Mpaara Circuit
Western Arrernte Country

1 h 45 min to 3 h

6.4 km
circuit

↑ 167 m
↓ -167 m

Moderate track
Starting from Palm Valley Campground, Namatjira, this circuit walk takes you through the sandstone formations of Finke Gorge National Park, optionally visiting the Kalarranga Lookout along the way. Take in the views of Finke River and the gorgeous natural amphitheatre as you hike along the scenic track. Experience the Mpaara dreaming story as you learn more about the Western Arrernte Aboriginal culture. Try to time your walk and get a chance to watch the sunset from Kalarranga Lookout. Keep in mind that there’s very little shade along the track. A 4WD vehicle with good clearance is required to get to the starting point. The road/track may be inaccessible after heavy rainfall, so check road conditions beforehand. You can use the commercial tours to come from Alice Springs if you don’t own a 4WD vehicle. The track can be started from Kalarranga Lookout carpark as well. Let us begin by acknowledging the Western Arrernte people, Traditional Custodians of the land on which we travel today, and pay our respects to their Elders past and present. 
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Safer Bushwalks
Tips on staying safe on track
Before you start any bushwalk ensure you;
• Tell someone you trust where you are going and what to do if you are overdue
• Have adequate equipment, supplies, skills & knowledge for the whole journey
• Consider the impact of weather forecasts, park/track closures & fire dangers
• Can respond to emergencies & call for help at any point
• Are healthy and fit enough for this journey
If not, change plans and stay safe. It is okay to delay and ask people for help.
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Getting There
Transport options and directions
Start (-24.0577842,132.7468593)
Mode Car (A 4WD vehicle with good clearance is required to get to the starting point. The road/track may be inaccessible after heavy rainfall, so check road conditions beforehand.)
DirectionsFrom Telegraph Terrace, 87
  • Turn on to 6 then drive for 25 m
  • Continue onto Larapinta Drive, 6 and drive for another 850 m
  • At roundabout, take exit 2 onto Larapinta Drive, 6 and drive for another 880 m
  • At roundabout, take exit 1 onto Larapinta Drive, 6 and drive for another 124.8 km
  • Turn left onto Palm Valley Track and drive for another 12.7 km
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Track Notes
Turn by turn instructions & maps
Getting started
From Palm Valley Campground (12.60km south of Larapinta Drive), head southwest towards a circular shelter along the dirt campground, moving between the creek bed (to the left) and the 4WD road/track (to the right). Follow the said track and cross the road as you come to the Kalarranga Lookout carpark. Head towards the shelter along the said carpark, then veer left at the fork to continue along Mpaara Circuit (clockwise). This is the designated direction of travel.....
Turn map Directions & comments
Start.
There is a toilet (about 60 m back from the start).
Palm Valley Campground (about 40 m back from the start).
This campsite has showers.
After 510 m cross the ford.
After another 280 m (at the intersection of Kalarranga Lookout & Palm Valley Track) turn left, to head along Palm Valley Track (a vehicle track).
After another 50 m veer right, to head along Kalarranga Lookout.
After another 25 m to find the shelter.
At the intersection of Kalarranga Lookout & Mpaara Track continue straight, to head along Mpaara Track.
The starting point of an alternate access track. An alternate access point from/to the 4WD road/track further north. Details below.
After another 790 m veer right, to head along Mpaara Track.
After another 150 m continue straight, to head along Mpaara Track.
After another 90 m find the "Ranger Station - Finke River" (15 m on your right).
Ranger Station - Finke River
Ranger Station - Finke River

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After another 1.8 km come to the viewpoint (20 m on your right).
Continue straight, to head along Mpaara Track.
The starting point of an optional sidetrip. This optional but recommended side trip takes you to the Kalarranga Lookout, where you can experience an exceptional sunset taking in the panoramic views of the surrounding land. To start this optional side trip turn left here. On returning from this side trip error >360 when you get back to this intersection. Details below.
After another 1.8 km (at the intersection of Mpaara Track & Kalarranga Lookout) continue straight, to head along Kalarranga Lookout.
After another 95 m (at the intersection of Mpaara Track & Kalarranga Lookout) veer left, to head along Kalarranga Lookout.
After another 25 m veer left.
After another 50 m (at the intersection of Palm Valley Track & Kalarranga Lookout) turn right (a walking track).
After another 740 m come to the end.

This optional but recommended side trip takes you to the Kalarranga Lookout, where you can experience an exceptional sunset taking in the panoramic views of the surrounding land.
Turn map Directions & comments
At the intersection of Mpaara Track & Kalarranga Lookout Start heading along Kalarranga Lookout (a walking track).
After another 215 m turn right.
After another 7 m come to "Kalarranga Lookout".
The end.
Turn around and retrace your steps back the 225 m to the main route.

An alternate access point from/to the 4WD road/track further north.
Turn map Directions & comments
Start.
Find the sign at the start.
After another 3 m come to the end.
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Terrain
Know the Hills, grading & facilities

Mpaara Circuit


Grading
Class 3/6
Moderate track
Length 6.4 km
Time 1 h 45 min to 3 h
Quality of track Clear and well formed track or trail (2/6)
Gradient Short steep hills (3/6)
Signage Clearly signposted (2/6)
Infrastructure Generally useful facilities (such as fenced cliffs and seats) (2/6)
Experience Required No experience required (2/6)
Weather Weather generally has little impact on safety (2/6)

Some facilities on route
Camp site: There is one -41 m back from the start.

Shelter: There is one 820 m from the start.

Toilet: There is one -59 m back from the start.


Order of key facilities on route
ItemFrom StartName & link to notes
Toilet
-59 m[toilet]
Camp site
-41 mPalm Valley Campground
Shelter
820 m[shelter]
Building
1.9 kmRanger Station - Finke River
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