Alice Springs Reptile Centre
See some of the Northern Territory’s reptiles including saltwater crocodiles, enormous perentie goannas and desert-adapted thorny devils.
The Alice Springs Reptile Centre is the best place to get a close-up view of the Northern Territory’s many reptiles. Discover how the thorny devil lizard collects water on its spines. Get close to Terry the saltwater crocodile in the underwater viewing area and marvel at the sheer diversity of species in the Gecko Cave.
Discover 50 different reptile species, from the big perentie goannas to smaller blue-tongued and frill-necked lizards. Perenties, Australia’s largest native goanna, can grow up to 3.2 feet (2.5 meters) long. They were a popular food source for the Arrernte indigenous people and were important to Dreamtime stories. You’ll see the perentie goanna’s beautiful dappled markings often depicted in Aboriginal art.
Don’t miss the well-camouflaged little red-and-yellow desert lizard that is armored all over with spikes. The thorny devil is perfectly adapted to the harsh desert environment of Central Australia. It gets its water from the condensation that collects on its spines in the cool evenings and survives on a diet of ants.
Face a fear of snakes at the venomous snake display where you can watch taipans, adders and king brown snakes from a safe distance through glass. Watch the most popular reptile in the park, Terry the saltwater crocodile, from the underwater viewing area. He’s more than 9.8 feet (3 meters) long and was brought to the center after being captured in Darwin Harbour. Considering these prehistoric creatures can grow up to 16 feet (5 meters) long, Terry is considerably smaller. At feeding time you’ll see him propel himself with frightening speed up into the air to snatch meat from his handler’s pole.
Hang around for the daily feedings and talks that happen three times throughout the day. You’ll learn all about the scaly creatures’ desert adaptations and will be given an opportunity to handle some of the lizards and enormous olive pythons.
Alice Springs Reptile Centre is open every day. There is a fee for entry. The center is located in Alice Springs, near the National Women Pioneers Hall of Fame.
9 Stuart Terrace, The Gap NT 0870, Australia | View Google Map