Glen Helen is one of the six permanent water holes along the Finke river and is a resort location about 132 km west of Alice Springs. It can be found at the point along the West MacDonnell ranges where the Finke River has eroded its way through the sandstone ridges.
The resort is a great place to stay while you experience the marvelous scenery of nearby Ormiston Gorge and Pound or to bushwalk in West MacDonnell National Park. Glen Helen Gorge lies at the headwaters of the Finke River, where you can walk along the riverbed between the gorge walls to see fabulous cycads.
Ormiston Gorge and Pound National Park has a number of walks ranging from a 30 minute Ghost Gum Lookout walk to a 3 day walk to Mount Giles. The gorge has a permanent waterhole and the area contains a variety of native flora remaining from a tropical past. The Long-tailed Dunnart was recently rediscovered in the park.
The Glen Helen Lodge offers a range of accommodation including camping and motel lodging and is best visited during the cooler months.
Image: Glen Helen Gorge - Australia's Outback Northern Territory
Things to do:
Larapinta Walking Trail - winds through the West MacDonnell Ranges for 80 km. Registration is required
Swimming - Ellery Creek Big-hole, Ormiston Gorge, Redbank Gorge, Glen Helen Gorge. Swimmers should be aware that water temperatures can be extremely cold even during summer and can result in hypothermia
Attractions in the area:
Ormiston Gorge and Pound National Park - walks, flora and fauna
Glen Helen Gorge National Park - walk between the gorge walls and see ancient cycads
Redbank Gorge - a 4WD trail
Ochre Pits - a natural ochre quarry mined by Aboriginal peoples for painting and decoration
Tnorala (Gosse Bluff) Conservation Reserve - a meteorite crater 50 km wide which is accessible via the Mereenie Loop (that links to Kings Canyon)
Serpentine Gorge - a winding gorge with wildlife and walking trails
Ellery Creek Big-hole - a swimming hole surrounded by red cliffs