Bird watching

Power and Water is proud to support public bird watching at its world-class bird watching facility at the Ilparpa ponds in Alice Springs. A number of ornithology books note this site which attracts tourists from across Australia and around the world. This site is open with conditional access.

Leanyer ponds – Darwin

The Leanyer ponds: Closed due to crocodiles in the area.

Power and Water's Leanyer treatment facility is situated next to the Leanyer Swamp. This location has a tidal system with extensive mangroves and more than 240 species of birds have been recorded in the vicinity. These include Pink-eared Ducks, Wandering Whistling-ducks, Radjah Shelduck, Magpie Geese, Pied Heron and Brahminy and Whistling Kites.

Ilparpa ponds – Alice Springs

The Ilparpa ponds: Currently OPEN with conditional access

Fact Sheet: Bird Watching in the Alice Springs Stabilisation Ponds

The Ilparpa Swamp and adjacent sewerage ponds is a permanent site which is home to a variety of birds and is an important staging point for migratory birds on their way across Australia and overseas. The Ilparpa Ponds is a protected area, and covers about 130 hectares of land. The bird life at the waste stabilisation ponds is spectacular, with many rare species gathering around this body of water. Purpose built bird nesting islands, as well as a bird screen and interpretive signs have also been constructed at this site.

Site access information

Due to the number of requests for access by visitors and residents who are interested in seeing the unique bird life at the waste water treatment ponds, Power and Water has released some simple guidelines for access to this area.

  • Conditional access to the ‘A’ waste water treatment ponds for daylight hours only will be granted to members of the public upon successful completion of an online safety induction and indemnity form.
  • Once the induction has been completed ALL birdwatchers will be required to contact Tourism Central Australia to arrange a guided tour where access to the site will be granted with one of the accredited guides through Tourism Central Australia
  • Contact Tourism Central Australia by visiting the Alice Springs Visitor information Centre on the corner Todd Mall and Parsons Street or their web site www.discovercentralaustralia.com.au
  • You can also contact them by calling 8952 5800, 1800 645 199 or via email at info@discoverca.com.au
  • Induction forms are available on site.  Completed forms are to be left on site and will be collected by Power and Water staff.
  • Access to the Waste Water Treatment Facility is via a pedestrian gate only which will remain locked at all times.
  • Fully inducted bird watchers will be required to log their entry and exit to site by calling Talice Security on 8955 5888.
  • Single person access is not permitted. A minimum of two fully inducted visitors are required to be in close contact throughout their visit.
  • The Alice Springs waste water treatment ponds are located within the locked Waste Water Treatment Facility on Commonage Road, approximately 5 km from the CBD.
  • Birdwatchers are to remain within the designated areas and are not to be closer than one meter from the top of pond banks.
  • Food, alcohol and drugs are strictly prohibited on site.
  • All persons accessing the waste water treatment ponds are required to wear Hi-Visibility clothing (vest or similar), closed in shoes and carry their completed induction certificates and photo identification should they be approached by pond security or Power and Water staff.
  • Any persons failing to comply with the site specific requirements will be escorted off site and have their access revoked.

Power and Water Corporation online induction

Tourism Central Australia website

** Power and Water reserves the right to close the ponds or limit access at any time.  Power and Water will notify the public of such closures via its website and social media channels.