About Us

Glen Helen Lodge

The Glen Helen Story

The story of Glen Helen Lodge is one of hardship and determination dating back to the explorers of the late 19th century.

Following discovery the property was established as a cattle station covering a much larger area between what is now Redbank Gorge and Ormiston Creek.

Despite the trials of life in the Central Australian outback Glen Helen endured the many setbacks and was eventually instrumental in bringing tourism to the West MacDonnell Ranges.

Following is brief time line of events leading to Glen Helen in its current form.

A Brief History of Glen Helen Lodge

  • 1905 Glen Helen No.3 build by Fred Raggatt, Homestead No. 1 was situated some 3km north - Built 1880’s, Homestead No. 2 was situated on Crawford Creek 10k’s west from, Redbank Gorge - Built 1900, Homestead No. 4 is on Dashwood Creek 60km west - Built 1949
  • 1938 Bryan Bowman purchases Glen Helen Station
  • 1940 New Homestead erected on site No. 3
  • 1945 Glen Helen grew from one station to a chain of four extending from McDonnell Ranges to the Roper River 1400 km away
  • 1953 Bowman approached by Bert Gardiner, an Alice Springs taxi driver, with the view of repairing the Homestead and conducting Tours to the area
  • 1954 Homestead repaired and Tours began
  • 1961 Glen Helen homestead sold to Reg Ansett who transferred the Chalet from Serpentine to Glen Helen - which is now the site of Bunkhouse
  • 1962 Road constructed from Alice Springs through Glen Helen gorge to Hermannsburg to facilitate easy tours to Palm Valley - the road through the gorge was washed away in the late 1960’s floods
  • 1972 Di Byrnes purchases Glen Helen Lodge
  • 1980 Bill & Helen Ashby purchase the Lodge
  • 1984 Di Byrnes re purchases the property
  • 1985 Fire destroys complex. Complex rebuilt using windows, doors and fittings from old houses. The large windows in the bar/café area are in fact concertina doors of an old Service Station turned on their side
  • 1988 With 400mm (16in) of rain in less than 24 hours causes significant flood damage as the Finke River inundates the property
  • 1992 Ngurratjuta/Pmara Ntjarra Aboriginal Corporation purchases Glen Helen Lodge
  • 1996 Property closed for several years. Fuel & Drinks were available only.
  • 1999 Property leased, upgraded and reopened by Trevor Cox
  • 2006 Glen Helen Lodge leasehold purchased by Shelagh & Colin O’Brien
  • 2018 Ngurratjuta/Pmara Ntjarra Aboriginal Corporation commences opertion of business