Thursday, November 21, 2013

Wildlife and nature surrounding the Danube River

Wildlife on the Danube river
The Donau-Auen National Park
You will find DonauauenNational Park situated in a lush ‘green ribbon’ that lies in between the two closest capital cities in Europe; Bratislava and Vienna. Established in 1996, The park spans over 40 square miles and is a highly important conservation area; as well as a centre for science and research.
The second largest river on the continent, The Danube, flows through Donauauen untamed, feeding and watering the plentiful wildlife, and sustaining what is the last large wetland ecosystem in Central Europe. The park is full of things to do, and is an excellent place for explorers of all ages.

Danube river banks
Danube river banks

Spot rare and endangered species such as the Beaver and the Kingfisher; take one of the many walking tours; or rest up and sail the Danube. The neighbouring town of Orth also holds the tourist and information centre for the park, where you can learn about the environment in much more detail, get yourself some maps and check out the day’s tours and activities. Additionally the National Park House was opened in 2007 and was built beautifully in order to reflect and complement its surroundings. Shops, exhibitions, cafés, and events can all be found within.
Falling trees next to the Danube river
The Donauauen National Park is one of 6 protected parks in Austria, and locals use the well-established hiking and cycling routes to see the most of the vast forests and bodies of water that make the park so special. The most popular route is 11 km long and is aptly named the Napoleon Loop, as it passes a memorial to the 1809 Battle of Aspern-Essling, as well as some battlefield sites, and the headquarters of Napoleon himself. 

As well as these main activities, there are places you can go for a swim, or take part in water sports. For a whistle-stop tour of the park, you can even board the Admiral Tegetthoff in Vienna and sail right through the park, arriving in the medieval town of Hainburg.