Four wheel drivers will enjoy this great trek along the river bed of the Finke River. It's an enjoyable drive along the Finke Gorge with plenty of opportunities to stop, take photos, and enjoy the solitude.
The track is NOT MARKED (other than crude signs pointing to Kings Canyon) nor well defined and conditions vary from rocky sections of the creek bed to soft and sandy stretches but the main feature is the permanent waterhole called Boggy Hole
. Many people experience navigational problems trying to stay on the main track, so check our preparation warnings.
How to Use this Trek Note
Click the "Map" tab below to see the route we've provided. Icons on the map are the POIs you'll need for navigation purposes. Be sure to check the list of Nearby Places
on each POI page.
If you'd like to save this information there are a couple of ways to go about it, depending on what you're actually after:-
- Ideal solution - download the ExplorOz Traveller App from Google Play or the App Store. The app enables you to carry the ExplorOz Places, Treks, & Maps data offline in your mobile device ready for your adventures. It is a complete mapping, navigation and tracking app. For more details, read our ExplorOz Traveller page.
- You can print a paper copy of the text using the print icon button shown above, near the social media buttons. For the best output it is advised to open each tab/section to load all images and artwork. You will still need to click open each Place page (listed in Where to Stay, What to See) to print off all available information.
- If you have a Hema Navigator or use Mapping Software such as OziExplorer, or TrackRanger AND you are an ExplorOz Member, then you can click the Download Trek button at the top of this page to obtain the raw data files (eg. GPX) for this Trek.
- If you're not a Member, or you'd like to batch download the entire Treks database you can obtain this by buying a product called EOTreks Route Files from our online shop.
The Finke River only rarely runs, although it forms in the MacDonnell Ranges near Palm Valley and runs for hundreds of kilometres until it disappears into Lake Eyre
Starting near Hermansberg, a track leads south towards the Finke River bed, which when dry can be traversed right along its length to the Boggy Hole
billabong by 4WD. Towering red cliffs line the banks of the river bed and the dry river bed is sandy and filled with river stones. The track criss-crosses the river a number of times in places
so the track is impassable when river levels rise.
The Boggy Hole
billabong can be up to 2.5km long after a flood but can dry to just 300m during very dry spells. If the water is plentiful its a great place for swimming and bird watching. Good shady camping is limited at the Boggy Hole
site due to a massive flood in 1998 that took down many of the larger trees.
The Finke River, on which lies the Boggy Hole
billabong, was named by John McDouall Stuart after the Adelaide financier William Finke.
In 1877, the Hermannsburg Lutheran Mission was established as the first of its kind in Central Australia
. The early years were hard, with much sickness and trouble ensuring between aboriginies, local station owners and police. Within the vicinity of the Misson, 2 police camps were setup to control the 'hostile' activities of local Aborigines. On the eastern bank of Boggy Hole
, you'll notice the stone remains of the first camp that was established by M. C. Willshire in 1889 and a small signboard with further information. The camp was actually abandoned when he was arrested for the murder of two Aborigines in 1891. In 1894 a replacement police camp was set up at Illamurta Springs, west of the Finke River. This camp was also abandoned when the police were sent to Arltunga in 1912. The Mission continued until 1982.
In 1902, Albert Namatjira was born at Ntaria (Hermannsburg) on the Finke River Mission Station and became one of Australia
's great artist and perhaps the best known Aboriginal painter.