This small (20 cm) parrot shows strong sexual dimorphism. The male has a turquoise head, yellow underparts and an olive-green back. While the median, outer lesser wing-coverts and secondary-coverts are turquoise blue with the innermost median coverts chestnut red, appearing as a band running down the shoulders when not in flight. The female lacks the chestnut wing patch and the yellow of the undersurface extends to the upper belly, with the chest being grassy green. The turquoise on the head is restricted to the cheeks and above the eyes, but the lores and around the eyes are white. The female resembles the female Scarlet-chested Parrot N. splendida, but the two species do not overlap in range, with the Turquoise Parrot confined to the eastern states, between southern Qld and central Vic, while the Scarlet-chested Parrot is found throughout southern Australia from central WA to eastern NSW. The call while flying is a ‘tseet-tseet’ and a ‘zit-zit-zit’ when alarmed.