Park ranger experience

Alex Hanley

Ranger, Alice Springs Telegraph Station

"I first started with Parks and Wildlife through the Flexible Employment Program in 2012, where I did a lot of work with rangers on parks throughout Central Australia for a year and a half. This led me to a short term contract employed by Parks and Wildlife for five months and then I applied for a T1 fulltime job at the Alice Springs Telegraph Station, where I have been since the start of 2014.

"In my area we manage 11 parks and reserves, each one unique and special in its own special way. The range of jobs we do varies from day to day and there are many overnight patrols to some of our more remote parks. I like the challenges faced with this job. I like working with a range of staff, traditional owners and volunteers. The knowledge and experience each person has helps me excel in my own personal development and career."

Natalie Chester

Senior Ranger, Litchfield National Park

I have worked in the environmental field for a number of years, through living and working in various parks in the USA, Canada, as well as in the Northern Territory. Being a Park Ranger means a lot to me personally because it allows me to share my passion for the natural environment with the general public through education and raising awareness.

I have had many fantastic opportunities as a ranger, but what I love most is being able to work in the field every day conducting hiking patrols, emergency response, GIS mapping, conducting controlled burning, controlling invasive weed species and participating in crocodile management programs.

It is a physically and sometimes mentally demanding job, but very satisfying when you know that you are contributing toward the bigger picture of biodiversity and conservation management in Australia.

Andrew Cooper

Ranger, Garig Gunak Barlu National Park (Cobourg)

Working at Garig Gunak Barlu National Park has given me the opportunity to work on country and gain new skills. 

The work is interesting and varied and there are always plenty of jobs to do. In the Dry Season we have campers come to stay in the park and get to meet some interesting people. 

During the Wet Season we do not get visitors by vehicle as road access is cut off by the East Alligator River and the Coopers and Murgenella Creeks.The Wet Season is when we do all our weed work by spraying and hand pulling introduced plants. These plants are mostly brought to the park by vehicles. We do not have Gamba Grass or Mimosa which is good as they alter the country significantly. We also do marine patrols which can also involve police, other Park agencies and Sea Ranger groups in Arnhem Land.

Kaitlyn York

Ranger, Tjorita / West MacDonnell National Park

I first came to Central Australia while studying at University to gain work experience. I spent almost a month at Watarrka National Park and just fell in love with the Ranger job and the environment here. 

Not long after I finished my degree I returned for more work experience, this time at the Alice Springs Telegraph Station Historical Reserve and was lucky enough to get a contract there where we looked after around 10 small reserves. 

After gaining some amazing experience there I secured a permanent position here at Simpsons Gap in the Tjoritja / West MacDonnell National Park. 

I feel so lucky every day to do the work I do and get to see all the amazing things I see! I still can't believe that I get paid to hike the Larapinta Trail!

Brett Joubert

Ranger, Watarrka National Park

I've always had an interest in wildlife management ever since I was a child growing up in South Africa. 

I worked in the financial services industry for over eight years before deciding to switch careers. I first started off volunteering for Parks and Wildlife QLD and Pelican and Seabird Rescue Ltd around Brisbane before getting a job with Greening Australia (QLD).I was offered a T1 Ranger position at Watarrka National Park in April 2014 and I've never looked back. I really enjoy working in isolated areas of the park that not very many people get to see.

The variety of jobs is great too. You can be writing up a report or project plan one day, and you could be fighting fires or taking visitors on a guided walk the next.

Dani Best

Ranger, Garig Gunak Barlu National Park (Cobourg)

In my career as an NT ranger I have worked at Mary River National Park, Howard Springs Nature Park, in Crocodile Management and currently at Garig Gunak Barlu National Park. 

I love being a ranger here because it's the most beautiful place in Australia. We are also lucky enough to look after the Cobourg Marine Park.

My work varies immensely from conducting prescribed burning, clearing roads of fallen trees, detecting and managing ghost nets, to fixing fence lines and interacting with visitors to the park.

Being a ranger is the best job in the world and if you love your job you'll never have to work a day in your life.

Jarrod Benton

Ranger, Barkly District

I was born and bred on the Tiwi Islands in the NT. Growing up with love for the bush made me want to become a ranger. 

In my career as a ranger I have worked in several parts of the Territory, including Mary River National Park and Litchfield National Park. Currently I'm working at Tennant Creek in the Barkly Region. 

Some of the parks and reserves I help manage are Iytwelepenty / Davenport Ranges and the Karlu Karlu / Devils Marbles. 

I love being a ranger here because of the remoteness and working in spectacular environments which are hundreds of kilometres from anywhere. Living and working in these wonderful parks bring new and exciting experiences every day, you never have a dull moment!

The diversity in work is great! One moment you could be fighting a wildfire the next you could be attending a venomous snake call out. 

My duties include maintenance to park infrastructure, attending a vehicle breakdowns, investigating reports of inappropriate behaviour or tending to injured wildlife. I love getting out into the park and exploring new areas, spraying weeds and educating visitors about the park. 

I feel very privileged to be a ranger and would recommend the job to anyone who has a passion for conservation and land management.

Maxine Gallagher-Johns

Trainee Ranger, Keep River National Park

I wanted to become a ranger because I was keen to return to the bush life, living out bush is very peaceful, relaxing and breathtaking. 

I thought becoming a ranger would be challenging, you get to work out in the great outdoors, meet a lot of friendly people/visitors with different nationalities from all over Australia and the world.

Being a ranger would keep me fit and active, you learn about the bush life and its habitat concerning the plants and animals, see and experience what Mother Nature does to create the changes in the environment.  

My big interest is to learn more about the different bush tucker and bush medicine that we Indigenous Australians use Australia-wide.

Jonny McGannon

Ranger, Finke Gorge National Park

I've always wanted to be a ranger, I love being outdoors and am fascinated by wildlife. 

My dream of becoming a ranger motivated me to complete high school and university. I studied in Brisbane and in my uni mid-semester break I came out Ormiston Gorge as a volunteer to work on the Larapinta Trail and I  fell in love with the Red Centre. 

In 2012, after finishing uni I moved to Alice Springs and worked several local jobs to get by and dedicated every wekeend to volunteering with Parks and Wildlife. 

Ranger jobs were so competitive that I almost gave up trying and instead became a tour guide on Magnetic Island. 

My lucky break finally came in 2014 when I won a ranger position at Finke Gorge National Park. Now one year into my employment, I feel I have the best job in the world, every day is different and I love living out on park, it's a great lifestlye, I recommend it to everyone!

Dawn Morgan

Ranger, Alice Springs Telegraph Station

I currently work at the Alice Springs Telegraph Station, but I have also worked in the Top End parks.

On reflection, I feel very privileged to work as a park ranger in the Territory, not only have I learned from the landscape but learned and worked with many inspiring, knowledgeable and dedicated people. These people include Parks and Wildlife Staff, traditional owners through the Flexible Employment Program, volunteers, visitors and many others.

Working as a park ranger you undertake a variety of tasks in teams of like-minded people, sharing ideas and working together. 

Work includes repairs and maintenance of park facilities, weed control through to assisting school groups. While doing these tasks I have had many memorable moments including interaction with wildlife, with visitors and parks staff, sunsets, to being shown bush tucker.

Alan Withers

Senior District Ranger, Garig Gunak Barlu National Park (Cobourg)

As the Senior District Ranger managing both Garig Gunak Barlu National Park and the adjacent Cobourg Marine Park in an extremely isolated location presents many challenges. 

The parks are jointly managed with the traditional owners of Cobourg Peninsula and overseen by the Cobourg Peninsula Sanctuary and Marine Park Board. The area has an abundance of terrestrial and marine habitats and associated species which make working here an amazing experience.

One of the advantages of being based here is that often no two days are the same and we are often called on as a first response to vessels in distress and other marine situations such as search and rescue.  

In the National Park we also respond to vehicle accidents and medical emergencies so the rangers based at Black Point have a diverse range of responsibilities over just under 4,500 square kilometres.

Shelley Inglis

Ranger, Tjoritja / West MacDonnell National Park - Ormiston Gorge

I have worked with Parks and Wildlife Commission Northern Territory for almost four years based at Litchfield National Park, Judbarra/Gregory National Park and West MacDonnell National Park, Ormiston Gorge. 

I started at Ormiston Gorge recently and already greatly enjoy working on the beautiful Larapinta Trail, the diversity of wildlife and landscapes along it. 

I became a ranger because I love working outdoors, am passionate about wildlife conservation and enjoy the challenge of the diversity of the job and skills you get to learn.  

Since becoming a ranger I have particularly enjoyed working in Joint Managed Parks and learning the cultural history of the park I am working in.

Mark Anderson

Senior Ranger, Tjoritja / West MacDonnell National Park - Simpsons Gap

I have been working as a ranger in the NT since 2005. During my time as a ranger, I have worked (and lived) in some of the most spectacular parks in the world, including Tjoritja / West MacDonnell National Park, Nitmiluk National Park and Karlu Karlu / Devils Marbles Conservation Reserve.

Working as a ranger in the NT is a very satisfying job, with many varying aspects to it.  One day we can be out walking on the Larapinta Trail, the next we can be out fighting fires or helping out on a fauna survey.  

I have been extremely lucky in my time in the NT, I have trekked the Larapinta Trail and the Jatbula Trail, and have worked with large crocodiles in Katherine, but one of the best parts to the job is getting to work with some amazing people, who all share common goals and interest.

Last updated: 18 April 2016