Glen Helen is another one of the many natural wonders that you do not want to miss on a campervan road trip in Alice Springs. Located approx. 130 km west of Alice Springs along the Namatjira Drive (West MacDonnell Ranges) – Glen Helen is a truly scenic waterhole framed by red cliffs. The Glen Helen resort is a popular overnight stop especially for visitors discovering the Red Centre Way from Alice Springs to Uluru.
The geology origins of Glen Helen Gorge dates back more than 500 million years. The landscape of this stunning gorge with the Finke River (a permanent waterhole) flowing through it is further enhanced with its unique flora and fauna, migrating waterbirds, rock wallabies, and reptiles. You will not miss the towering sandstone wall and views across Mount Sonder (the highest point in Central Australia) and is known for changing colors with light.
Best road trips to explore via campervan in Alice Springs
We suggest hiking the many sections of Larapinta Trail with easy access from Alice Springs. This area can be accessed by 2WD vehicles and most of the major roads are well maintained and in good condition.
One of the walks, Section 10 of the Larapinta Trail ends at Glenn Helen Junction. This is a short but very popular section of the Larapinta Trail. It runs between Ormiston Gorge and Glen Helen Resort and the landscape is varied and there is a hilltop lookout. Highlights include walking along with one of the oldest rivers in the world and finish the day with a refreshing drink or yummy ice creams at the Resort.
Walking the Larapinta Trail requires planning and preparation. Always carry enough water and ensure that you protect against the sun. The best time to walk the Larapinta Trail is during the dry season from May to August each year. Officially starting in an east-west direction but hikers can go either way. We suggest starting and finishing trailheads that provide easy access.
Glen Helen Nature Park
There are many opportunities for walking and hiking the Glen Helen Nature Park and the best time to travel on the trail is from April to October. We recommend swimming in the waterhole and enjoy the beauty of this scenic section of the West MacDonnell Ranges. There will be lots of opportunities to take stunning photos of the Glen Helen Gorge and its surroundings.
Ormiston Gorge and Pound National Park
Located 135 km west of Alice Springs, Ormiston Gorge is only 11 km from Glen Helen. The National Park is open all year round, but note that roads may close after heavy rain. The best time to visit will be from April to September (cooler months).
This is regarded as one of the most beautiful of all the gorges in the area. Take in the views of the Gorge with towering river red gums and ghost gums. There are a number of excellent walks from the ever-popular Ghost Gum Lookout walk through to the 3-4 hours Ormiston Pound walk. The Gorge is a great place for a swim but remember that it can be very cold particularly over the winter season.