When planning your visit to the West MacDonnell National Park use our suggested itineraries to make sure you don’t miss any of the fantastic sites in the West MacDonnell National Park.
Whatever time of year you choose to visit, Central Australia is a dry location so a good supply of drinking water and protection from the sun is always important.
On a short visit take in the highlights nearest to Glen Helen
After the long drive from Kings Canyon or Alice Springs check into your room or campsite then head down to the Glen Helen Gorge for a swim and some bird watching. The more adventurous can climb to the top of the ridge for an aerial view of the resort and surrounds.
Head back to the homestead for a drink on the back verandah and watch the sun go down over the ridge then move into the Namatjira Gallery Restaurant for dinner.
With a whole day to explore make your way to Ormiston Gorge and spend an hour on the ghost gum walk where along with the great scenery you can spot visiting dingoes and rock wallabies by the waterhole.
Continue on to the Ochre Pits to explore the history of this sacred aboriginal site.
By now you will be ready for a break, drive a little further on to Ellery Creek Big Hole for a picnic lunch and a swim in the waterhole.
On the way back to Glen Helen stop into Serpentine Gorge and take the stairs to the lookout for a spectacular view over the range.
Back at the resort relax on the lawn or make yourself comfortable in the homestead lounge. Place your order for a cook your own barbeque pack then wander up the road to the Mount Sonder lookout and enjoy the spectacular colours of an outback sunset. Return to a preheated barbeque cook dinner to your liking and then relax with the sounds of our in house musicians.
With a whole week to spend in the area you can see all that the West MacDonnell Ranges have to offer
Walk to the Glen Helen Gorge. Explore your new surroundings. Swim through or climb around the waterhole and explore the Hidden Valley beyond, including the Organ Pipes and Vivians Gulch. Climb to the ridge above Glen Helen Homestead Lodge and drink in the 360 degree views.
Drive to Ormiston Gorge, take a look at the beautiful waterhole, and choose a walk length to suit you, either 20mins, 1 hour, 3 hours. Enjoy a picnic in the Ormiston day area, then drive on to the Ochre Pits. A short easy walk brings you to a scene to transport you into the ceremonial world of the Aboriginal traditional owners, with the pits being their source of ochre for body paint. If you enjoy hiking, follow the path through the hills upward to the Inarlanga Pass(3 hours). Return to Glen Helen to relax at the bar or by the pool.
Take Namatjira Drive 30min west of Glen Helen to Redbank Gorge. Make a day of climbing the magnificent Mt Sonder, ‘The Sleeping Lubra’ of the Arrente people. The 4th Highest Peak in the Northern Territory, the climb is well marked and not difficult, and takes 6 to 8 hours return. If it is too hot for climbing, follow the river to Redbank Gorge and swim up 6 levels of pools, taking an inner tube borrowed from Glen Helen.
(This trip requires 4WD and can be arranged as a tour from Glen Helen if you only have 2WD) Travel West along Namatjira Drive 6km past the Redbank turnoff, for approx 35 min total from Glen Helen. Take the track to the left down the Davenport River following the sign to Roma Gorge. Travel 30-40 minutes through Station country before arriving at the carpark for Roma Gorge. Spend an hour or two marvelling at the ancient Aboriginal Petroglyphs on the rocks and the abundant bird life at the small gorge pool. Return to Namatjira Drive and travel further west to Tylers Pass Lookout, followed by Gosse Bluff Reserve. Spend an hour taking in the feeling of the ancient Comet impact crater, and the Aboriginal legends that surround it. Return to Glen Helen for a pleasant dinner and evening of entertainment.
Travel East along Namatjira Drive to Serpentine Chalet turnoff. Drive to the gate (4WD required) and walk for a half hour to reach the old Dam, and learn some of the history of the area’s early tourism. Climb up the ridge track for some great views. Back to the car and on to Serpentine Gorge, with a marked trail and great lookout walk. Back to Glen Helen in time for a swim and drink before dinner.
Take a picnic lunch with you today. Follow Namatjira Drive West from Glen Helen to the junction of Larapinta Drive, and travel East to Hermannsburg. Enjoy Morning Tea at the Historic Precinct, and learn of the very early settlement of the region. Take the Palm Valley track south from Hermannsburg, (4WD required) and see the changing geology and amazing ancient palms in the spectacular Valley of the Palms. Take a walk of your choice, and enjoy lunch under the rustling palms. Return to Glen Helen to enjoy your final nights celebration dinner in the Restaurant.
Take a helicopter flight over the regions you have seen this week, Ormiston Pound, Mt Sonder, Glen Helen Gorge and the Organ Pipes. Take home precious photographic memories of your Outback adventure. Say your goodbyes to your Glen Helen friends. A last swim in the Gorge, or beer at the bar.