Welcome to Alice Springs and the Outback!
Two years ago, I was in Virginia, USA. Today, I am in the Central Australian outback. I didn’t know what to expect as my husband and I planned our move here, but I was very excited and eager to get to Alice Springs.
I had always heard about Australia’s popular animals, like the kangaroo and koala, but I was also looking forward to seeing this country’s other animals. As time has gone by, my goal of witnessing these well known iconic outback animals, has been reached.
As a traveler, you will see some of them locally, but others will be a bit harder to find. After all, it has taken me one and a half years . In this blog, I am going to share where you can see some of them when you are short on time. I can also point you in the right direction to see camels, donkeys, emus and brumbies, if you have more time to explore.
The first one is the kangaroo. There are a couple places where you should be pretty successful in seeing one or more. The first is Olive Pink Botanic Garden (opbg.com.au) in Alice Springs. Keep your eyes open, though! They blend in with the scenery. I brought some people from the U.S. here earlier this year, and they were so excited to see their first wild kangaroo. Not many can say they have seen that!
If you find yourself with more time, visit the Kangaroo Sanctuary in Alice Springs (www.kangaroosanctuary.com). There, you will meet Brolga and his mob of kangaroos. You may even get to cuddle some joeys!
Birds are plentiful here! Pictured below are 2 of Central Australia’s raptors: the kite (top left) and the wedge-tailed eagle (right). The red-tailed black cockatoo (bottom left), however, is a social bird seen in flocks.
You will see eagles alongside roads where there is roadkill. Be careful, though, as the eagles take off slowly if they are full, and may fly towards your car. You can also find them perched high in bare branches.
Alice Springs Desert Park has a wonderful bird show 2 times each day if you would like to learn more about raptors, owls, the magpie, the curlew, the heron, the hobby, and the tawny frogmouth, to name a few.
Below is a honey-eater miner bird. They are amusing to watch as they bully the other birds away from their territory. Just look around; you will see them looking for nectar on flowering trees.
Below is a glossy ibis. They are plentiful around areas that have water, such as Alice Springs Golf Club and Ellery Creek Big Hole.
The donkeys and camels are not close by. If you have time to spare, take a ride to Chambers Pillar, and you may see a few! If you are a camper, Chambers Pillar is a nice place to camp overnight or for a weekend.
Emus are not easy to find in the wilds around Alice Springs, but they can be seen at Alice Springs Desert Park – one of my favorite places to visit (check out http://www.alicespringsdesertpark.com.au). The photos below were taken close to the South Australia border and at one of the roadhouses along Stuart Highway south.
Brumbies are free-roaming wild horses. A group of Brumbies is known as a “mob” or “band”.
Alice Springs has a population of dingoes in and around town. I have seen them in the dry Todd River near walking paths around Telegraph Station, and in the dry riverbed near Anzac Oval.
On one of our walks, my husband and I saw 2 dingoes chasing a kangaroo. I love taking photos of animals and I know the dingoes have to eat, but… I didn’t want to see the up close and personal hunting. I found myself yelling to the kangaroo, “Run!” Phew – the kangaroo got away, but why did that kangaroo have to run right toward them!?
I know you can pretty much see cows anywhere, but they are a big part of our landscape and local fauna, and I wanted to include them. Watch them for a little while and you will see their personalities. Don’t get too close, though, or they will run away! They are very skittish.
I hope you have enjoyed this introduction to Central Australia’s animals. Maybe next time, I will write about reptiles to love, and the snakes and insects to avoid. 🙂
Here is a lizard to love, as a teaser…
Until next time!