Want to see something unique and don’t mind going a little off the beaten track? Join @brewsontour, an adventurous family on Instagram, as they explore the beautiful Finke Gorge National Park in Australia’s Red Centre.
In this blog, we will follow their journey and see the breathtaking scenery and unique landscapes that make this park a must-visit destination. From hiking on scenic trails to camping at Palm Valley campground, this family’s trip is packed with exciting outdoor experiences that will leave you inspired and wanting to plan your own adventure. So, buckle up and let’s take a virtual tour of Finke Gorge National Park through the lens of @brewsontour.
Finke Gorge National ParkFinke Gorge National Park is located around 150km west of Alice Springs, off Larapinta Drive. It is best known as the exclusive home of around 9,000 Central Australian Red Cabbage Palms (Livistona mariae). Named for the distinctive colour of their juvenile foliage, these trees grow there because of the combination of conditions providing protection and a year-round supply of underground water.
Finke Gorge National Park: AccessAccess is via 4WD track which follows the usually dry Finke River bed. As always, it is wise to check road and weather conditions before venturing out. Note that high clearance 4WD is a must if you want to continue driving past the campground to Palm Valley, otherwise you will add an extra 5km of walking to your visit.
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Finke Gorge National Park: Where to Stay
We absolutely loved staying at the picturesque Palm Valley Campground, which has generous, clearly designated sites and amazing facilities for such a remote destination – flushing toilets and hot showers, gas BBQs and communal fire pits. Bookings are made online via the Northern Territory Parks Booking Service and cost $12 per adult/$6 per child per night. Firewood cannot be collected from within the National Park, but there is plenty of opportunity to gather wood along the access road.
We met a friendly camp host and a beautiful but bold dingo. We found out the hard way that a spare wheel bag is NOT a secure place to store your rubbish when we were woken in the middle of the night to a very loud rip and crash as the dingo took off with it. Lesson learnt! Please take notice of all the warnings and education which are found in areas that both dingos and people frequent, for your safety and theirs.
Finke Gorge National Park: Walks – Mpulungkinya
There are two easy/grade two walks that will take you into the oasis of Palm Valley. We chose the longer 5km/2hr Mpulungkinya (pronounced mbul-lung-gin-yah) route, walking clockwise around the arid sandstone plateau, with fabulous views as we climbed down deep in the valley where the palm grows thickest.
As we meandered back through the valley we gazed upwards at the tall palms, amazed that their tall, skinny trunks were able to stay upright.
Finke Gorge National Park: Walks – ArankaiaThe alternative walk is 2km/1hr Arankaia (pronounced rung-kee-ah), the indigenous Arrernte (pronounced aranda) people’s name for the Red Cabbage Palm.
Finke Gorge National Park: Walks – Mpaara
Other walks to enjoy at Finke Gorge National Park are grade three Kalarranga (2.5km/45min return) which climbs to a magnificent panorama, and the one we chose – Mpaara (pronounced m-pah-rah). This 5km/2hr adventure followed the Aboriginal dreamtime story of the Tawny Frogmouth-man and Pangka-langa Devil-man via interpretive signage and led to fantastic views of the Finke River and Kalarranga.
DISCOVER FOR YOURSELF
Australia’s Red Centre is jam-packed with amazing places to visit. Finke Gorge National Park and Palm Valley may be less well known, but we loved this hidden gem, and we think you will too xo
Are your bags packed? Get excited because you know it’s going to be a good one! We would love your feedback on this page – please comment below if you’ve been to Finke Gorge National Park or visited Palm Valley?
Norther would like to invite you to explore more about the beauty of Finke Gorge National Park here. And… as always you can get more inspiration for other National Parks & Destinations to visit by following @northerhq or get your Finke Gorge National Park daily fix @finkegorgenationalpark on IG and Finke Gorge National Park on FB
*Cover image is by @brewsontour on IG.