Desert Wildlife and Botanic Gardens

PROJECT Desert Wildlife Park and Botanic Gardens

LOCATION Alice Springs, NT

LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT HASSELL and Green and Dale Associates

This 50 hectare park set within the McDonnell Ranges contains a group of manufactured miniature desert ecosystems. The aim of the design is to enhance the visitor’s appreciation of this arid landscape. Three main habitats are created, these include: riverine areas, sand country and woodlands. Within a half day visitors can learn much about arid areas which would otherwise take them days or weeks of travel.

The Alice Springs Desert Park is exceptional in its combination of zoological, botanic and ethnobiographical interpretation. It presents a unique facility incorporating the integration of botanical and zoological elements into habitats, and linking these with Aboriginal culture.

The design for the Alice Springs Desert Park presents the life of Central Australia's deserts via a 'Habitat Immersion' concept. Visitors experience the habitats of the Park through a series of 'Habitat Scenarios'. Each of the habitats reflects messages and themes of the Desert Zones, in displays of plants, fauna, ethnobiological elements and landform.