A trip to the Northern Territory. Part 5
Alice Springs Desert Park
Its been a few months since I last posted about our trip to the territory, so I thought it might be time to get back in the groove. Another great thing to do while in Alice Springs is to visit the Alice Springs Desert Park. Here you will see an amazing array of Flora and Fauna which is indigenous to the Northern Territory. You will need at least a 1/2 to a full day I reckon and whatever you do, do not miss the nocturnal house! It is magnificent. There are Bilbies, Quolls, Numbats, Pie dish beetles, tiny little jumping mice thingies, spiders, nocturnal snakes and many other nocturnal animals. I unfortunately didn’t get any photos of the Bilbies, but here are some of the Numbat.
Of course there were all sorts of snakes and lizards, sorry about the blurry picture but I just had to include this nasty looking fellow!
The Thorny devils are always great to watch, these fellows were standing there and eating the ants as they went past them. Their tongues would just flick out and snaffle them up.
As you can see they are certainly thorny, also very well camouflaged for the desert environment. The Lizard below is just hanging out, I don’t know his name.
What I noticed a lot of in the park were lots of different Erimophila shrubs. There are about 260 Erimophila species endemic to Australia, also known as Emu Bushes. There are also many cultivars available in nurseries now. Here’s a few from the Desert Park.
If I say Dingo, what is the first thing that pops into your mind? If you come from Australia like me, I would haphazard a guess that the name Azaria Chamberlin would spring to mind. If you don’t know what I’m referring to, click on her name! Canus lupus dingo, also know as a Dingo(click here for more info) is a wild dog found in Australia. It’s the largest terrestrial predator in the country. There are quite a few around Alice Springs particularly the old Telegraph Station. There is an excellent talk about these wild dogs at the Desert Park, very informative.
They blend in quite beautifully with their surroundings as you can see. They also come with different coat colours depending on what habitat they live in. Interesting!
Here’s another plant that’s prominent in the Alice Springs area Senna artemisiodes subsp. oligophylla, also known as Oval Leaf Cassia. A beautiful yellow flowering shrub to 2 metres.
Another very exciting exhibit at the Alice Springs Desert Park is the Birds of Prey demonstration. Keep your head low!! A couple of Kites put on quite a masterful aerial display.
The owl was quite stunning as well!
Of course the star of the show is the mighty Wedge Tail Eagle. These are quite widespread across the country and we see lots at home but still they are impressive wherever you see them.
Check out his Wedgesticks(drumsticks) and not to mention his talons!
And of course that big rudder at the back-wedge tail. Need to know more?? Click HERE.
Here’s a few more feathered friends from the Desert Park.
Now a few more plants from the Park!
The landscape around the park is impressive as well!
Of course there are plenty of other animals here, this is only a snapshot of a few. I will finish with one of our most iconic marsupials, Big Red. Macropus rufus.