Palm Valley

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 Queensland.

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.


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The track to Palm Valley is still only accessible with a four-wheel drive vehicle. It departs from the town of Hermannsburg and travels south, following the usually dry bed of the Finke River. Palm Creek flows into the Finke River from the west about 15 km (by track) south of Hermannsburg. The track follows the creek to Palm Valley about 5 km west of the Finke River.

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