Your Ultimate Guide to Glen Helen Gorge: Accommodation, Camping, and More

Glen Helen Gorge is one of the popular places in the Red Centre and it lives up to the hype! If you’re planning a trip to the West MacDonnell National Park, you won’t want to miss Glen Helen Gorge. This stunning gorge is a must-visit destination for anyone exploring the area.

📍Located 132km from Alice Springs, Glen Helen Gorge is one of the highlights along the Red Centre Way. It is a stop you will want to make!

Glen Helen Gorge Beauty

The Gorge is a mix of towering red sandstone cliffs and water. It is also where the West MacDonnell Ranges part to make way for the ancient Finke River. Therefore, the Gorge is a significant environmental landmark, especially as it is a seasonal habitat for birds as well as nine species of fish that are exclusive to this river. Since it is one of the few permanent sources of water, it serves as a haven for animals during the hot summer months.

While this is a great place to swim, prolonged exposure even during the summer months is not recommended given how cold it can be. You can visit the Gorge anytime of the year however swimming is encouraged in the warm summer months. If you are an avid bird watcher this is also the best time for you to visit and you might even spot a rock wallaby or two.
Camping at Glen Helen Gorge is a great way to experience the natural beauty of the area.


Glen Helen Gorge with sunlight streaming through in northern territory
@jason_j_c_m on IG
Glen Helen Gorge northern territory rock escapments with blue cloudy sky with water puddles on ground
@_markfitz on IG

Where is Glen Helen Gorge?

If you’re coming from Alice Springs, you’ll need to drive about 132 km to reach Glen Helen Gorge. You can take Larapinta Drive for most of the way and then turn off onto Namatjira Drive. The drive is well worth it, as you’ll be treated to some incredible scenery along the way.

As part of the famous Larapinta Trail, the Glen Helen Gorge is also connected to Ormiston Gorge through Section 10. This section runs through rolling hills made up of limestone, and is the trail’s shortest section. It is rated Grade 3, which is a moderate difficulty level. The distance between the two landmarks is 9.1km and it takes an adult about 4hrs one way. You can continue from the Finke River Trailhead along Section 11 to Discovery Parks Glen Helen with transfers to and from Ormiston Gorge available by prior arrangement with the lodge.


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Camping in Glen Helen Gorge

Camping at Glen Helen Gorge is a great way to experience the natural beauty of the area. However, due to its location in Discovery Parks Glen Helen commercial campground, this camping spot cannot be booked via the NT’s online booking system. Another thing to remember about this remarkable location is that the pictures will be amazing! So remember to pack your drone and apply for permission to use it in the park because the aerial shots will definitely knock your socks off!

Ready to come and explore? Here are a few things to have handy:

  1. Itinerary. (You must know your itinerary and alert a responsible person of your movements.)
  2. Bring water and sunscreen.
  3. Camera gear
  4. Comfortable walking shoes.


Here at Norther we highly recommend staying in the amazing Discovery Parks and you can book your stay here.


glen helen gorge northern territory river between rock escarpments
Glen Helen Gorge, West MacDonnell Ranges

Why is Glen Helen Gorge Closed?

Glen Helen Gorge may be closed due to heavy rainfall, flash flooding, or other dangerous weather conditions. Additionally, the gorge may be closed for maintenance work, such as repairs to hiking trails or other facilities.

Glen Helen Gorge Closed

At times, Glen Helen Gorge may be closed due to dangerous weather conditions or maintenance work. It’s always a good idea to check with the local authorities before making your way to the gorge.

Glen Helen Gorge NT

Glen Helen Gorge is located in the Northern Territory of Australia. It’s a beautiful destination that’s perfect for anyone who loves hiking, camping, or simply enjoying the great outdoors.

Come and Wander West Macs! We would love your feedback on this page – please comment below if you’ve been to Glen Helen Gorge or explored West MacDonnell National Park.

Norther would like to invite you to explore more about the beauty of West MacDonnell National Park here. And… as always you can get more inspiration for other National Parks & Destinations to visit by following @northerhq or get your West MacDonnell National Park daily fix @westmacdonnellnationalpark

*Cover image is by @jason_j_c on Instagram. 

Picture of Norther


NORTHER ® provides encouragement for travellers to value, enjoy and explore the NT in a one-of-kind way so they can honour and respect culture through care and integrity.

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