recent article on the ABC report that the Hydrogeologist John Wischusenhas has
written a PhD thesis, about how the palms might have survived through the
extreme temperatures of prehistoric times because of very old ground water, and
that they continue to tap into this 300,000 year old water. This water is moving
slowly enough through the underlying Hermannsburg sandstone that could probably
sustain the palm population for hundreds of thousands of years without any
further rainfall2, 3.
Palm Valley is about 18 km south of Hermannsburg. Access is by 4WD vehicle that
mainly follows the dry riverbed of the Finke River. There are campground
facilities with toilets, hot showers, wood and gas BBQs and picnic areas. Please
ensure you take your rubbish with you. During May to October, there are
Ranger guided activities as part of the ‘Territory Parks Alive’. Check
NRETAS for further information on park and camping fees.
There are two marked tracks, both designed to
give visitors a first hand view of the exotic Palm Valley and the ‘normal’ arid
country surrounding it. Both tracks are easy to medium walking over rocky
Arankaia Walk (pronounced rung-kee-ah)
Time: 1 hour — Distance: 2 km loop walk
This short walk goes up the Valley, pass lush groves of palms and then up
some stairs, and back along a dry sandstone plateau with superb views.
Arankaia is the Arrernte name for the palm.
- Mpulungkinya Track (pronounced mool-ung-kin-yah)
Time: 2 hours — Distance: 5 km loop walk
This longer track goes further up the Valley, where the palm groves are
thicker, and then back along the arid sandstone plateau, re-joining the
Arankaia Walk not long before the carpark.
Check out some of our
Palm Valley is located about 124 km south-west of Alice Springs and about 18
km south of the Hermannsburg Mission. Check out the Northern
Territory Parks and Wildlife Services For additional information: