Finke Gorge National Park
|Finke Gorge National Park|
Finke Gorge National Park map
|Nearest town or city||Alice Springs|
|Area||452.93 km2 (174.9 sq mi)|
|Website||Finke Gorge National Park|
|See also||Protected areas of the Northern Territory|
Finke Gorge is a national park in the Northern Territory of Australia, 1318 km south of Darwin. The Park covers an area of 458 km2 (177 sq mi), and includes the impressive desert oasis Palm Valley, home to a diverse range of plant species, many of which are rare and unique to the area. There are good opportunities for bushwalking and bushcamping in the park.
The park is noted for its ancient palms and Aboriginal cultural sites. The Central Australian Cabbage Palm is found only in Palm Valley and prolifically here. The Finke River is claimed to be one of the oldest catchments in the world, with areas dating back 350 million years.
The park and nearby areas hold cultural significance to the Western Arrernte Aboriginal people and there is also evidence of early European settlement.
A four-wheel-drive route down the Finke River to Illamurta Springs and Watarrka National Park begins at Finke Gorge. Bush walking is another common activity. Kalaranga lookout is an easy 20 minute climb, with views of the rock amphitheatre encircled by rugged cliffs. The Mpaara Walk introduces the mythology of the Western Arrernte Aboriginal culture. In Palm Valley, the Arankaia Walk and the longer Mpulungkinya Walk meander among slender palms, returning across a scenic plateau.
Palm Valley, located in the park
- "CAPAD 2012 Northern Territory Summary (see 'DETAIL' tab)". CAPAD 2012. Australian Government - Department of the Environment. 7 February 2014. Retrieved 7 February 2014.
- Hema, Maps (2007). Australia Road and 4WD Atlas (Map). Eight Mile Plains Queensland: Hema Maps. p. 100. ISBN 978-1-86500-456-3.
- Hema Maps (1997). Discover Australia's National Parks. Milsons Point, New South Wales: Random House Australia. p. 221. ISBN 1-875992-47-2.