19 March 2017
Glen Helen Gorge is located 132 kilometres from Alice Springs, in the western reaches of the West MacDonnell Ranges. The landscape around Glen Helen is spectacular includes views of Mount Sonder, one of the highest points in Central Australia, which changes colours with the light. At Glen Helen Gorge the ranges part to make way for the Finke River. The permanent Finke River waterhole is an important refuge in the hot summer months, for all nine species of fish recorded for the Finke, and migrating waterbirds. From here the Finke River continues and makes its way to the Simpson Desert. The area's traditional owners believe that this inviting swimming spot is the home of an ancient and powerful Rainbow Serpent, and regard it as off limits. Josephine and Shane Stone made a nostalgic trip out to Glen Helen an iconic tourist destination that has brought its share of heartache to those who have owned the property. Glen Helen was purchased by Di Byrnes in 1984 (she had previously owned the property 1972-80). The Stones first met Di when they arrived in the Alice mid-1980's. Di was a good friend and supporter. In 1985 fire destroyed the Lodge but it was subsequently rebuilt by Di but sadly in 1988 the Finke River inundated the property. Di Byrne sold out in 1992. Many memories for Shane and Josie Stone out there as they often stayed for a weekend away from the Alice. Their legendary dog Sharka the tan Doberman also featured on this website under 'pets' accompanied them on the trips.