Alice Springs Desert Park
The Park introduces visitors to the subtle richness of Australia's arid zone. Designed to move well beyond the boundaries of traditional zoos, botanic gardens and museums, the park has adopted a holistic habitat-based and story driven approach. Visitors can discover the desert in its entirety; the landscapes, animals and plants, and their traditional use and management by Aboriginal people.The Desert Park site covers 1300 hectares and is adjacent to the West MacDonnell National Park. The site is of significant cultural importance to the local Arrente people and includes parts of the Akngwelye artnwere and Yeperenye Altyerre (Wild Dog and Caterpillar dreaming stories). The Desert Park provides a sensitive and realistic insight into Aboriginal culture by display and interpretation of the traditional use of plants and animals. The Park includes various exhibits: The Nature Theatre; The Waterhole Exhibit; The Woodlands Habitat; and the Nocturnal House.
At the Desert Park, visitors stroll through 3 carefully recreated desert habitats - Sand Country, Woodland and Desert Rivers. More than 400 species of plants have been grown to form the habitats and over 120 species of animals are displayed in landscaped exhibits. Native animals are attracted to these habitats for food and shelter and visitors can often enjoy the native life outside the enclosures. Professional guides and interpretation tell the stories of the habitats, the plants, the animals and the people in a manner which builds on more than 30,000 years of traditional Aboriginal story-telling.