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Food selection is a personal choice but the amount and type of food you decide to take on the trail will depend on a number of decisions, namely the length and duration of your walk, your diet, creativity and how much you are prepared to carry. One of the main considerations for multiday and extended treks on the Larapinta Trail is re-supply - when and where you can re-stock your food and other supplies.
Key Points
Point Alice Springs has a number of supermarket & stores for food purchases
Point There are very few places to buy food along the trail ( see below)
Point Food drop services are offered by some local businesses's
Point There are three official food storage areas along the Larapinta Trail
Point You will need a key for these official storage sheds ( see below)
Point If you cache your food, protect the cache well from dingoes
Point You will need to carry most of your rubbish
Point There are only 4 rubbish points along the trail. See where
Point Please DO NOT burn or bury rubbish!
 
 
Info Alice Springs
Alice Springs has all the conventional stores like most regional towns in Australia such as Cole's, Woolworth's and IGA. However outdoor and camping stores which stock specialised dehydrated camping foods are limited. Lone Dingo, a local Alice Springs outdoor store, has a large selection of dehydrated food packs. There are some niche type food shops in Alice Springs which provide a range of healthy/eating food options as well such as Afghan Traders
Info Lone Dingo (image below)
Lone Dingo - Alice Springs
Lone Dingo is the only store in Alice Springs (located in the CBD) which is focused on quality outdoor adventure gear for hiking. They sell good quality brands of clothing and equipment such as backpacks, tents, footwear, sleeping mats, dehydrated foods, stoves etc. Food options include one of the most expansive selections of freeze dried meals in Alice Springs which includes Backcountry Cuisine & Outdoor Gourmet dehyds including 1 serve, 2 serve and 5 serve meals, desserts, condiments, smoothie drinks, energy gels and bars and more.
They also stock plenty of stove options plus fuel including: butane canisters (screw on style; 100g, 230g, 450g), shellite (1L bottles) & methylated spirits (1L bottles). Remember, you can't take fuel on flights. More info about Lone Dingo
There are only three locations ( outside Alice Springs) where some limited types of food can be purchased along the entire trail, they are: Ormiston Gorge , Standley Chasm and Glen Helen Resort . Each location has a reasonably good range of food and drinks (most of it takeaway type food - but can be expensive because of their remote localities). Glen Helen Resort has a full restaurant and bar service. Consider contacting these places for further information on their range of foods, their opening and closing times and prices.
Info Ormiston Gorge Kiosk ( image below)
Point Kiosk Phone and more info: 08 89540152
Point Open 6 days a week 10am - 4pm. Times may vary during busier seasons
Point Items for sale include;
  Cold drinks ( including freshly made iced coffee)
Espresso Coffee ( made with freshly ground beans)
Ice Creams.
Lunch items: Pies, pasties, sausage rolls, foccacia's, lasagne & salads
Camping supplies: Bread, milk, block ice, insect repellent & other basics
If you don't organise your own food resupply, there are a few local operators (see here) which offer food drops ( and pick ups), predominately vehicle based drops ( helicopter options are also available). Most are the same operators who provide trail transfers. Prices vary, but most deliver a good and helpful service.
The most common food drop points are at the official food storage points (see below), but some may be able to drop food off elsewhere along the trail. They can also organise the storage room key for you. While these local operators can be very helpful to a point, it is up to the hikers to organise their own food and storage containers properly.
Some Useful Points
Point Make sure your containers are packed and sealed well
Point Use reasonably sturdy containers, plastic is best.
Point Varying types of plastic containers can bought at Bunnings in Alice Spngs
Point Cardboard boxes are not recommended. Think critters and petty theft!
Point Seal containers with tape or zip ties. Keeps critters or petty theft at bay
Point Don't leave any loose items, always pack everything in the containers.
Point Mark your containers clearly and distinctively.
Point Theft is very rare, but does occur, especially with wine /alcohol
Point There are always leftovers in the storage areas which are free to use
Point Leftover containers are marked with Larapinta Trail and NT Parks stickers.
Point You can donate food/items by leaving them in the leftover container
Point Always lock the door behind you. These are public areas
Point And remember to include other essential items other than food (fuel etc)
Consider the following factors which will influence what food you choose for your trek on the Larapinta Trail
Natural Factors: Most Common of the Larapinta Trail
This will affect your energy output ( which will need to be replenished)
Point Varying trail conditions; affecting physical stress & exertion
Point Varying levels of trail grades; affecting physical output levels
Point High levels of heat, sun, wind & UV exposure; i.e. dehydration & stress
Point Constant high exposure to conditions; reducing exertion recovery
Human Factors ( The Hiker)
Point Type of food selected; nutritional & energy value etc.
Point Level of Individual health and fitness of the hiker
Point Knowledge & experience of the hiker
Point Distance, duration, difficulty of the trek, and time of year.
Point Weight & pack capacity needs
Point Food resupply regularity and resupply points
Point Creativity & innovation of the hiker; i.e. making tasty meals from basics
Point Religious, Philosophical or Allergy considerations of the hiker
The following Food List s a general guide only. The list is not definitive nor universal. Food choices will vary considerably between hikers. Quantities of items listed below are not generally shown because this will depend on the trek, duration, food preferences and re-supply options. Always seek professional advice if you are unsure what food to take.
FOOD LIST
Freeze Dried & Dehydrated Food: A very popular food option with bushwalkers and trekkers, freeze dried meal packs now come in a variety of fancy meals. Back Country is one of the most well known and used brands, but smaller niche brands like Strive are producing great local products as well.
Dried Foods (and Drinks)
key point Dehydrated & Freeze Dried Your own or packaged
key point Jerky & Biltong Beef, Kangaroo, Camel
key point Cured Meat i.e. Droewors
key point Museli, Rolled Oats .
key point Breakfast Cereals i.e. Carmans
key point Nuts, Seeds i.e. Almonds, Pumpkin seeds
key point Fruit & Nut Bars .
key point Fruit Rolls/Snacks i.e. roll ups
key point Pita Bread .
key point Pasta & Grains i.e. Continental pasta & sauce packs
key point Soups & Instant noodles i.e. Continental
key point Rice .
key point Biscuits/Crackers .
key point Cheese, matured i.e. parmeson
key point Milk, powdered .
key point Condensed milk, tube .
key point Coffee .
key point Tea, Caffeinated .
key point Tea, Herbal i.e. Sleepytime, Green Tea
key point Beverage, powdered .
key point Energy Bars .
key point Chocolate .
key point Lollies i.e. Boiled, hard
Packaged Foods ( i.e Wet, )
key point Soups ( packed or can) i.e Maggi Fusian
key point Meals ( packed or can) i.e. Harvest canned meals
key point Meat, canned i.e. Heinz Chicken shredded
key point Tuna, Sardines, Oysters .
key point Vegetables, Canned .
key point Fruit, Canned .
key point Oils i.e Olive or Onion oil
key point Cheese Sticks .
key point Spreads Honey, Vegemite, Chutney, Syrup etc
key point Sauces .
key point Juices, long life i.e. V8
key point Breakfast Drinks i.e Up and Go
key point Milk, UHT/Condensed .
key point Cake & Pudding .
Boosters ( i.e adds flavour, depth and creativity to food)
key point Pepper, Salt, Sugar, Chilli .
key point Herbs and Spices .
key point Stock, cubes i.e Vegeta & Podravka, Massel
key point Custard powder .
key point Tabasco Sauce .
Info Official Food Storage Points

 

 

There are two official food storage points along the trail – Ellery Creek and Ormiston Gorge. These locations are locked. Keys can be obtained from the Tourism Central Australia Visitor Centre in town (Alice Springs). A $60 key deposit is required. $50 is refunded. Alternative food storage or drops points include Standley Chasm and Glen Helen Resort . You will have to seek permission from these private businesses.  Contact them direct.
Image left: Ellery Creek Storage room
 
Ormiston Gorge Food Storage Ormiston Gorge  
(Green door in picture) is located on the western side of the visitor centre at Ormiston Gorge. There is a Larapinta Trail sticker on the door. Always lock the door behind you  
 
 
Ellery Creek Toilet Block Ellery Creek Building  
The storage room is located within the toilet building ( but separate to the toilets) at the north eastern end. Look for the Larapinta Trail sticker. Very public area. Always lock the door behind you.  
 
 
Private ( Unofficial) Food Storage Points
Glen Helen Resort -
Standley Chasm -
 
 
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