Finke River Waterholes

As I mentioned  previously, The Finke River is famous for its permanent waterholes. According to some signage in Finke Gorge National Park, there are 8 permanent waterholes along the Finke. They were an essential source of water to the Indigenous peoples who lived along the river and continue to be essential sources of water to local wildlife. They also make for pretty picturesque campsites. 

We spent the first two weeks of the 2012 field season following the Finke River. Not by choice, but rather because the main 4WD tracks running through Henbury Station more-or-less follow the Finke. Along the way we camped close to three of the Finke's permanent waterholes.

Snake Hole 

 Snake hole was our first campsite, the one mentioned here. Unfortunately, it did not live up to its name, and there were no snakes to be found.

Snake Hole. Photo by Rebecca Sullivan.

There was, however, a wealth of birdlife to be found and Rebecca Sullivan, one of my volunteers, took the opportunity to practice using her new camera. She got some great pictures:

Yellow-billed Spoonbill (Platalea flavipes). Photo by Rebecca Sullivan.

Little Corella (Cactua sanguinea). Photo by Rebeccan Sullivan.

A flock of budgies (Melopsittacus undulatus) coming in to drink. Photo by Rebecca Sullivan.

The budgies drank by just dropping into the water! Photo by Rebecca Sullivan.

Running Waters  

 Running Waters is a permanent waterhole on Henbury just south of Finke Gorge National Park. According to the map, this isn't actually the permanent waterhole, but just downstream of it. Because 2011 and 2012 were such wet years in Central Australia, the waterhole has expanded greatly.

Downstream of Running Waters. Photo by Rebecca Sullivan.

Here, also, Rebecca found good opportunities to photograph some birds: 

Chestnut-rumped Thornbill (Acanthiza uropygialis). Photo by Rebecca Sullivan.

Rainbow Bee-eaters (Merops ornatus). Photo by Rebecca Sullivan.

Boggy Hol e 

Boggy Hole lies within Finke Gorge National Park, north of Running Waters. Between the two waterholes the 4WD track essentially is  the Finke River, which can make for some pretty interesting (and rocky) four-wheel driving. Sometimes it was pretty slow going.

Boggy Hole.

Boggy Hole.

A photograph of Eleonor photographing Boggy Hole. Photo by Rebecca Sullivan.

Here's an idea of what our campsite was like:

Boggy Hole at sunrise with our campsite in the bottom right. Photo by Rebecca Sullivan.

A closer look down on our campsite. Photo by Rebecca Sullivan.

And this is the view from my swag in the morning: 

Sunrise on Boggy Hole and the rockface behind it. Photo by Rebecca Sullivan.

The water in these waterholes was freezing. By midday the air temperature would heat up into the 30's and during that time we were out scrambling over rocks looking for dragons. Thankfully, the water was able to keep our most refreshing commodity cool until we got back:

Cold beer after a hot day, the most valuable part of camping next to a Finke River waterhole.  Photo by Rebecca Sullivan.