Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Finke National Park - WOW!! Palms & Cycads, Red Sandstone Cliffs, River Bed Drives...

After leaving Ormiston, we found that we had to stick to the bitumen way to Palm Valley which took us through Hermannsburg, the home of Albert Namatjira.  Nice spot for a cuppa.

 The road out from there showed some of the damage from the flooding rains that had come through!!

 This is the first time we had seen a "Severe 4WD Route" sign!! wow...what were we in for...

 stunning views as we drove up the river

 Incredibly red sandstone cliffs... gorgeous

 The info signs had ceramic tiles made by artists at Hermannsburg..beautiful

 dingo and bird prints in the campsite

 our quiet little spot by the river

The drive out to the Palm Valley the next day was, awesome, through the river, over rock...WOW... no trailers here

 We felt really, well, intrepid, until we got to the carpark and found 6 tour buses there...not so intrepid after all!
 The boys on the walk

 The "red cabbage palms", not found anywhere else!  only 12000 at last count.  Fragile

Beautiful patterns... the picture does not do it justice.

 Us in the "car park" - the flattest piece of rock
 Frank in the dinosaur plants... cycad grove
 the boys cooling off! luckily, not the nude shot!
 Rock puzzle - see how it has moved - this is a huge rock

 These are from the lookout near the campsite.  Stunning red sandstone.

 The boys at the lookout

 Sunset at the campsite

 This central desert frog made his way into our tent (not the first guest), and John and Peter wet their hands and gently took him back outside to be free.

 The road back out (once again, up the Finke River)
 More of the road
 Us on the road

The one tiny bit of bitumen on the road to Palm Valley.

This was a stunning stay that we absolutely loved...only 2 nights that felt like a week.  The road in was incredible, driving down a pebbly, sandy river most of the time, and the 21 km took about 1 hour to drive.  Stunning cliffs, trees, and views.  Worth it...  you bet, will we go back - absolutely.  The bonus was that we saw a Buff Banded Rail (for those bird watchers) there!  Incredible.

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