Australia: The Land Where Time Began

A biography of the Australian continent 

Finke Gorge National Park

Situated 154 km southwest of Alice Springs, it runs along the course of the Finke River.

The first white discoverer, J McDouall Stuart was so grateful to his generous supporter, William Finke, that he named the river and surrounding area after him. Located about 140 kms south-west of Alice Springs, Finke Gorge National Park is home to places like Mpaara and Palm Valley. The park is home to remnants of a tropical rainforest that covered this area 60 million years ago. There are red cabbage palm trees growing here, with about 12,000 in the park, the oldest being 300 years old. Huge red sandstone cliffs shelter the palm trees.

Best time to visit is April to September, when it is cooler and there are less files.

There is a campground on the river bank for tents and campervans. Facilities include solar showers, toilets and wood BBQs.

The Finke River arises in the West MacDonnell Ranges and the James Range and travels 690 km to the western fringe of the Simpson Desert. At 250 million old, it is thought to be the oldest river in the world.

The Boggy Hole Track

Boggy Hole is one of the lesser known places in the park. Part of this track is along the beds of the Finke River and its tributary Ellery Creek. Along part of Ellery Creek the hills are formed of rock layers that have been tilted 90 deg from the horizontal to vertical. The layers comprising this section of the hills are the equivalent of the Grand Canyon in the US, but conveniently tipped on their side so the 1800 million years of sedimentary layers can be seen by simply driving along the bed of Ellery Creek. This trip can only be in the winter, the dry season, because once the wet season starts the water level in the Finke and Ellergy Creek can rise several metres. 

Glen of Palms

6 km south of the park entry gate is a large waterhole where Ellery Creek joins the Finke. This part of the Finke was named Glen of Palms by the explorer Ernest Giles, because of the large number of palm trees here. 

Palm Valley

Palm Valley is 18 km northwest of Boggy hole. There are thousands of red cabbage palms up to 25 m tall. These palms are the remnants of the rainforest that once covered the area.


Australian National Parks

Australian National Parks - Northern Territory

Sources & Further reading



Author: M. H. Monroe
Last updated 05/11/2008



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