The often dry bed of the Finke River is the site of the magnificent
Palm Valley, the only place in Central Australia where Livistona mariae
(Red Cabbage) palms survive. The nearest specimens are 850 km away in
Palm Valley, within the Finke Gorge National Park, is an east-west
running valley in the Krichauff Range 123 km (138 km by road) southwest
of Alice Springs.
The average rainfall for Palm Valley is only 200 mm per year.
Although the gorge usually appears dry, there are some small pockets of
semi-permanent spring-fed pools that allow the unique flora in this
region to survive. During significant rainfall in the region, an
expanses of water can be witnessed flowing through the valley gorge.
During such events, a variety of aquatic life such as desert fish,
shield shrimps (Triops australiensis), tadpoles and frogs can flourish.
In early 1928, Herbert Joseph Larkin led an exploratory aerial
expedition exploring the possibility of developing the Palm Valley into
a resort. However, the exploration led to naught.