Palm Valley is within Finke Gorge National Park and is about 20km south of Hermannsburg. It is the only place in Australia where the rare Red Cabbage Palm is found, a survivor of a time when Palm Valley was a rainforest. The closest relatives to the Red Cabbage Palm are found over 800km away in Queensland.
The road in is for 4WD vehicles only. It was fairly bumpy when we went through and at the time, the dirt track was being graded. Camping is allowed at the designated campground. It costs $6.60 per adult to camp and the facilities include flushing toilets, showers and tank water. There are a few walking trails nearby as well.
Palm Valley is 4km from the campground along a road that crosses a variety of terrain, from sandy and dirty to solid rocks and water crossings. You’re probably going to want relatively high clearance and some decent tyres. Cycad Gorge is on the way, and is best viewed in the morning light.
There are two walks available at Palm Valley. A short rim walk and a longer loop walk through the gorge. We tried to have our cake and eat it too by walking further into the gorge before turning back and ascending the cliffs to follow the path back to the Troopy.
The next morning, we completed the Mpaara walk near the campground, which was great. As we followed the path, an indigenous story unravelled about a man and his missing son. We climbed over a ridge and were struck with a spectacular view of the valley below before making our way back to the Troopy and to Hermannsburg.