At the western edge of the West MacDonnell National Park is the popular Glen Helen Resort, which has an idyllic back verandah slammed up against the red ochre cliffs of the spectacular gorge. There's a busy restaurant-pub serving hearty meals (mains $29 to $42) and live music on the weekend. There are also 4WD tours available and helicopter flights (from $175).
There's a good chance you'll spot flocks of colourful budgerigars here while enjoying a cold drink in the evening. Pitching a tent on a grassy patch with your own campfire is a delight.