Territory Wildlife Park

Lorikeet at the Flight Deck show
(Click on the image above to see images from the Territory Wildlife Park)

What would a visit to Darwin and the Territory be without a visit to the Territory Wildlife Park? The Park is located at Berry Springs which is approximately 50km from Darwin. The Wildlife Park is not a zoo, but a well laid out natural representation of the fauna of the Northern Territory.

Arriving around about 10.40am, we were just in time for the show at the Flight Deck. This is the bird exhibition area where the wildlife keepers put on a show with some amazing birds that are found in the Territory. The crowds gathered and because it was school holidays there were a lot of children filling the seats so the area was quite full.

The show started with a group of ring necked lorikeets flying over the heads of the crowd as they went to find the hidden nectar treats in the branches placed around the enclosure. Then an adorable little barn owl appeared. It was so silent flying over the heads of the crowd just like a stealth bomber seeking its prey. A speedy appearance from a Wedge Tailed Eagle, Australia's largest bird of prey was next which I missed with the camera. A Black Breasted Buzzard also made an appearance and demonstrated how to crack an emu's egg open with a rock. These birds are born with this innate knowledge. They just do it from instinct and it is remarkable to watch them go about their work. An Osprey finished up the show taking food in mid air or snatching it from the surface of the pond in the middle of the enclosure.

The entire time the show went on the keeper provided a running commentary on each bird, its habitat and lots of information about them.

On completion of the bird show, we then took to wandering around the rest of the Park and followed the map provided. You can catch a train to each exhibit area, but we chose to walk the several kilomtres of paths to each exhibit and then back to the main base.

The Goose Lagoon is so named probably for a population of Magpie Geese but there were none in attendance on the day we visited. I did get some photos of Rainbow Bee Eaters diving on the water and taking bugs out of the air though.

The next exhibit was the Dingoes, but we we only saw one. I think we were lucky to see it too as it was just coming down for a drink. He totally ignored us peering over the fence, had his drink and then wandered back into the scrub at the back of the exhibit. If there were more there, then we didn't see them.

There is an aquarium exhibit next which shows many of the fish and other aquatic creatures throughout the Territory. Surprisingly enough, there is only one saltwater crocodile in evidence. Perhaps there are so many other places to see crocs that they don't bother. There are also a few smaller freshwater crocodiles around too.

The walk through Aviary is an interesting experience with a boardwalk taking you along through the canopy and past several enclosures with different types of birds. At the end you arrived at a huge netted area where you really walk through the "Aviary" and the multitude of bird varieties. I was particularly impressed to see Curlews and Forest Kingfishers in the mix.

The Nocturnal House was rather dark of course, but showed a considerable array of night dwellers. There were all sorts of small wallabies, native mice, quolls and bandicoots to see. Most of these animals you would never see in the bush of course so this is the best you could hope for dark and all as it may be.

Somewhere in the mix of these displays were quite a number of snakes including the extremely venomous Taipan and Death Adder. There were also a number of non poisonous snakes such as the Olive Python and the Carpet Python as well.

It was almost 2pm by the time we got back to the cafe to wolf down a delightful lunch at the cafeteria and rest the aching feet. Perhaps it would of been wiser to select some more hardy footwear than thongs for such a hike.

It is a good day out whether you be an older individual or taking the family along. There is something for everyone at the Territory Wildlife Park.

After our lunch we headed down the road a little to the Crazy Acres Mango Farm where they have the most delicious mango ice cream.  We were certainly not disappointed.

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