Thousands of bird species and other wildlife flourish in the Northern Territory. The NT's native animals include birds, insects, reptiles, marsupials and mammals. They can be spotted in the wild, at wildlife parks, and on wildlife tours and cruises.
Teeming with wildlife
The Territory is home to 400 species of birds, 150 mammals, 300 reptiles, 50 frogs, 60 species of freshwater fish and several hundred species of marine fish.
Most local species of birds and mammals have been comprehensively described, but new species of fish, frogs, reptiles, invertebrates and plants continue to be discovered.
Watching the wildlife
In some areas of the NT you see unusually rich numbers of species, or concentrations of threatened species or species not found anywhere else. These include the stone country of western Arnhem Land and Palm Valley. Other areas support high populations of wildlife – the floodplains of the Top End support vast numbers of waterbirds, fish, crocodiles, and many other species.
The Territory's prolific bird life provides some of its most spectacular wildlife experiences. Witness the massive aggregations of magpie geese and dancing brolgas in the billabongs and floodplains of the north, the noisy flocks of budgerigars and parrots in central Australia, and the threatened gouldian finch.
Crocodiles, the most famous of the Territory's creatures, can be seen in most rivers and billabongs in the Top End or at the wildlife parks around Darwin. There is almost a one-to-one ratio of crocs to humans in the north, so you're sure to come across them in Territory waterways.
A great way to see the wildlife of rivers and wetlands in the NT is on a guided cruise. Yellow Water is a land-locked billabong in Kakadu National Park where you will see submerged crocodiles, wild horses, buffalo and other wildlife. During the wet it floods and attracts millions of migratory birds.
Wildlife parks are a great way to get close to local animals on display in their natural habitats. At The Alice Springs Reptile Centre you will see a large number of reptiles, including huge perentie goannas, thorny devils and some of the world's most venomous snakes.
At the Territory Wildlife Park, near Darwin, you can walk through the nocturnal house, into a monsoon forest or under the aquarium inhabited by 4-metre saltwater crocodiles.
Crocodylus Park is home to Australian and exotic animals, including wombats, dingos, lions, tigers, monkeys, and more. Join a guided tour, feed a 5m jumping crocodile, or hold a baby crocodile.
For a closer look at a saltwater crocodile, head to Darwin's Crocosaurus Cove. The two-storey fresh water aquarium displays North Australian fish species, freshwater crocodiles and turtles and there are daily crocodile and fish feeding shows.