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.
- 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