Palm Valley, Finke Gorge National Park

A popular one day tour from Alice Springs, combined with a visit to the former Lutheran Mission in Hermannsburg, Palm Valley is a rather stunning spot only accessible by 4WD.

To get there involves heading along the Finke River, the oldest river in the world, it’s 1,000km unchanged in 350 million years. It may look dry but dig down a metre and there is river flowing underground feeding the water hungry gum trees.

Further along a rocky road lies Palm Valley, home to more than 9,000 palm trees, a 1,000km away from any others in Australia so it’s a mystery how they got here. The most popular theory is that Aboriginals transported them across the country as a food source, as the young palms are edible.

Though I found the rocks more interesting than the palms, particularly where huge chunks had fallen away.

On the way back were some impressive cycads, which only grow at 1cm a year, making many of these 400-500 years old.

The final view of the day was the best, from Kalarranga Lookout over The Amphitheatre, another wonderful rock formation.

Author: jontycrane

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