Travelling Australia - Journal 2013
June 2013

Territory Wildlife Park
location map
The Territory Wildlife Park shows visitors a collection of birds, animals, plants and aquatic life from the Top End. The Park, operated by the Northern Territory Government, is on Cox Peninsula Road which turns off the Stuart Highway about 50 kilometres south of Darwin. The Wildlife Park is about 12 kilometres along Cox Peninsula Road adjacent to Berry Springs Reserve. Signage to the park is good. There is a short walk from the car park to the entry.

The Wildlife Park is divided into three main sections (Wetland, Monsoon Vine Forest and Woodland) each with separate displays. Individual displays are connected by walking tracks and a bitumen road runs in a rough circle past presentation sites. At entry, visitors are given a map showing the displays and walking tracks and road connecting them. A "train" running anti-clockwise around the bitumen road carries visitors between "stations" distributed among displays; footpaths connect the "stations" and displays. The "train" is free and visitors can board and leave as they wish to move between displays. A restaurant is co-located with the entry and souvenir shop beside the "main station".

train The train on its travel around the wildlife park.
dingo One of three pure-bred dingoes at the park.
Territory Wildlife Park - page 2

Ooloo Crossing - One display represents Oolloo Crossing on the Daly River, including representative species from that site. Barramundi are in the pool with several whiprays (fresh water stingrays).
barramundi Barramundi patiently waiting their turn to be fed.
train A whiptail waiting for a fish to be placed under its wings to be eaten. The man standing in front of the whiptail commented that the animal has barbs the same as a stingray but he did not expect to be barbed. Nevertheless, he had a thermos flask of hot water nearby since very hot water is the initial treatment for a whiptail barbing.
train Whiptails. The two closer to the camera are lining up for food; the third one has been fed and is moving away to digest the piece of fish just eaten. Whiptails are reported to be quite common in the Daly River but their black colouring in dark coloured water means they are rarely seen.
Territory Wildlife Park - page 3

Birds - Birds are displayed in small aviaries dedicated to individual environments; The walking track through a series of these small aviaries gradually climbs to enter a large walk-through aviary with birds flying freely.
forest kingfisher Forest Kingfisher. Unlike most other kingfishers which dive into the water to fish for their food, the forest kingfisher mostly eats land animals. It has been seen to dive into termite nests to dig out a nesting hollow.
finch Female Crimson Finch. This species is often found around Pandanus where it builds its nest.
pigeon A Pied Imperial Pigeon, previously known as a Torres Strait Pigeon, has chosen a precarious perch a few metres above the public walkway in the walk-through aviary to raise a chicken. The skimpy looking "nest" below the parent and chick is as skimpy as it looks in the photograph.
Territory Wildlife Park - page 4

Water - Water plants and animals are an important element in the Top End environment.
water lily Water Lily. The pink flowers with the green leaves as background stand out remarkably well.
turtle Northern Yellow-faced Turtle. This turtle has bony plates in the jaws to crush snails and shellfish.
boardwalk The boardwalk is an essential tool for the wildlife park to permit visitors to see different environments. This lengthy boardwalk makes its way through the monsoon forest which is very wet, even in the cool dry season.
Territory Wildlife Park - page 4

Territory Wildlife Park displays a very wide range of birds, animals and plants as well as explaining the more commonly occurring habitats in the Top End. Anybody interested in wildlife should allow several hours to look at the park and enthusiasts may well consider visiting over two days. Birds displays are particularly comprehensive with a walking track through several small aviaries ending in a large walk through aviary.

GPS Position
Car park: - 12° 42' 37.7"S, 130° 59' 26.6"E