Finke Gorge Experiences
This river system is dated at between 400 and 450 million years old and is arguably the world's oldest system. The Finke cuts through ancient mountain ranges creating spectacular gorges and refreshing permanent water holes. The area holds a rich Aboriginal culture and breathtaking scenes which inspired watercolour artist Albert Namatjira to paint from his home base of Hermannsburg.
One Day Adventure
Take a day tour to explore historic and culturally rich Hermannsburg and beautiful Palm Valley in the Finke Gorge National Park.
We drive along the West MacDonnell Ranges and James Ranges to the Aboriginal community of Hermannsburg, or Ntaria in local language. Established as a Lutheran mission in 1877, it is the regional base to the local Western Aranda people. It is also home to one of Australia’s most famous painters, Albert Namatjira, whose water colours feature the local ranges. A local Western Aranda guide will take us through the historic Hermannsburg Precinct and also provide a cultural perspective on Palm Valley and the Finke Gorge National Park. Enjoy morning tea where home-made apple strudel is a must.
We then drive into the normally dry Finke River that cuts through the Krichauff Range and follow it downstream to Palm Creek and Palm Valley. This ancient gorge is home to the prehistoric Red Cabbage Palms, a remnant of when the region was a rain forest. The majestic blood red cliffs shelter the palms and waterholes dotted along the valley. After a gourmet lunch, we will do one of two walks that follow the valley and return along the ridge of the gorge offering spectacular views.
After the day of exploring, we return to Alice Springs, arriving in the late afternoon.
$380.00 per adult
$190.00 per child 5-13 years
Two Day Expedition
Highlights: The best way to explore the Finke Gorge is to dine beside the fire and camp under the stars on the banks of the ancient Finke River. This tour explores the historic town of Hermannsburg, before exploring the Ellery and Finke Rivers and the Henbury Meteorite Craters.
The Finke River is one of the world’s oldest rivers. At between 400 and 450 million years old, the Finke gorge system is ancient, and is not only spectacular but has a rich history.
The journey starts in Alice Springs and heads to Hermannsburg, an old Lutheran mission and home to the Western Aranda peoples. We are guided by a local Aboriginal person through the Historic Precinct. This is the home of Albert Namatjira, and it is evident that he got his inspiration for his famous watercolour art from the surrounding landscapes.
This is where the off-road adventure begins. We head to the Ellery Creek, and drive down the (normally) dry river bed. We follow this creek until we reach the Finke River. There is permanent water at a couple of sites along the route, with plenty of swimming options after good rains.
We set up camp on the river in time to enjoy the amazing colours of the gorge at sunset. The sunset gives way to an amazing star show on clear nights. Enjoy a gourmet dinner by the camp fire before retiring to comfortable swags.
In the morning, the rich colours return for sunrise. After breakfast, we resume our journey downstream along the Finke. We visit a number of sites along the route and wind up at the Henbury Meteorite Craters before re-joining the bitumen and reaching Alice Springs in the later afternoon.
$920.00 per adult
$460.00 per child 5-13 years
Three Day Expedition
Highlights: Explore the Finke River from its source in the West MacDonnell Ranges. The tour takes in numerous sites along the West MacDonnell Ranges as well Tnorala (Gosse Bluff), the historic Lutheran mission and Aboriginal community of Hermannsburg, driving down the Finke riverbed and on the Henbury Meteorite Craters.
Starting from Alice Springs, we head west along the West MacDonnell Ranges on the Red Centre Way toward Glen Helen, stopping in at spectacular gorges and waterholes along the way. We have lunch at the beautiful Ormiston Gorge and take in the views from the Ghost Gum Lookout. Just after the gorge is where the mighty Finke River starts. We head further west to Tnorala (Gosse Bluff) the site of one of Earth's most significant events when a comet struck the earth 142 million years ago, leaving a 20km diameter impact crater. The site is also very significant in Aboriginal culture.
We camp on the edge of the Krichauff Ranges at Ipolera, the traditional homelands of the Malbunka family. From here we head to Hermannsburg (Ntaria), the site of the Finke River Mission established by Lutheran missionaries in 1877 and at the time had a greater population than Alice Springs. It is also the home of famous Aboriginal painter Albert Namatjira whose beautiful watercolours reflect the surrounding landscape.
After lunch we then drive down the (usually) dry riverbed of the Ellery Creek. Meandering along the river, it quickly turns into a series of gorges and links back to the Finke River. The gorge system continues and we camp under the open sky, but not before witnessing the amazing colours that come with sunset. You'll enjoy a gourmet dinner around the campfire, be mesmerised by the flickering flames before retiring to the comfort of your swag.
The journey continues down the Finke River, exploring a number of interesting sites along the way before we get to the Henbury Meteorite Craters. The site consists of a cluster of craters, 13 in total and date back around 4,700 years ago. From here it's back on the bitumen, returning to Alice Springs in the late afternoon.
$1,370.00 per adult
$785.00 per child 5-13 years