Finke

The once busy town of Finke is west of Alice Springs. These days there is an arts centre here and also a fuel station. The striking desert oasis Palm Valley, home to a diverse range of plant species, many of which are rare and unique to the area, lies within Finke Gorge National Park.

Location: 140 kilometres west of Alice Springs.

The Finke River is claimed to be one of the oldest in the world, with areas dating back 350 million years. The park and nearby areas hold cultural significance to the western Arrernte Aboriginal people and there is also evidence of early European settlement. South of Finke is Old Andado.

In the area is Lambert Centre, which is the geographical centre of Australia, marked by a matching flag to the one on Parliament House in Canberra. A popular four-wheel-drive route down the Finke River to Illamurta Springs and Watarrka National Park begins at Finke Gorge. Bush walking is another popular activity.

Finke Gorge National Park

140 kilometres west of Alice Springs, the park covers an area of 46,000 hectares, and includes the impressive desert oasis Palm Valley, home to a diverse range of plant species, many of which are rare and unique to the area. The Red Cabbage Palm is found only in Palm Valley. The Finke River is claimed to be one of the oldest in the world, with areas dating back 350 million years. The park and nearby areas hold cultural significance to the Western Arrernte Aboriginal people and there is also evidence of early European settlement.


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For the experienced four-wheel drivers, the popular four-wheel-drive route down the Finke River to Illamurta Springs and Watarrka National Park begins at the Finke Gorge. Bush walking on one of the marked walking trails is another popular activity. Kalaranga lookout is an easy 20 minute climb, with spectacular views of the rock amphitheatre encircled by rugged cliffs. The Mpaara Walk introduces the mythology of the Western Arrernte Aboriginal culture. In Palm Valley, take the Arankaia Walk or the longer Mpulungkinya Walk, and meander among lush, slender palms, returning across a scenic plateau.

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