This 46,000 hectare national park 138km west of Alice
Springs in Northern
Territory, is one of the remotest
Australian national parks.
It is a great
park to camp and 4WD, with its beautiful gorge
and Palm Valley, famous for its rare Red
The start of the national park. by Lindy Buckley via Flickr.com
How to Get there
To get to the park, drive the Larapinta drive west of Alice
Springs, which also goes to the West
MacDonnell Ranges. Where Namatjira
Drive turns right to the West MacDonnells, keep going south along the Larapinta
trail, until you come to the historic town Hermannsburg.
Hermannsburg. by Obliot via Flickr.com
Hermannsburg is an old mission station established by Lutherans. Many
Aboriginal People were baptised here, including the
famous artist Albert Namatjira who painted some impressive paintings of
Many historic buildings remain today such as a
school, a church and a mess house. The church is now a museum, and
there are also some old artefacts on display in the Tea Rooms, the only
eatery in town. Hermannsburg is today an Aboriginal community and it is
ok to have a look at the historical buildings but the local council
asks you not to enter the Aboriginal community.
Hermannsburg church. by Johan Douma via Flickr.com
South of Hermannsburg there is the Finke Gorge 4WD Route which takes
you to Finke Gorge. The last 16km is 4WD road only along the bed of
Finke River that can be flooded after rains. There is a swimming hole,
camping site and a few bushwalks at Boggy Hole;
east from there are the ruins of an old police station.
Finke River. by Lindy Buckley via Flickr.com
Back in Hermannsburg, there is another turnoff west of the town
which takes you to the lovely Palm Valley. This is also a 4WD road,
which goes mostly along the Finke River bed. After the river bed
ends, the road turns west and you come to Kalarranga carpark, and the
start of Mpaara Walk, which is a two-hour
walk where you can follow the Mpaara Dreaming story of Arrernte Aboriginal
people. It’s a nice walk and there are
also some good views. Further along the Palm Valley road there is a
short walk to Kalarranga Lookout; and
after that you
come to a campground with picnic tables, barbeques, toilets, showers
and drinking water. Further towards Palm Valley is another picnic area,
before you finally come to the Palm Valley carpark (where there are no
Palm Valley. by Boobook48 via Flickr.com
Bushwalks in Palm Valley
Two walks start here. The shorter, Arankaia Walk,
only 2km long, easy walk along the creek bed with good views of the
cabbage palms and some birdlife in the early mornings and late
The longer, 5km Mpulungkinya Walk, takes
in the Palm Valley which is absolutely gorgeous.
by Bernadette M via Flickr.com
Finke Gorge Camping Sites Australia
There are camping fees payable in Finke Gorge National Park (at the
camping sites), but they are cheap.
The only place to eat is
Hermannsburg Tea Rooms, so bring your tucker with you.
Amphitheatre by Winam via Flickr.com
Here's a map of Finke Gorge National Park,
have tagged the places that I mentioned on this web page. You can click
on the tags to see what places they are, and double-click anywhere on
the map to zoom it in and see the places closer. Drag the map to move
around, and if you want to see the satellite image with Google Earth,
click on "Sat" in the top right hand corner.
This site uses
British English, which is the English we use in Australia. You will
find words like "traveller", "harbour" and "realise", and they are all
correct in the language used in Australia.
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