We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Day trip of a lifetime”

Best prices for -
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 8 more sites!
Glen Helen Homestead Lodge
Reviewed October 26, 2012

We planned a day trip out from Alice along the West Mac's, with stops on the way at gorges and waterholes, Glen Helen for lunch, turn around and stop back at other gorges and waterholes we passed on the first leg. The resort is situated right against/beneath a magnificent cliff face (I think you would call it?) of red rock, with the gorge beneath it. The location is worth the trip - and the trip itself with the many stops along the way is one of the most spectacular days of my life in terms of sight seeing. For that alone I would recommend you go to Glen Helen Resort, and you *must* stop at several places, if only at Ormiston Gorge.

That said, I can sympathise to some extent with other reviewers complaining about price and the 'run down' feeling of the homestead. Nothing wrong with rustic or homestead - Ross River Resort our along the East Mac's manages this to the right effect (also recommend this trip, although the sights are as stirring as along with West Mac's) - but that might just be that of the two original homesteads, Ross River homestead was just a nicer house. When we were at Glen Helen Resort it was very busy (Saturday lunchtime), and there isn't much room inside to share with so many people. But its nicer to site outside anyway and look at the view.

Three burgers and chips (inc one camel burger), one ice-cream, one coke and two beers, cost us over 60 aud. So yes it is also expensive. But for those reading reviews and concerned about the complaints about price, and hotel 'quality'- people, this is the centre of Australia. It was hard enough for us to fly in to visit, and then drive out there in a rented car - it's got to be a lot more difficult to ship in fresh food at a 'normal' price, let alone building supplies on the back of camel whenever they built this place. It is expensive to do *any*thing out in the part of Australia.

If you manage your expectations, you will enjoy this venue. The food was good quality and enjoyable, the drinks were very cold which was appreciated!. The trip out there, is beyond description. If you need somewhere 4 or 5 star to stay over, don't stay here. But if you want a day trip you will remember for a life time, Glen Helen Resort is a great middle point destination, which is very hospitable and has everything you could ask for.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
2  Thank rachaelOz
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 reviewResponded November 1, 2012

Dear RachaelOz

thanks for reviewing Glen Helen Resort. We wont apologise for being busy when you were here, but we do hope you did find somewhere to sit and enjoy your meal! Our ambition is to one day have a great big deck out looking at that great view with shade and heaps of room!

We regularly compare prices of our meals/drinks/icecreams to make sure we are on a par with other outback properties, and are confident that we have our prices at a fair level for our isolation, and I can see you have realized the challenges of this isolation.

We hope you may visit again one day and take a day or two to further explore the wonderful West Macs!
You will then have the chance to enjoy our excellent evening meals in our award winning Restaurant, which are different again from the daytime cafe menu.

We are continually working to improve our guest experience, so we really appreciate all our feedback.

Kind regards

Shelagh O'Brien

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review
Reviews (477)
There are newer reviews for Glen Helen Homestead Lodge
See the most recent reviews
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
Language

269 - 275 of 477 reviews

Reviewed October 9, 2012

Looks fine on the internet, but needs a good revamp. Motel accommodation was similar to army huts; blue tape had been used to stop water coming in, one tiny bit of soap which was to be used for wash basin and the shower. I had bites all night from something in the bed. Just because there is no other accommodation it should not mean that the place should be of such a poor standard. The barbecue itself was clean but the surrounds were shocking. I am not a fussy person and am used to camping which would have been much better.

Room Tip: Better to camp.
  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank viewsend
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 reviewResponded October 19, 2012

Dear Viewsend

thanks for reviewing Glen Helen Resort.
We are sorry you do not feel you had good value staying with us. We go to some lengths to let our guests know that although our rooms are very simple we love to make you welcome, and it is on this welcome and the atmosphere of our homestead and surrounds that we encourage our guests to focus.
The blue tape was placed on the window sills recently by the pest controller to mark damage by termites to be repaired. The rooms are definitely waterproof!!
As a leasehold business we do not have control over room renovations, but we endeavour to clean and prepare rooms to the very best standards possible, including excellent air conditioning.
We are right in the outback and there are a few insects that sneak into rooms, especially if lights are on with the door open for any period, but I am sorry they may have interfered with your rest.
We hope you enjoyed your meals, the beautiful surrounds and our friendly staff, but just forget to mention them!
Kind regards
Shelagh O'Brien

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 6, 2012

We stayed for one night while passing through this beautiful part of the world. I had booked a bunk room for the family (2+2) but when we set eyes on it we could not stay in it. It was like an old prison cell! 2 sets of bunks and a concrete floor, no cooling or ventilation, maybe a few hooks on the wall but that is it. The bunks had no safety rails and therfore clearly fail the Australian standard and combined with the concrete floor I was not going to put my kids on them. The reality was different to the photos on the website! Anyway we upgraded to the family room which was basic, old and worn out. But comfortable enough, with air con and a visually unappealing bahroom which worked well enough. I was left with a feeling of poor value and being taken advantage of because there are no alternatives and I would give it a miss next time, unless prices come down or new accomodation is built. (My tip would be head back to Alice or camp at Ormiston Gorge).
The setting is however beautiful and the dinner in the restaurant was very good although it appeared that the base of the garlic pizza had not actually been cooked! There was an entertainer that night in the bar area and he was also very very good. basic supplies can be bought here as well as petrol.

Room Tip: Don't bother with the bunk rooms!!
  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank turtonfamily
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 reviewResponded October 9, 2012

Dear Turtonfamily

thankyou for reviewing Glen Helen. We are glad you enjoyed some aspects of your stay, including your meal.
Our Stockman's Quarters Bunkhouse rooms are sold as a very simple alternative, mostly suiting adult backpackers, not families. The photo on the Website of the bunkroom just shows the simple bunks,although the colour of bedding may have changed, and the one on the booking site also shows the bunks only. We do have removable bunkguards available on request for children in top bunks, and I apologise you were not offered these. For $30 per person we offer this very simple option for travellers.
I totally agree that the family rooms are also quite simple and not up to date in modern terms. However we do make every effort to make you comfortable in what is a very costly environment to operate in. We believe our prices are fair and represent reasonable value, especially when you compare them to other remote properties in Central Australia
As leasehold owners there are limited options for renovation.

Kind regards

Shelagh O'Brien

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 2, 2012

Stayed a night in the Glen Helen Resort while passing through the outback. While on first impressions, the resort might not look like too much to crow at, we quickly discovered the little charms that make a place like this only that much more special.

We arrived rather late but the staff were really friendly and we were fortunate enough to get one of the rooms facing the gorge itself and the river. Watching the birds swooping low over the river as the sun was setting was simply amazing. Afterwards we had quite an amazing meal at the resort restaurant. The pork was simply to die for! There was some live music in the lounge area, and though we would have preferred just some quiet time to enjoy the silent night air, the music was pretty decent and certainly livened up the night... :)

Appreciated the free hot water, coffee and tea in the lounge area for us motel roomers. The rooms were clean, comfortable and the showers hot. The night can get a little chilly, but the air conditioner/ heater sorted the temperature out easily! The lack of light pollution too made for a spectacular night sky!

Morning views of the gorge and west macdonnell range were even more stunning than the evening before. Way handy that there's a petrol pump on-site since the next top up point is 150km away. And it is true that petrol is even more pricey at kings canyon. We managed to purchase our permits at reception before heading off road down the red centre way...

All in all, we had a great, albeit all too brief stay at the resort. Recommended for all passing through this way. Yes, it's pricey but do remember, you're in the middle of nowhere. Keep your expectations real. It ain't 5-star but it's real comfortable. The food is awesome, the air is crisp and the views spectacular!

Room Tip: Ask for a river front room!
  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank SLChen
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 reviewResponded October 5, 2012

Dear SLChen
Thankyou for reviewing Glen Helen Resort.
We are so glad you have joined the growing number of our guests who really 'get' what is special about this property. Who really understand that there is more to a great night's stay than a shiny hotel room.
We are thrilled that you sampled our excellent menu, and enjoyed the peace and tranquility of a starry desert night, and the awesome qualities of Red Rocks and Waterholes.
It is wonderful that we can host guests from all over the world to our little corner of paradise, and thank you again for your business.

Kind regards
Shelagh O'Brien

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 18, 2012 via mobile

Glen Helen Resort is unique, funky and original. If you're looking for local color, character and fantastic food - this is the place. If you want cookie cutter brand franchise dependability, then you won't enjoy Glen Helen Resort. Remember, if you stay here you're in the Outback - no mobile phone service. The setting is beautiful - attached is the view from my door. Staff is great. Other guests are from all over the world and very interesting. On the downside - the resort currently had sewer issues which resulted in bad smells in my room #5 and my friends' room 7. Flushing did work but it was iffy. But for this, my rating would have been 4* instead of 3.

  • Stayed: September 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank ScoutMidwest
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 reviewResponded September 20, 2012

Dear Scoutmidwest

thanks so much for reviewing Glen Helen Resort. We are really delighted that you appreciated all the things that make Glen Helen really special, including our great meals in the Namatjira Restaurant.
We apologise profusely for the waste drainage problem and unpleasant odor that resulted, which was caused by a blockage and has now been completely resolved.
We look forward to welcoming you back again one day for a longer relaxing stay with us.

kind regards

Shelagh O'Brien

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 16, 2012

Great location but the motel is very simple decorated with little taste ( at least not mine ). Not a bad option if you do not want to sleep in alice spring and on the way to king's canyon but it comed with a price. At least the nature is gorgeous at sunset with the birds. The dinner although not cheap is not bad but the breakfast is a rip off. Continental with toasts and instant coffee. If you can avoid to fill your tank , skip the station it is pretty expensive. Be prepared to pay high prices for internet

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank laurent c
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 reviewResponded September 18, 2012

Dear Laurent C

Thanks for reviewing Glen Helen Resort.
We are sorry that you felt Glen Helen was costly, as we get so many comments that we are cheaper than most outback places. Perhaps after you wrote this review you went on to other locations and discovered this to be the case!
Because we are remote and must generate our own power, run our own bore water supply and process our own waste, it is not possible to compare running costs with most Hotels that are supplied with grid power, water and sewage.
Despite your comment about the cost of our breakfast, we are the only place I know to offer a Light Breakfast option with Toast, juice and Tea/Coffee for those who do not want to pay for a full continental, with all cereals, fruit, yoghurt, toast and juice. Our prices compare very favourably to other hotels. We also offer a cooked breakfast only option, without people buying a Complete breakfast.
Our wireless internet is a satellite connection, so not a cheap city Broadband. However we have compared prices to other hotels and we are not the dearest by any means. The first half hour is Free for motel guests.
Fuel at Glen Helen is cheaper than at Kings Canyon and Uluru, and we do our best to keep it fairly priced.
Despite everything, we are glad you really enjoyed our beautiful location and service.
Kind regards
Shelagh O'Brien

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 6, 2012

The clean room had a double and single bed with heating, a shower and loo. Late afternoon saw the children enjoy bathing in the river and an hour later we saw a dingo pass by. Although it is not well advertised there is a barbecue overlooking the river for people staying at the motel to use. Meat and salads can be bought there. We were offered a place to sit inside as it was a bit chilly outside and clean cutlery was given plus they did the washing up!

Room Tip: Go for a river view.
  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Mokryna
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 reviewResponded September 9, 2012

Dear Mokryna

Thanks very much for reviewing Glen Helen Resort. We are really pleased you enjoyed your stay.

It is great that you have pointed out the fact that we have a wonderful alternative to our excellent restaurant, and that is our Barbeque Pack, where you choose from a delicious selection of meats, fish and salads, and we prepare these for you to cook yourself. It is a fantastic option for informal dining, and you can eat outdoors under the stars, or indoors if it is cooler.

Barbequeing is such an Aussie tradition that this is a great experience that complements our wonderful backdrop of red rocks and billabong.

A new opportunity to enjoy our 'backyard' is our Sunset Canapes package that can be ordered in advance when you book, or when you arrive and check in. This pack can be a very relaxing finale to a busy day enjoying the amazing scenery in the West MacDonnell Ranges.

Kind regards
Shelagh O'Brien

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

Been to Glen Helen Homestead Lodge? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about 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: $55 - $140 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Hotels.com, Travelocity, Expedia, Orbitz, Booking.com, Priceline, Agoda, Ctrip TA, TripOnline SA and Cheap Tickets so you can book your Glen Helen Homestead Lodge reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Glen Helen Homestead Lodge Australia/West MacDonnell National Park

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing