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“Great spot in the West MacDonnell Ranges”

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Glen Helen Homestead Lodge
Melbourne
Level Contributor
48 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 69 helpful votes
“Great spot in the West MacDonnell Ranges”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 10, 2012

Second visit in 18 months and stayed for three nights in the river/gorge view rooms. The location is really special and the river view rooms are a must as the view is beautiful, especially at sunrise and sunset (you need to book early to get these). The place has just the right atmosphere for an ex station homestead. The rooms are fairly basic and somewhat eclectic, but clean, comfortable and more than adequate.
The food is a bit of an eye opener for a such a remote location. The chef turns out very good food which would stand up well in a big city restaurant, and the servings are generous. Not an extensive menu (as you would expect), but something interesting and tempting for everyone. There is also the option of a cook your own BBQ. From Thursday to Sunday, the evening meal can be finished off in the bar area with a few hours of good blues/country/jazz music from solo musicians who rotate the gig a few weeks at time.
As is to be expected, a good proportion of staff are itinerant, but on the both occasions we stayed at Glen Helen, all the staff have been terrific ; cheerful, helpful and friendly, with just the right kind of spirit, and mostly knowing what they are doing.
The owners are fonts of knowledge about the area and willingly share this with the visitors.
All in all, a top spot if you want a bit of remote hospitality with colour and atmosphere in a superb landscape.

Room Tip: Book a river view room.
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
2 Thank poitr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
outback_oasis, Manager at Glen Helen Homestead Lodge, responded to this review, May 12, 2012
Dear Poitr

It was delightful to welcome your party back again to Glen Helen. And great to see that you have captured the essence of the special qualities of the property.

We really are excited that some renovations by the Landlord are looking like happening soon, allowing a more comfortable stay without detracting from the property's character

Our restaurant is getting a lot of great feedback, now Chef Mark has his menu really well tuned, so we were glad you enjoyed your meals

We look forward to your next visit, and to chatting to you about all the latest natural history developments of a new season.

Kind regards

Shelagh O'Brien
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442 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (72)
Date | Rating
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English first
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
73 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 23, 2012

Stopped here for a night on our road trip from Uluru to Alice Springs. Great location, right on the red cliffs of Glen Helen Gorge itself. Wish we had a room facing the Finke River, which cuts into the gorge at this point of the West Macdonnell Ranges! Kids enjoyed skimming stones into the waterhole and great birdlife abounds. Staff were friendly and helpful, especially the owner Shelagh. Head chef was off for the night, but the pub-style food was great and prices very reasonable, even for wine. This is basically a campground and rooms are more of the 'donger'/cabin style so calling it a 'resort' is a bit of a stretch, especially at resort-type prices. Although it was clean, they could do a few things around the bathroom that possibly wouldn't cost too much, like removing the ancient and very small sink. Maybe try changing the name to Glen Helen Homestead, to reflect its rich heritage and the homestead that still stands.

Room Tip: Try the riverside
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank ClaytonTheCat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
outback_oasis, Manager at Glen Helen Homestead Lodge, responded to this review, May 12, 2012
Dear Clayton the cat (!)

We enjoyed your review and appreciate your comments. We are excited to report that the near future is looking very promising with our landlord increasing their involvement in improvements. Those little basins should soon be a thing of the past, along with other ageing fittings!

We agree that in many ways the term Resort which we inherited is not a good fit, as our facilities are much more rustic than other Resorts. However since the name is widely and Internationally used now, we have decided it is better to keep the name and work our way up to earning it!!
Kind regards
Shelagh O'Brien
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Hobart, Tasmania
Level Contributor
340 reviews
83 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 129 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 20, 2012

We stopped here for 1 night as part of a 3-day trip from Alice to Uluru. Glen Helen is nothing flash but it's location is amazing, the various staff are friendly and the meal in the restaurant was ridiculously good - totally unexpected to have such a brilliant meal in such a remote spot.
We got up at dawn to see the sun hit the gorge and it was just delightful. So pleased we stayed there.

Room Tip: Get a room facing the gorge - we were in No1 and it was a perfect location
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank richmet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
outback_oasis, Manager at Glen Helen Homestead Lodge, responded to this review, May 12, 2012
Dear Richmet

we are very glad you enjoyed your stay with us. I wish we had 20 river view rooms!! The early bookings or stays in lower seasons get them.

The word is really getting out now about our restaurant and Mark the Chef is getting well deserved accolades!

We hope we can welcome you back to Glen Helen soon.
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Cairns, Australia
Level Contributor
24 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 8, 2012

This is a nice little outback escape. It's a bit of a trek to get to but if you plan things well you could stay at glen Helen, then kings canyon, then onto ayers rock.. Unfortunately that's not how I did it lol. There is nothing flash bout this place but that's not what's it about. Your in the country not the city. The staff were great and this place had a great relaxed vibe. The girl at the front desk was friendly and showed us to our room explaining everything we needed to know. What really impressed me was dinner. We didn't have massive expectations but were very surprised the meal was the best we'd had in the territory. Thanks for a great stay!

  • Stayed April 2012
    • Value
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    • Rooms
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Helpful?
1 Thank temil
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
outback_oasis, Manager at Glen Helen Homestead Lodge, responded to this review, April 11, 2012
We are so glad you enjoyed your stay, and that you were made welcome. Our restaurant is gaining in popularity with our great chef, Mark at the helm. We look forward to you visiting us again for a longer stay sometime soon.
Kind regards
shelagh
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paris, France
Level Contributor
20 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 8, 2012

Shelagh, the owner and manager of this motel was so friendly with us! It was our honey moon and she had nice attention for us and it made our stay unforgettable. The location is great with a wonderfull nature around, we enjoyed the diner. The accomodation are simple but cleanand functional. Staff is very nice. We hope to have the occasion to come back there.
You'll never never know, if you never never go to the NT!

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Lio-Isa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
outback_oasis, Manager at Glen Helen Homestead Lodge, responded to this review, April 11, 2012
It was wonderful to welcome you to Glen Helen for your Honeymoon. It is special for us to have a part in your journey.
Thanks for your kind words, and we hope to welcome you back in the future!!
Kind regards
Shelagh
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jabiru
Level Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 24, 2012

After a couple of days roughing it in Finke Gorge National Park and the West Macs we thought we'd give the local economy a boost and visit Glen Helen Resort as a few years ago we had a great time down by the waterhole and later at the bar and were looking forward to a similar experience.

This time the straightforward act of booking a campsite for one night took over half an hour although the place was near empty (only 4 or 5 other campers).
We had trouble explaining to the friendly yet out of her depth staff member that our camper trailer tent wasn't suitable for being carried into the walk-in unpowered grassed sites as it was actually permanently attached to the trailer we were towing.

When we queried whether we could park up in one one of the caravan sites (the only ones big enough to accommodate our average-sized camper trailer) without hooking up to electricity we hit the wall. Since it's the low season and the place was nowhere near capacity we didn't find this to be an unreasonable request. However, the young staff member didn't want to make that decision and asked the manager for assistance. After a 10min wait the manager still hadn't made herself available. In the end, to cut things short, we paid the extra $6.00 ($36.00 in total) for a very basic powered site on gravel.
Needless to say we gave the bar and restaurant a miss and had a lovely camp oven dinner instead.

The management's lack of customer orientation and can-do attitude became even more obvious during the course of the evening when we frequented the campground's facilities. While the demountable bathrooms were clean enough, the sewerage pit located between the two facilities was in a rather dangerous state of disrepair. We sincerely hope that the resort's management will pick up their game and repair the poorly secured broken cover over the pit, which in its current state clearly poses a health hazard.

Our suggestion:
If you don't require a powered site camp at one of the West MacDonnell National Park's camp grounds instead. They are very well maintained by the Northern Territory Parks & Wildlife Commission -- and a lot cheaper!

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
4 Thank TopEndExplorerTours
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
outback_oasis, Manager at Glen Helen Homestead Lodge, responded to this review, February 16, 2012
Dear Campers

I am sorry you did not enjoy your stay!! Your experience seems very unfortunate as during our summer quiet time we generally have lots of time to make our visitor's experience memorable. If I was around I would definitely have assisted my staff member who apparently could not understand your requirements. I do apologise for this. we keep a lovely powered grassy lawn for camper trailers so they can set up and get their pegs in.

sometimes our newer staff have not yet grasped the requirements of Aussie campers, and we try to work with them on this. Once again I am sorry I was not around to assist you. A camping checkin usually takes less than 5 minutes!!
Kind regards

Shelagh O'Brien, Manager

othewise, I hope you visit again and have a better experience.
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Travelers are raving about these West MacDonnell National Park hotels

Brisbane
Level Contributor
54 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 23, 2012

If you have to have a slick, anonymous, resort with all the frills which could be anywhere, you won't like this place but if you want to experience typical outback hospitality you will find it here in a magnificent setting. You won't mind the basic accommodation when you can sit on the river bank and watch the cliffs go red at sunset. It's the best base for visiting Ormiston Gorge, hiking up Mt Sonder and visiting other parts of the Western Macdonnell Ranges. We borrowed tyre tubes and floated through Glen Helen Gorge with much hilarity and hiked further to the Organ Pipes. We can also recommend the hellcopter flights - the only way to appreciate the amazing landforms of this ancient country. We stayed 4 nights and enjoyed the meals in the Namatjira restaurant on 3 nights and a low cost barbecue the other night.

Room Tip: You can watch the sunset from the river front rooms.
See more room tips
  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank dingobreakfast
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
outback_oasis, Manager at Glen Helen Homestead Lodge, responded to this review, February 16, 2012
thanks for your kind words, and I can see you have understood what we are trying to achieve in welcoming people to our lovely region.
we hope to keep improving the experience, while not changing the underlying qualities that make Glen Helen unique
Kind regards

Shelagh O'brien
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Glen Helen Homestead Lodge

Property: Glen Helen Homestead Lodge
Address: 1 Namatjira Drive | West MacDonnell Ranges Via Alice Springs, West MacDonnell National Park, Northern Territory 0872, Australia (Formerly Glen Helen Resort)
Phone Number:
Location: Australia > Northern Territory > Red Centre > West MacDonnell National Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Specialty Lodging in West MacDonnell National Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Glen Helen Homestead Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 24
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Glen Helen Homestead Lodge, previously known as Glen Helen Resort is a Lodge style property with simple, compact and comfortable rooms, great scenic location with old fashioned welcome and outback atmosphere.We are renowned for great personal service, great dining in our Award Winning Restaurant and great live entertainment. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Glen Helen Homestead Lodge Australia/West MacDonnell National Park

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