Territory Wildlife Park, near Darwin, Northern Territory

The Territory Wildlife Park is located next to Berry Springs Nature Reserve about 45 minutes south of the centre of Darwin. The Park was opened in 1989, as a project of the Northern Territory Government, Parks and Wildlife division. At the Territory Wildlife Park, visitors have the opportunity to see animals up-close in a range of natural habitats including wetland lagoons, underwater walk-through aquarium, monsoon forest and tree top aviaries.

Throughout the Park there is an extensive system of walking tracks. To get the most out of your visit and see the different habitats you should walk the three main walking tracks – The Woodland Walk (600m), the Wetlands Walk (550m) and the Monsoon Forest Walk (1100m). During the day there are various presentations by guides and keepers including fish and bird feeding at the Billabong, and the Birds of Prey Presentation.

The air-conditioned aquarium, houses various fish and aquatic animals from Northern Territory rivers. The aquarium follows the journey of as river from its source in the escarpment country, through water holes and billabongs to the sea. There are over 20 individual exhibits each replicating a different aspect of river life. The rock hole and billabong exhibits house water monitors, freshwater crocodiles and various turtles. The highlight is the walk-through tunnel where you will see barramundi, whip ray and other fresh water species swim over and around you. Beyond the tunnel, there is a large 3.4m long Saltwater Crocodile. Next you will pass coastal mangrove exhibit and then the coral reefs with beautiful display of coral and colourful fish and other marine life.

The Billabong exhibit has a raised walkway through a wet woodland habitat to a viewing platform over the lagoon. In the wet season the lagoon floods the surrounding area. A group of Pelicans are permanent residents. Various animals visit the permanent water supply including freshwater crocodiles, wallabies, cormorants and the Jabiru. In the water you may see four different species of freshwater turtle, giant barramundi and perhaps a whip ray. The barramundi are fed each day – check the daily schedule to see when the barramundi feeding is on.

Goose Lagoon is a natural billabong at the end of a short walk. There is a bird-hide on the edge of the lagoon to give you the opportunity to get closer to the water birds. The best months for bird watching at the lagoon are between July and October. You may see Longneck turtles, freshwater fish and reptiles such as Water Monitors, Floodplain Monitors and freshwater snakes.

The Monsoon Vine Forest Walk is a pleasant stroll through tall trees, palms and vine thickets. A one kilometre walk takes you through natural bushland to the aviaries where eleven separate habitat enclosures have been set up. The path takes you into a huge walk through aviary (one of the largest in the Southern Hemisphere). The paths take you from the forest floor to the treetops to see the habitat and wildlife at various levels.

The Flight Deck is an impressive display of free-flying birds of prey demonstrating their agility and diverse natural behaviour. You will see birds such as the White-breasted Sea-eagle, the Black-breasted Buzzard which can crack emu eggs with a stone, the Barking owl and more. The show is on at 10.00am and 3.00pm daily. After the show you can join the keepers for a chat and close up look at the birds, and some fantastic photo opportunities.

The Nocturnal House houses many nocturnal animals from the region including mammals, birds, reptiles and frogs. Some of these animals are rare and endangered, others are quite common, but difficult to see in the wild. The cycle of night and day has been reversed in the Nocturnal House so you can see these amazing animals active when they would normally be asleep.

Night time tours are available where you can walk round the Park with a guide with a spotlight and see nocturnal wild animals in their natural habitat.

A free Shuttle Train runs continuously around the 4km loop road, picking up and dropping off visitors at sheltered pick up points at the entrance to each exhibit. This is a great way to get round the park for visitors with a disability or families with young children, as the shuttle train can take wheelchairs and strollers.

The air-conditioned Café at the Main Station is open from 8.30am to 5.30pm serving hot and cold snacks, ice-cream, coffee and cold drinks. Lunch is available from 10.00am until 3:00pm. The Café also has a selection of souvenirs. Drink vending machines located at various positions around the park. The machines offer a variety of cold drinks including water, sports drinks and soft drinks. There is a picnic area next to the Main Station and you are welcome to bring your own picnic food. There are also picnic tables located at other areas around the park, but there are no barbeques.

The Territory Wildlife Park is a 45-minute drive south of Darwin to Berry Springs. From Darwin, head south on the Stuart Highway for about 50km, then turn right onto the Cox Peninsula Road. The Park is about 12 km along Cox Peninsula Road on your right, next door to the Berry Springs Nature Park. The Park is open from 8:30am to 6pm every day except Christmas Day.

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