Finke Gorge National Park

Spectacular Finke Gorge National Park covers an area of 46,000 hectares and includes the impressive Palm Valley. 

Palm Valley is home to a diverse range of plant species, many that are rare and unique to the area, including the red cabbage palm (Livistona mariae), which gives the area its name. 

There are around 3,000 adult palms and thousands of juveniles, which are extremely sensitive to visitor impact.

Visit the park to see the mesmerising landscapes that inspired the renowned watercolourist Albert Namatjira who was born and grew up in the nearby community of Hermannsburg.

The park is dissected by the Finke River, believed to be one of the oldest rivers in the world.

Get the Finke Gorge National Park fact sheet and map (1.4 mb).

Finke Gorge National Park - Mpaara Walk Finke Gorge National Park - Directional signs Finke Gorge National Park - Mpulungkinya walk

What to see and do

You can do all of the following activities in the park:

  • bushwalking
  • camping
  • wildlife spotting
  • picnicking
  • four wheel driving.

Four-wheel driving

Palm Valley and the campground can be accessed by a high clearance four-wheel drive (4WD).

The Finke River 4WD route through to Illamurta Springs and onto Watarrka is much more remote. 

Make sure your vehicle is well-maintained and you are an experienced 4WD traveller. 

Be prepared with extra food and water, vehicle equipment, recovery and safety gear.

To help plan your trip read the Finke River 4WD information sheet (1.4 mb).

You can also get more information from Parks and Wildlife Alice Springs.

How to get there

The park is 138km west of Alice Springs. Turn south off Larapinta Drive just west of Hermannsburg. 

Access along the last 16km of track follows the sandy bed of the Finke River and is limited to high clearance 4WD vehicles only. 

Heavy rains may cause this section of the road to be impassable.

Check if this park is open

Find out if the Finke Gorge National Park is open.

Opening hours

All year round, but the roads may be closed after heavy rain.

The best time to visit is during the cooler months from April to September.

Check road conditions before you leave home.

Contact

Finke Gorge Ranger Station phone: (08) 8956 7401

Contact Parks and Wildlife Alice Springs for more tourist information. 

Facilities

Finke Gorge National Park has all of the following facilities:

  • information signs
  • ranger station - emergency contact only
  • 4WD roads
  • communal fire pits
  • drinking water
  • public toilets
  • picnic tables
  • gas barbecues
  • designated campsites
  • showers
  • walking trails
  • wildlife
  • scenic lookouts.

Please remember

When visiting the park, remember all of the following:

  • camping is only permitted in the designated camping areas at Palm Valley and along the Finke River at Boggy Hole
  • collect firewood before entering the park
  • at Palm Valley, fires are only permitted in designated fire pits
  • pets are not permitted in the National Park
  • rubbish bins are not provided, so take your rubbish with you
  • if travelling the Finke River 4WD route, stay on the marked track.

Be careful where you walk and stay on the marked tracks. Young palms can be destroyed by visitors not realising what they are walking on. The regeneration of the palms is needed for the survival of this population.

Safety

You can have a safe and comfortable trip to Finke Gorge by doing all of the following:

  • observe park safety signs
  • carry and drink plenty of water
  • wear a hat, sunscreen, insect repellent, suitable clothing and footwear
  • avoid strenuous activity during the heat of the day
  • think about your health and fitness when choosing a walk.

Last updated: 29 February 2016