept notes during the performance as to which bird was which. My daughter and I don’t always agree from memory on the names. Feel free to contradict anything I have written!

Believe this is a Wedge Tailed Eagle. She is only a young bird and was pursued through her performance by a flock of wild crows and a wild WTE.

Barn Owl

Magpie, singing on command.

Buzzard uses rocks to open an “Emu” egg and get the prize within.

Whistling Kite chasing a lure.

Emu enclosure….

….and how to catch and cook an emu!

The park was full of a huge variety of sometimes flowering native plants. I’ll try to find their names over time. Below is a sample of the plants blooming during our visit in July.

Pterocaulon sphaletatum (Apple Bush)

Chysocephalum apiculatum (Common Everlasting)

Senecio gregorii (Annual Yellowtop)

Gossypium bickii (Low Desert Rose) plant family: Malvaceae. Floral emblem of NT and pretty obviously related to Hibiscus it’s also closely related to cotton producing plants. It grows wild here but I only saw isolated plants growing, no groups.

Dead Finish, Acacia tetragonophylla

Clianthus formosus is now Swainsona formosa Sturts Desert Pea floral emblem of SA – self seeds and grows wild around here but is hard to cultivate where you would like it to grow! Also comes in a white form (which I didn’t see).

Wild Tomato, Solanum orbiculatum – edible but bitter. Comes with a warning that many of it’s similar looking relatives are toxic.

Cunninghams Rattle-pod, Crotalaria cunninghamii

Grevillea eriostachya (Honey Grevillea)

Ptilotus latifolius (Tangled Mulla Mulla)

Lawrencella davenportii (Davenport Daisy)

Dodonaea microzyga (Brilliant Hopbush)

Xerochrysum bracteatum (Golden Everlasting)

Corymbia opaca (Bloodwood, formally Eucalyptus opaca)

Many of the trees growing in the park had fascinating bark.

There is a HUGE variety of bird life out here in central Australia. You would need to get hold of a specialist publication to read about them all. The Park had quite a few bird displays, many big enough to walk through, with particular environments and birdlife in residence. Difficult for me to get good photos of these fast moving little creatures with my small camera.

Finches, budgies, other parrots, doves and water birds abound at the natural waterholes. I wasn’t lucky enough to see the wild budgies at this time of the year.

One of the enclosures at the park.

Spinifex pigeon

Pied Stilt (per my parents)

Australian Bustard – male and his female – he kept pacing and wouldn’t stand still for me!

There was so much to see and do at the park, I’ve only covered part of it. Hours of wandering and looking pleasure. I hope I get the chance to come back again during a different season and I hope others get the chance to come out here to visit this incredibly beautiful, diverse and interesting part of the world.

A constant surprise.

3 thoughts on “ALICE SPRINGS DESERT PARK”

  1. What an amazing visit you are having Lissa! I have loved every single one of your posts. Thank you SO much for sharing your visit in posts with us all. I doubt I will ever head to the red centre and your post certainly allowed me to get a real feel for this glorious place 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Gives us the chance to travel together Fran 🙂 I love your pics of Tasmania for the same reason.
      I have had the best! holiday in AS. There is still so much I didn’t see so lots to do on a return visit. I get easily bored on holidays but this one was anything but boring. The vibe in the town is really good – it is peak tourist time so could vary at different times of the year. Hard to get a car park with all those tourists around lol…..ooops that includes me.

      Liked by 1 person

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