Finke River -
Your Finke River trip starts and ends in Alice Springs with
over 1000 km in between. A good trip with some spectacular scenery,
touching in at Uluru ( Ayers Rock ) and the Olgas.
From Alice Springs head out south west on Larapinta Drive and through
the Owen Springs Reserve with our ultimate destination on this leg
being Kings Canyon in the Watarrka National Park there is a
4wd track that goes into the Owen Springs Reserve and, if you go far
enough, exits onto the Stuart Highway.
On the way out of Alice on your Finke River trip you will visit
Hermannsburg and the Finke Gorge National Park.
There are several points of interest along the way and you will be
pleasantly surprised if you take the time to stop off and have a
look.South of the Wallace Rockhole is a visit well worth
The Aboriginal Community there will look after you well with local
tours, a good feed and excellent hospitality. Fancy a feed of kangaroo?
- only joking, you can if you want but there is plenty of other
traditional bush tucker to enjoy. Back to the main track south before
we deviated, and you will travel, after lowering your tyre pressures,
some distance on the creek bed unless you come to a section of water,
in which case go around it.
There are some side attractions but soon you will enter the Finke Gorge
National Park where you will soon pass through a spectacular, high red
cliff lined, gorge. Not much further and you will arrive at the
Junction Waterhole. You may be ready to give the driving a miss and
stop over at this spot for the night.
The camping isn't bad, and you will be on the bank under the shade of
the gum trees. Some kilometers south of here you will come to Boggy
Hole, so named because it is one of the few permanent watering holes in
the area. Boggy Hole is a permanent waterhole and can vary in length
from around half a kilometer to over 2 km, depending on how much rain
has fallen recently. It is a very pleasant, shady, spot.
Excellent camping spot but you will have be self sufficient as there
are no facilities. There is plenty of wildlife around, including horses
and camels, as well as birds. Continue south from Boggy Hole along the
river. The countryside is a little varied from high cliffs to open flat
Further on you will come to the Palmer River, and a little further you
will turn onto the main road heading out to Kings Canyon in the
Watarrka National Park you are on the main tourist route now so the
quality of road improves. After traveling into the park you will reach
the Kings Creek Campground.
Although a little basic, the camp area has facilities for caravans and
camping. A little over 30 km further on past the camp area is the Kings
Canyon itself. The canyon is a magnificent sight with their towering
The Frontier Lodge and caravan park, as well as fuel and food
supplies, are a few kilometers past the canyon turnoff. Other
points of interest in the area are The Lost City, on top of the
plateau, and the Garden of Eden, at the head of the main
There are a number of walking tracks in the area and you are best to
talk to the ranger in the area as to what is worth seeing and what's
not, depending on your timetable.
From Kings Canyon you can return to Alice Springs via The Gorge Hill
Range, Katapata Gap and Hermannsburg, or you can return down Ernest
Giles Drive to pick up the Luritja Road and continue south to Mulgoa
Park Homestead. Heading south you will travel via Curtain Springs
Roadhouse, where you can make another detour by turning of to the Uluru
National Park, Uluru itself ( Ayers Rock ) and on to Mt Olga, also
known as The Olgas.
Some 80 km west of Curtain Springs is Yulara, situated in
the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, which has
five start hotels and all of the other shops and supplies with it. This
is a main tourist area so be prepared for everything to be a little
more expensive. Travel south from Yulara to The Rock.
The Olgas are about 40 km west of here and make an interesting place to
visit. The Olgas are the high domes you would have seen from the top of
Ulura ( Ayers Rock ), if you climbed all the way up. There are no
camping, or other accommodation facilities either at Uluru or The Olgas.
This leaves you with the choice of traveling back to Yulara or Curtain
Springs, where you have to head back to sooner or later anyway. Once
back on the Luritja Road south of Curtain Springs Roadhouse, your
aiming point is due south to Mulgoa Park Homestead.
From here you will swing east along the Gunbarrel Highway to Kulgera.
At Kulgera you can get fuel and food supplies as well as basic
mechanical repairs, if needed.
From Kulgera you will head east again heading for Finke near the Finke
River. The town is mainly populated with the Aputula Aboriginal People
and, when the Ghan railway track ran through town, was a major supply
point for the train. From Finke head we head north on the last leg of
the journey back to Alice Springs, about 270 km without deviations.
There are no facilities for travellers at Finke.
A few kilometers out of town you will join up with the Finke River,
which for the most part, will have no water in it, seldom does. Test
the bed for the softness of the sand before you attempt to cross in
case you need to let a little pressure out of your tyres. Soon you will
be following the old line of The Ghan Railway.
This is fairly remote, isolated country so the old railway helps you
navigate your way north. Along this stretch north you will pass the
ruins of several old railway sidings. There are some interesting places
to stop and explore as well as some that are a couple of kilometers or
so off the road.
Much further north you will come to the old Ewaninga Siding. The rail
track from here to just south of Alice is maintained by the Ghan
Preservation Society and the Old Ghan Train runs regular trips between
here and Alice Springs. From here there is a good run into town on well
Your Finke River trip has returned to Alice Springs.
The information provided on this web page is for use as a guide only.
If you are planning to undertake this trip you must seek out other
authorative advice and information. Desert and Outback travel
can be very hazardous and should only be undertaken after lengthy and
careful planning. The owners of this website shall not be held
responsible for any damage or injury that you may experience during any
conventional vehicle or four wheel drive trip, desert or otherwise.
Distances between places mentioned on this page are as a guide only.
You must verify these details yourself using professional maps and/or
mapping equipment before you set out on a the trip. Do not attempt to
access desert or other remote regions in an ill-prepared vehicle and
without adequate communications equipment. Do not under estimate the
limited supply of fuel, water and provisions in these areas as well as
the possibility of encountering extremely harsh elements and conditions.