Finke Gorge National Park
The spectacular Finke Gorge National Park is an important wilderness reserve that covers an area of 46,000 hectares that includes Palm Valley and the Finke River, which dates some 350 million years and is said to be one of the oldest rivers in the world.
Home to a diverse range of plant species, with many that are rare and unique to the area, the park was proclaimed as a flora and fauna reserve in the 1920s, then as a National Park in 1978.
Most famous of the natural features and popular with many tour operators is Palm Valley, home to the Red Cabbage Palm (Livistona mariae), which gives the area its name. These palms are remnants of a tropical rainforest that covered this area 60 million years ago. There are about 12,000 in the park, the oldest being 300 years old. Huge red sandstone cliffs provide shelter for the palm trees.
At different times of the year (seasons) and after rainfall will provide the opportunity to see a range of flora from wildflowers to shrubs and trees that also flower and fruit.
Check out our following list of Finke Gorge National Park flora (including some non-native and invasive species) with more to be listed over time:
- Common Reed (Phragmites australis)
- Ghost Gum (Corymbia aparrerinja)
- MacDonnell Ranges Cycad (Macrozamia macdonnellii)
- Narrow-leaved Cumbungi (Typha domingensis)
- Native Fig (Ficus platypoda)
- Orange Spade Flower (Hybanthus aurantiacus)
- Red Cabbage Palm (Livistona mariae)
- Soft Spinifex (Triodia pungens)
- White Indigo (Indigofera leucotricha)
The Finke Gorge National Park includes part of the Finke River system. As you travel along the usually dry river bed, you can see evidence of pass torrents having carved its way through the land, often taking debris that get caught up and trapped at the base of many of the surviving River Red Gum and other eucalypts.
Keep your eyes open for the Native Fig, also known as the Desert Fig, growing along the escarpment, and even at the base of the escarpment.