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A Guide to the Alice Springs Desert Park

The Alice Springs Desert Park is a wildlife park located seven kilometres from the Alice Springs CBD. You can either self-drive, take a public bus or ride a bike to reach the park. The Desert Park is an institutional member of Botanic Gardens Conservation International and the Zoo and Aquarium Association.

The Desert Park is an environmental education facility where you can enjoy the beauty and mystery of Australian deserts while travelling from dry river beds to dense forests.

There are self-guided audio tours that you can use when strolling around in the desert. At some locations, you can enjoy free Wi-Fi access too. When hungry, you can have light refreshments at Coolum café. If babies and children accompany you, no worries! There are baby change facilities, stroller facilities, playground areas for children, and picnic areas with picnic tables, toilets, and barbeque facilities.

Alice Springs Desert Park dingo encounter

Dingo Encounter

Daily shows

Alice Springs Desert Park has created a daily program for its visitors where you can interact with guides and learn a lot about Australian desert life. The shows and activities include:

  • Dingo Dreaming (8:30am and 5:15pm)
  • Kangaroo Tales (9am) 
  • Changing Heart Movie (9am, 10am, 1pm, 2pm, 3pm and 4pm)
    A 20 minute movie explains the evolution of the Australian desert.
  • Emu - The desert wanderer (9:30am)
  • Nature Theatre - Free Flying Bird Show (10am and 3pm)
    Gates open 15 minutes before start time. Goes for 20 minutes.
  • Survival in the Desert (11am)
    Learn how Aboriginal people survived and thrived in the desert. 30 minute demonstration.
  • Fire, Flora and Fauna (1:30pm)
  • Mile High Club (2pm)
    Learn about the fascinating and diverse bird relationships. 15 minute talk.
  • Language of Central Australia with Bingo (3:45pm)
  • Bloodwood, Bowls and Bugs (4:45pm)
  • Nocturnal House (Open 9am to 5:30pm)
    Discover the rare and endangered nocturnal animals of the Red Centre.

Alice Springs Desert Park bird show 2

Free flying bird show

Nocturnal tour

Another attraction at the Desert Park is the nocturnal tour. The tour takes you to a predator-proof enclosure where you can see nocturnal animals showcasing their natural behaviours.

The guide will help you spot the endangered Central Australian reptiles, invertebrates, and rare animals of the desert. Enjoying animals like bilby, mala, and the thorny devil in their natural environment is a beautiful experience in the nocturnal tour, so don't miss it. 

Alice Springs Desert Park nocturnal tour

Nocturnal Tour

Desert Park animals

Alice Springs Desert Park is a live showcase of Australian deserts' cultural, biological, and natural features. You can come here and connect with nature. Visiting the Alice Springs animal park helps you explore the unique plants and animals of the desert.

Some notable plants are desert petunia, bush banana, small yellow button, chocolate cassia, desert oak, and darling lily.

Similarly, you can spot various birds, invertebrates, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians. Some of them include barn owls, red-capped robin, barking spider, western quoll, bandy-bandy, etc.

Alice Springs Desert Park

Wedge-tailed Eagle

Opening Hours

This Desert Park opens every day from 7:30am to 6pm. The last entry for the park is at 4:30pm. We recommend that you set aside 3-4 hours to visit the Desert Park. So, plan it accordingly. The park remains closed on 25th December.

Nocturnal Tours go for 45 minutes and depart:

  • Monday to Friday at 7.30pm (April - October)
  • Monday, Wednesday & Friday at 8pm (November - March)

 

Entry Fee

The entry fees depend on the ticket category; a day pass, a day/night pass and nocturnal tour pass. Children under 5 are free. Bookings for the nocturnal tour are important.

The entry fee is as follows:

 

Day
Pass

Day/Night
Pass

Nocturnal
Tour only

Adult

$37

$57

$30

Child (between 5-16 years)

$18.50

$29

$15

Family saver 1 [one adult and up to two children]

$63

$98

$53

Family saver 2 [two adults and one child]

$85

$128

$66

Family saver 3 [two adults and up to four children]

$100

$174

$105

The day/night pass includes entry to the desert park and a nocturnal tour; they are only available direct with the Desert Park

You become entitled to special rates if your group has ten or more individuals; this requires arrangement prior to visit

A Membership pass is also available to enjoy unlimited access to Alice Springs Desert Park and Territory Wildlife Park (located in Darwin) for 12 months. 

Desert Park FAQ

You can get to the Alice Springs Wildlife Park in various ways.

Drive:
If driving, travel west from the town centre for 6kms on Larapinta drive. Here you will find the desert park entrance.

Walking/cycling:
There is a shared walking/cycling path that starts at Blain Street. Start from the town centre and travel along the Larapinta Drive. Turn at Blain Street and join the pathway for 2.8kms.
Instead, you can walk or cycle on the Larapinta Drive and merge into the Desert Park cycle path opposite the Albrecht Oval. This path is a 900m sealed way that takes you to the entrance of the Park.
If coming from the Simpsons gap bike path, join Flynn's Grave pathway and walk for 2.4kms from the desert park entrance. It is better to carry a pedestrian or cycle path map with you.

Public bus:
For public buses, take route 400 and reach Albrecht Drive. After this, it is a 20-25 min walk to the Alice Springs Desert Park.

Transfer service:
Besides all these, you can also avail a transfer service with Emu Run Experience for $72/per adult, $39.50/per child. Transfers include cost of entry and return transport from your accommodation (pickup 8:20am, return pickup 12:20pm).
Adult -
$37 day pass, $30 nocturnal tour, $57 day/night pass

Child (5-16 years) -
$18.50 day pass, $15 nocturnal tour, $29 day/night pass

Child under 5 are free.
No, Koalas are not native to the Central Australia region.
Yes, while travelling around Central Australia keep your eyes open for native Kangaroos. You will be able to get close and personal with some at Alice Springs Desert Park.
Frogs, Birds (see them in action at the free flying bird show), spiders, mammals (Bilby, Mala, Dingo, Kangaroo, Western Quoll, and more) and reptiles (snakes, skinks, monitor, lizards).

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