23 Feb Palm Valley
Palm Valley has plenty to offer, including bushwalks and remote camping in a spectacular and colourful landscape. The main gorge features high red cliffs, clean white sand, cool waterholes, enormous river gums, and tall palms. The Park is about 150 km west of Alice Springs. Turn south off Larapinta Drive just west of Hermannsburg. There is 15 km of road along the sandy bed of the Finke River which is said to be the oldest river in the world. Over 100 million years, and is limited to 4WD vehicles only. Heavy rains often make this section of the road impassable. Turn right, up into Palm Creek, past the old ranger station, that was abandoned after the 1988 floods.
There is around 3000 Red Cabbage Palm grown there, and no where else in the world. Protected from fires, they have flourished in this protected area. Finke Gorge National Park covers an area of 46,000 hectares and includes the spectacular Palm Valley, home to over 400 plant types of which more than 30 are considered rare, including the Red Cabbage Palm (Livistona mariae). The palms are relics from a previous age when Central Australia was much wetter. The Macdonnell Ranges Cycad, known as the oldest plant species in the world, flourish in this very important protective area. These relics can live up to 600 years of age and have been around for over 600 million years.
Palm Valley has a good camp site with good amenities.