Start/Finish Line Complex
Lot 6333, South Stuart Highway
Open Monday to Friday 10am - 3pm
PO Box 283
Alice Springs NT 0871
Account Name: Finke Desert Race Inc.
Bank: National Australia Bank (NAB)
BSB: 085 995 Account No: 536 854 987
- Samantha McLaughlin – 0410 360 800
- Billy Cooke - 0452 461 499
About the Finke Desert Race
What Is The Finke?
The Tatts Finke Desert Race is an off-road, multi terrain two-day race through desert country from Alice Springs to the small Aputula (Finke) Community. The race crosses the Finke River, believed to be the oldest river in the world. The race is held each year on the King’s Birthday long weekend (second weekend in June). “Finke” as it is known, is one of the biggest annual sporting events in the Northern Territory. It is recognised as the richest Off-Road Race in Australia with the added reputation of being one of the most difficult courses in one of the most remote places in the world. Finke is a unique event in that it enables people of all walks of life to become involved. Rarely would you find an event that has over 600 competitors racing over a 460km course that is open to allcomers, it really is the most fun you can have with a helmet on!
There And Back!
The race started in 1976 as a "there and back" challenge for a group of local motorbike riders to race from Alice Springs to the Finke River and return. After the success of this initial ride, the Finke Desert Race was born and it has been held annually on the King’s Birthday (previously Queen's Birthday) long weekend ever since. The race is run along sections of what was the Old Ghan Railway service track adjacent to the railway line along a winding corrugated track, which snakes through typical outback terrain of red dirt, sand, spinifex, mulga and desert oaks. Even though the railway was realigned and rebuilt in the early 80’s, with the old tracks being pulled up, the race continues along its original course.
King Of The Desert
Whilst originally the Finke was only a bike race, its increasing popularity saw the inevitable introduction of cars and off-road buggies in 1988. A fierce rivalry developed between the two and four wheelers, as the buggies were keen to claim the holy grail of the race outright winner or "King of the Desert" as it is respectfully known. For 11 consecutive years the bikes were too quick for the cars despite the gap constantly narrowing. Finally in 1999, a buggy returned home first to claim the honour. With the bikes winning back the title in 2000 and 2001. From 2002 until 2004 the buggies held onto the "King of the Desert" title. In 2005 the title was changed to see two "Kings of the Desert", one for the cars and one for bikes, each collecting $10,000 for their effort. Although the bikes and cars no longer race against each other for the title, it is always interesting to see who completes the 460km round trip the quickest.
Thank You Alice Springs
The people and local businesses of Alice Springs are proud to have ownership of the Finke Desert Race. The June long weekend and "Finke" have become an institution with outstanding community support. For three days, it is estimated that more than 12,000 people camp beside the racetrack, sleeping under the stars in their tents and swags. The Finke Desert Race is organised and run by a local committee with the assistance of the Northern Territory Major Events Company. All committee members are volunteers and give up an inordinate amount of time to ensure the event is the best it can be. Over race weekend, an estimated 300 volunteer officials will assist with the running of the event.
Finke Desert Race Incorporated
Finke Desert Race Inc. is an incorporated association which has as its objects and purposes:
- To organise and further promote the Finke Desert Race
- To make the event more rewarding and attractive to participants, spectators, sponsors and volunteers by encouraging greater involvement from a broad spectrum of the general community.
If you want to get involved in the organisation of the event at this level you will need to be a member. The annual membership subscription is $20 and you can apply for membership or renew your membership by completing the online application/renewal form. Membership subscription runs from 1 Jan to 31 Dec each year. Renewals are due in January each year.
Occupational Health & Safety
Privacy & Security Policy
Protecting Your Privacy
Finke Desert Race (FDR) is committed to the protection of your personal information. Any personal information you provide to FDR will be used for those purposes which the information was gathered for as stated and related purposes which can be reasonably expected.
FDR will not disclose any personally identifiable information obtained from you to other parties or for purposes other than those stated above, unless you provide your written consent to us, with the following exceptions:
where there are grounds to believe that disclosure is required in order to prevent a threat to health or life; where FDR suspects that unlawful activity is or has been engaged in, such personal information may be used to investigate the suspected unlawful activity; or the use is authorised by law or reasonably necessary to enforce the law. Information that you provide through various means will be kept safe and secure within FDR.
Secure Financial Transactions
Where you process a transaction to pay your entry fee and associated services, we use Neto eCommerce platform and the National Australia Bank (NAB) merchant system to secure the financial transaction in real time via the Australian Financial Network. Due to the use of this technology, your credit card number is never stored on our server or in any place on the internet. We do not even see your credit card number when this technology is used.
Email & Other Communications
FDR will only send you emails if you have elected to receive such emails or if they are in response to an email we have received from you.
At anytime, you may also notify us if you do not wish to receive notices or other communications from FDR. Please put this request in writing and send to the address below or telephone FDR on (08) 8952 8886, or email
Should your contact details or address change, please inform us.
If you have any queries or concerns about your personal information which FDR maintains, please send the details of your query or concern in writing to our office. See Contact Details above.
Safety & Environment Campaign
Safety Education in Schools
Tatts Finke Desert Race invite schools to be involved in the annual Finke Safety and Environment Campaign. The campaign addresses the safety issues associated with the Tatts Finke Desert Race and helps raise awareness of the many environmental issues which threaten the future of the event. Initiatives such as the “Adopt a Bike or Buggy Program”, colouring in competitions and assemblies have proven very effective in the past to educate school children on the importance of trackside and environmental safety.
Finke Desert Race is serious about the land we race on. It is only through the generosity of our landowners that we are able to offer the unique terrain that is so much a part of the “Finke” legend. As guests of this precious land, we urge our competitors, volunteers and spectators to respect the privilege of being allowed to part of such a unique experience.
We urge everyone that is travelling down the track to bring their rubbish home. We have a skip in place so that campers can dump all of their rubbish on the way home. Even so, we have some thoughtless spectators who leave their garbage scattered though out their camp. It takes hundreds of volunteer hours to clean up this mess. The simple rule is: If you take it down, bring it back.
As with any desert region, rain fall is low and the risk of fire is high. We urge all of our campers to treat their fire with respect. Take your own wood. Clear and area and dig a shallow pit for your fire. Always make sure the fire is properly extinguished. Clear the campsite so that you are not camping too close to the fire. And please, always watch your children around fires. They are too young to know the dangers.
We all know that motorsport is dangerous, we see the signs, we’ve watched the accidents. The biggest risk to Tatts Finke Desert Race is a spectator being injured, or worse. Don’t forget that the competitors are concentrating on racing, they are not looking for you, your kids or your dog. Please, always stand back from the track and NEVER stand on the outside of corners.
Leave Your Dog At Home
Animals don’t enjoy motorsport. You may think that it is fun to take your dog camping, but you are putting your beloved pet in danger. An animal can’t outrun a competing car or bike, and they don’t know to stay off the track. If you love your animal, make alternative arrangements for Finke weekend.
Finke Desert Race has a great working relationship with the NT Police. This year, they will, again, be patrolling the camp sites to make sure everyone is safe. They are not there to ruin anyone’s fun. They simply need to make sure that there is no drinking and driving, no riding/driving unregistered vehicles and that there is no antisocial behaviour. They are keeping an eye on your safety so please respect the job they are doing and listen to their instructions.