Visiting the Alice Springs Desert Park is the best way to understand the deserts and their environment and the fact they are not as barren as you may think. There is a lot of life around.
Situated at the exit of Alice Springs going westward, against the backdrop of Mt Gillen, the Desert Park introduces you to the harsh and magical environment of Central Australia.
Plan a whole day for your visit. There are many things to see that will make you realise that the desert is not always what the word means, it is not a desolate land.
The park shows that it is just the contrary - an area populated with distinctive flora and fauna. Life has found a way to be present and even thrive in conditions that seem to be very inhospitable.
Grab an audio equipment, put the headphones on and start your walk around the park. You will see signs with numbers. Press the number on your equipment and listen to explanations or stories. It's like having your personal free guide with you.
Visit the three habitats: desert rivers, sandy country and woodland.
Here at the left see a dry, small salt lake.
The Birds Show is a must. The map and flyer you pick at the park entrance will indicate the time and place where the guides will hold a show or presentation. Try not to miss them as they are packed with interesting information and lots of fun. You can ask questions and learn more about life in the desert.
Take a seat in The Nature Theatre and watch the birds perform: falcons soaring into the sky or sitting on a hunting perch.
Many other species will demonstrate their abilities to fly or find food.
Go to the Nocturnal House to hear about the endangered species and admire the spiky camouflage of the thorny devil.
Then go to woodland habitat to see and hear about the kangaroos and emus.
The Aboriginal guides will get you to touch and smell various bush fruit and talk about traditional laws and customs.
They will show you: