The Snail Trail

Travelling with my home on my back and in no hurry to get anywhere

Alice Springs Desert Park


Alice, Alice, Where the Hell is Alice!

We’re not looking for a person here – we’re in Alice Springs and as Australians do with most things, it’s been given a nickname – “The Alice”. I’m in the Red Centre of Australia – the earth is red, the ranges are red, and if you stay out in the sun too long you’ll go red, too!

Alice Springs

The Red Centre

There’s a lot to see and do in Alice Springs, situated as it is in between the East and West MacDonnell Ranges and on the highway between Adelaide and Darwin. Beautiful rugged escarpments, wonderful gorges and historical settlements have kept me busy for the few days I’ve been here. I’ll try and give you a brief overview of some of the attractions….wish I  could go to everything, but time and money have forced me to be selective!

The Alice Springs Telegraph Station

The Alice Springs Telegraph Station Historical Reserve marks the original site of the first European settlement in Alice Springs. Established in 1871 to relay messages between Darwin and Adelaide and linking with an underwater cable network to London – England. Establishing the first real communication between Australia and England.

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Alice Springs Desert Park

If you ever go to Alice Springs make sure you visit the Desert Park! And set aside a full day or do it over a couple of days. There is so much to see and so many informative sessions they run that it’s impossible to do it all in one day. As we were leaving we mentioned that it was a shame they didn’t offer a 2 day pass (or 3 days as they do at Uluru) and it was only then we were told that for an extra $5 we could have had that option. The program is intense, with demonstrations of bush survival skills, free flying birds, the nocturnal house and so much more. I’ve tried to organise my photos into sections and this first slideshow is some of the landscape in the park.

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The walk through aviaries were wonderful and gave me the opportunity to see close-up some of the birds I’ve longed to see. Margaret’s bird photos are fantastic and I’ll try and identify the birds for you in the slide show.

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And the dingos were a highlight of the animals and reptiles in the park.

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We went to three different presentations, the first conducted by Anne about Bush Survival Skills. She was so informative and with such a great sense of humour the time just flew.

Anne also took us through the Nocturnal House where we saw a bilby and ghost bats, but the highlight at the end of the day was the free flying birds. How they come in out of the wild on cue is amazing ….  well, ok, the ranger had treats for them so they were bribed but they all appeared in turn at just the right time. Hard to photograph as they were on the wing most of the time but Margaret managed to get a few thank goodness.

The Desert Park was a great experience, so varied, wonderful staff and very informative. I went with Margaret, Pam and Lorraine, all fellow solo travellers and every single one of us enjoyed it. If you’re in Alice Springs, don’t miss it!

My next Alice Springs adventure is to head out to some of the gorges in the West and East MacDonnell Ranges with a visit to Hermannsburg and Palm Valley. I’ll tell you all about next time!