Calling all animal lovers! Want to discover some of Australia’s most incredible creatures? Then look no further than the Northern Territory! With everything from stunning birdlife to bouncing kangaroos and snapping crocs, the NT is an animal lovers dream!
The fascinating animals that call the Northern Territory home are one of the area’s biggest drawcards, and there’s no shortage of incredible ways to discover these creatures in their natural habitat. Whether you want to see a dingo, meet kangaroos or discover native birdlife, the NT has you covered. Here’s 6 reasons animal lovers (and everyone else) will love the NT.
1. There’s this place called the Desert Park…
… and it’s amazing! This spot is like a one-stop shop for learning about animals in the Red Centre. The park has three recreated desert habitats, the Sand Country, Woodland, and Desert Rivers, which are all home to an array of unique creatures. As you wander around the park you’ll get to see these animals up close, and can read about them and their habits.
Make sure you check out the Nocturnal House which is home to critters like the bilby, thorny devil and mala. There’s a fantastic bird show too, which shows off some of the area’s most impressive birds of prey.
We’d recommend giving yourself a full day to explore here so that you can learn as much as possible.
The Desert Park is open 7.30am to 6.00pm every day. Last entry 4.30pm. Nocturnal House open 9am to 6pm.
2. You can meet orphaned kangaroos
The Kangaroo Sanctuary just outside Alice Springs is a special spot to visit. Here you can meet the gorgeous rescued orphaned baby and adult kangaroos and learn more about these amazing animals. The Sanctuary’s aim is to ‘educate and encourage people to rescue and care for kangaroos and other wildlife and animals’, and you’ll definitely leave with a fuzzy feeling.
You can book online to visit the roos here. The Sanctuary is open Tuesday – Friday.
3. You can find the largest reptile display in Central Australia
It’s called the Reptile Centre! Located in Alice Springs, it’s home to Terry the Saltwater Crocodile, Perentie Goannas, Thorny Devils, Frill-neck Lizards and tons of geckos!
There’s a daily show at 11am, 1pm, and 3.30pm, which consists of an informative presentation followed by a handling session! It’s a great chance to come face to face with some of the Red Centre’s scaly inhabitants and learn all about them.
The centre is open from 9.30 am – 5.00 pm daily.
4. You can get close to crocs!
That probably doesn’t sound like everyone’s cup of tea, but even if you’re not too keen on coming face to face with crocs, you’ll find something to enjoy at Crocosaurus Cove in Darwin.
If you’re feeling brave, check out the Cage of Death, Crocosaurus Cove’s signature experience. This is Australia’s only crocodile dive that plunges you below the water with the crocs themselves! It’s a unique way to encounter these prehistoric beasts and an experience you’ll never forget. Some of the largest Saltwater Crocodiles in the world live here, so prepare for an epic adventure!
If you prefer to stay on dry land, there’s plenty to check out above the water too! Crocosaurus Cove holds the world’s largest display of Australian reptiles and the staff here are passionate about educating visitors on the array of reptiles found in the NT. There are tons of facts to soak up and you’ll get to meet creatures from the Kimberley, Kakadu, and Litchfield areas, as well those found in the Central Australian Desert. There’s also 9 reptile shows daily that will teach you all about the Cove’s inhabitants.
5. You can visit Kakadu National Park
This place is a haven for animal lovers, especially those interested in birds. Kakadu is home to one-third of Australia’s bird species, so no matter where you visit here, there’s plenty to see!
A good place to start is with the Yellow Waters Cruise on the Yellow Waters Billabong. The wetlands around this area are home to around 60 species of birds, including Whistling Ducks, Magpie Geese, Jabirus and Brolgas. You can book your cruise here: https://www.kakadutourism.com/tours-activities/yellow-water-cruises/yellow-water-cruise/
Kakadu also boasts Corroboree Billabong, another great spot for a cruise. Here you’ll see white-bellied sea eagles, kingfishers, barramundi fish, and some saltwater crocs. The Billabong is home the largest concentration of these crocodiles in the world!
And then there’s Jabiru! This town in the Kakadu National Park is home to something called ‘Kakadu’s Black Cloud”… what’s that you ask? Well, it’s not as ominous as it sounds. The Black Cloud refers to the thousands of flying foxes which take off every night around dusk. It’s truly a very special sight!
6. There’s a good chance you’ll see animals in the wild.
This is one of the best things about the NT. The desert and bush have tons of native wildlife living there, and if you keep your eyes peeled you never know what you’ll see.
Keep quiet when you’re doing a walk, and you might notice a lizard watching you from a rock! You could also meet a brave wallaby while you’re setting up camp or see an emu running while you’re driving!