West of Alice Springs is the Finke Gorge National Park and the outback oasis of Palm Valley. Accessible only by 4WD from Hermannsburg via the dry bed of the Finke River, this lush valley is the only place in Central Australia where red cabbage palms can survive.
The Finke River is believed to be one of the oldest rivers in the world dating back 350 million years. Palm Creek, which flows into the Finke River, is usually dry in this area but there are small pockets of spring-fed pools that ensure the survival of unique flora. The shady red cabbage palms at the base of the valley’s gorge are all that’s left of a time millions of years ago when Central Australia was a lush tropical forest.
As well as the towering palms, you’ll see spectacular rock formations, native river red gum trees and cool rock pools.