Serpentine Chalet - Places to Visit - The West Macs

Serpentine Chalet ruins tell a story of an early Centralian tourism venture that eventually floundered. Plagued by lack of water and the difficulty of supply and maintenance, all that remains now are the foundations that were built to service the needs of the guests.

Serpentine Chalet, Tjoritja / West MacDonnell National Park

Serpentine Chalet was the first attempt to cater for tourism in a remote location in Central Australia. Built by the Ansett-Pioneer conglomerate with help from West Macs tourism operator Len Tuit, the resort was luxurious by the standards of the day and the location. However, the Chalet only operated for a few years and served as a salient warning to the development of unsustainable tourism. Plagued by lack of water and the difficulty of supply and maintenance, all that remains now are the foundations that were built to service the needs of the guests.


Key features:

  • The ruins of the old chalet and the old dam wall. Both locations give the visitor an insight in the early tourism ventures in Central Australia, as well as the remoteness of the area. 
  • The gorge near the dam wall also contains several rare and threatened plant species. 
  • This area is also one of only a few sites of Common Brushtail Possum activity in Central Australia. 
  • The shaded, south facing slopes of the MacDonnell Ranges are particularly rich in flora and fauna in this area.
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