After leaving Uluru we headed back to Alice Springs. Mt Connor, a 700million yr old rock 3 times the size of Uluru is very visible from the Hwy as you drive towards Uluru.
We thought we should see what Rainbow Valley looked like. It was a relief to get there after driving on 22kms of badly corrugated stretch of dirt they call a road. The exhaust pipe rattled - again - !
They look stupid, but are very effective & are worn by at least 50% of people.
The next day we landed back in Alice Springs to do some day trips such as out into the rest of West MacDonnells. We weren't disappointed with Palm Valley in the Finke National Pk.
Finke Gorge & it's Palm Valley were just beautiful to explore. These Red Cabbage Palms are found in only 1 other place in Oz - Lawn Hill - far Nth Qld. These palm trees are reported to be 200 - 300yrs old. Just amazing.
We had the vehicle crawling at a snails pace over undulating rock along the river for the last 2.6kms before Palm Valley.
This is 1 view along the rim, before descending into the river bed. (below pic)
Along the river bed we saw a family of black footed rock wallabies. This was our 1st sighting of these quiet roos. They live in the caves along the rocky walls along the valley & in other areas of the East & West MacDonnell ranges.
This area is called Cycad Gorge for a good reason. It is just near Palm Valley.
This rare species of cycads are only found here in Finke Nat Pk. Just 1 area on the shaded side of the rock walls that stretch high above the Finke R. The bigger 1's are reported to also be 200 - 300 yrs old. Amazing how they survive on so little rain. Apparently plants life these in the MacDonnell ranges survive on the moisture that continually seeps down from the top of the gorge to the areas where plants like these cycads live.