The West MacDonnell Ranges and the East MacDonnell Ranges known as the MacDonnells Ranges have major tourist icon places of interest within approximatley 100 kilometres  of Alice Springs on sealed roads then narrowing down to recognised 4WD offroad dirt unsealed tracks from then on. Western MacDonnell Ranges tourist places to visit are Standley Chasm, Simpsons Gap, Orche Pits, Glen Hellen Gorge, Orminston Gorge,Ellery Creek Big Hole, Mt Sonder, Mereenie Loop and on the Eastern MacDonnell Ranges tourist places to visit are Trephina Gap, Corroboree, N'Dhalla Aboriginal Rock Art, Ross River Resort in Northern Territory Australia
The West MacDonnell Ranges and the East MacDonnell Ranges are known as the MacDonnells Ranges with the centre point commonly known as Heritage Gap at the commencement of Alice Springs in Northern Territory Australia
Home to the MacDonnells Ranges tourist information guide sites One day sightseeing, extended tours, premium coach touring, overnight to extend camping safaris to Uluru Ayers Rock, Kata Tjuta - The Olgas, Kings Canyon, Mereenie Loop, West MacDonnells Ranges and East MacDonnells Ranges in Australia's Red Centre Way in Northern Territory Australia.    
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Finke Gorge National Park in Northern Territory, Central Australia
A tourist selfdrive tourist guide and travel information

Finke Gorge National Park

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 of which are rare and unique to the area, including the Red Cabbage Palm for which the Park is well known.

This species of Palm is restricted to this area, having a population of around 3,000 adult plants. The Park and nearby areas hold cultural significance to the Western Arrernte Aboriginal people as well as displaying evidence of early European settlement of central Australia.

Camping is recommended at Boggy Hole.
Camping is also permitted within the river bed adjacent to the vehicle track, anywhere between Junction and the gate on the southern park boundary. Bush Camping is permitted within the Park only where shown on the map. No facilities are provided.

Please note: no bush camping is permitted in the finke River between Hermannsburg and Palm Valley. Please adhere to the Bush Camping Code available from Parks and Wildlife.

What to do in an emergency
If you break down always stay with your vehicle and wait for help. Police and medical facilities are available at Hermannsburg and a district nurse is available at Kings Canyon.

How to Get There

The Park is 138km (about 2 hours drive) west of Alice Springs. Turn south off Larapinta Drive just west of Hermannsburg. Access along the last 16km of road, which follows the sandy bed of the Finke River, is limited to 4WD vehicle only. Heavy rains may cause this section of the road to be impassable. Commercial tour operators regularly visit the Park from Alice Springs. It finishes at the Ernest Giles Road south of Alice Springs.

When to Visit

The Park is accessible all year round except when the Finke River is in flood. The cooler months (from April to September) are the best time of the year to visit.

What to See and Do
Camping, bushwalking, and four-wheel driving opportunities exist for visitors to the Park.

A Finke River 4WD Route information sheet is available from the Parks and Wildlife Services office in Alice Springs or from the Tourism Central Australia visitor centre.

Route Time Table (heading north to south)

Times depend upon road conditions and driver skills
• Palm Valley to Hermannsburg 0.75 hr
• Hermannsburg to Watarrka National Park 7.0 hr
• Hermannsburg to Boggy Hole 2.5 hr
• Boggy Hole to Ernest Giles Rd. 3.0 hr
• Running Waters to Illamurta Springs 0.5 hr
• Ernest Giles Rd. to Watarrka National Park 1.5 hr

Please note many 4WD hire companies do not allow travel to Boggy Hole or Finke.

Driving in Sand

outback drivingThe Finke River 4WD Route is mostly sand driving. Make sure 4WD is engaged. Deflate your tyres to 30psi (200kpa) to increase their surface area. Drive in the existing wheel ruts to avoid getting bogged or causing erosion. If you do become bogged don’t spin the wheels - get out and inspect the situation. If you are not deeply bogged, removing sand from the front of all the wheels and under the chassis may free you. If you are deeply bogged jack up each wheel in turn and backfill under it with sand. As a last resort repeat the above procedure lowering the pressure to 15psi (100kpa). Do not drive more than 30km per hour until you have reinflated your tyres as the vehicle is in danger of rolling.

IMPORTANT: Please ask the rental company for full advise of driving in the sand before you leave the depot.

The Finke River 4WD (four wheel drive) route

The Finke River 4WD (four wheel drive) route takes in a spectacular section of the mighty Finke River and provides a challenging 4WD experience between Finke Gorge and Watarrka National Parks. The Finke River with its permanent waterholes and wide flat bed has been of great importance to Aboriginal people for thousands of years, providing a travel and trade route through the region.

Ernest Giles was the first European explorer to navigate this section of the Finke River in 1872. Many more explorers recognised its value as a navigation aid in their push north. After the establishment of an inland mission at Hermannsburg in 1877, Lutheran Missionaries came to use the Finke as a supply route. The first white settlers established a pastoral industry around the reliable waterholes of the Finke.

Today this section of the Finke River is protected within the Finke Gorge National Park. The drive amongst the River Red Gums is an excellent opportunity to observe wildlife, especially the waterbirds of Central Australia.

Ernest Giles roadPlanning Your Trip
The route is high clearance 4WD only and is not suitable for trailers. The remoteness of the this area makes planning and emergency contingencies essential.

Before you begin: Determine your fuel needs remembering that driving is mainly 4x4 and fuel consumption will be higher than normal. Take 6 litres of water per person per day, plus extra water in case of delays.


outback drivingParks & Wildlife Service of the
Northern Territory Regional Office - Arid Zone Research Institute
Address: Tom Hare Building South Stuart Highway, Alice Springs NT 0870
PO Box 2130 Alice Springs NT 0871
Ph: (08) 8951 8211 Fax: (08) 8951 8290

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As one of Australia's largest licensed Travel Agents Goholi is dedicated to campervan and motorhome hire and rentals. We will source the different options for you. We will look at all the extras and find the best vehicle package for you or even a multiple option for you to choose from. With our head Office in the heartland of the Top End of Darwin we can advise you of the current situations of Uluru Kata Tjuta National Park - Ayers Rock, Watarrka National Park, West MacDonnell Ranges, East MacDonnell Ranges, Kakadu National Park, Uluru (Ayers Rock), Gibb River Road Western Australia and the - Erldunda - Kulgera - Oodnadatta Track - Coober Pedy (Opal field) - Woomera - Port Augusta areas.

East MacDonnell National Park and West MacDonnell National Park
in the MacDonnell Ranges in Northern Territory, Central Australia
A tourist selfdrive tourist guide and travel information

East MacDonnell National Park and West MacDonnell National Park in Central Australia
• West MacDonnell Map • West MacDonnell National Park • East MacDonnell National-Park
• East MacDonnell Map

West MacDonnell National Park and surrounding areas
• Larapinta Trail • Glen Helen Gorge • Glen Helen Lodge accommodation • Ellery Creek Big Hole • Ochre Pits • Ormiston Gorge • Redbank Gorge Waterhole • Roma Gorge • Serpentine Chalet • Serpentine Gorge • Simpsons Gap • Standley Chasm • Honeymoon Gap • Palm Valley

• Albert Namatjiras Monument • Namatjira Drive • Namatjira Twin Gums • Hermannsburg • Ghost Gum • Wallace Rockhole • Palm Valley

East MacDonnell National Park and surrounding areas
• Arltunga Historical Reserve and hotel or camping • Trephina Gorge • Emily Jessie Gap • Corroboree Rock • Ross River Resort • Ruby Gap • N'Dhala Gorge Nature Reserve • Gemtree • Chambers Pillar • Rainbow Valley

Other Highways, Scenic Routes, Ways, offroad 4wd Tracks and Roads in Central Australia
• The Mereenie Loop • Red Centre Way • Explorers Way • Stuart Highway • Ernest Giles Road • Namatjira Drive • Larapinta Drive • Luritja Road • Lasseter Highway • Binns Track

Top End - Natures Way in Northern Territory Australia
• Darwin • Tropical Darwin • Map of Northern Territory • Katherine Gorge • Tennant Creek • Devils Marbles • Kakadu National Park • Natures Way Top End • Katherine Gorge • Litchfield National Park

Alice Springs and Uluru and on the way
• Alice Springs • Alice Springs Airport • The Ghan Alice Springs • Alice Springs Heavitree Gap • Uluru Kata Tjuta National Park • Uluru Ayers Rock • Ayers Rock Resort at Yulara • Voyages Resort at Ayers Rock Resort, Yulara • Ayers Rock Airport 'Connellan Airport' • Kata Tjuta 'The Olgas' • Sounds of Silence dinner • Mount Sonder • Mount Connnor • Mount Ebenezer • Curtin Springs • Stuarts Well • Erldunda

Kings Canyon
• Watarrka National Park • Kings Canyon • Kings Creek Station • Kings Canyon Resort • Glen Helen Lodge accommodation

Remote access sites
• Henbury Meteorites Conservation Reserve • Gosse Bluff Tnorala Tylers Pass • Haasts Bluff - lkuntji

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