Part of our experience of Glen Helen resort was getting there. We rented a car in Ayers Rock, from there drove 300km to Kings Canyon and from Kings Canyon we drove more than 200km to West McDonnell Ranges and Glen Helen resort, among this 180km unpaved road. And this was really a great experience, even driving a car fully packed and with toddler strapped in the back, we felt adventurous:-). And within 3 hours of drive we saw wild camels crossing the road, dingo running along and views of wilderness that was striking color of ochra, most vibrant green and and as foreign as one can imagine Australian Outback. And we met maybe 10 other cars driving opposite direction.
Glen Helen resort is a very different place from Ayers Rock, for the few reasons. It is a small place run by a family, with several rooms that have been renovated and rebuilt from the old farm house (I think it was a farm house). It is place for people who came to Glen Helen to hike or/and spend romantic time while not in the posh hotel. Rooms are tiny with even smaller bathroom but they are squeaky clean and cosy. We stayed there for 2 nights and were perfectly happy with the arrangements. The building is shaped in the letter L, having in front a small swimming pool that was excellent for a dip.
The most pleasant surprise was a restaurant. Behind a lobby and breakfast area of the reception building, that looking very backpacker's, you made a one step into 2 beautifully decorated with local art rooms and once seated you were transported into fine dinning experience. The chef was good and although it was not a five star dining, it was definitely a 4 star and very romantic, especially in the stark contrast with what is outside, and outside is just middle of nowhere in the middle of Australia.
Summarizing, if you go to West McDonald ranges to hike or just spend few days in romantic seclusion of wilderness - that's a place to stay.
- 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