Food in remote areas

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Food in remote areas

Postby Peter Corcaigh » Mon Mar 11, 2013 3:02 am

This is a follow up to my previous topic 'Drinking Water'. I hope to be cycling between Nanaturra Road House and Tom Price sometime in May and will need to carry food and drink for 3 days. I'm looking for advice on food, particularly dinners. I can imagine having pasta or rice as the bulk item but wondering what to put with it - tinned fish? are sauces available in sachets? - any suggestions welcome.
Also, whats normally available at road houses like Nanutarra? Do they sell bread? cheese? How long would bread last in the heat in May? Is it possible to post food parcels on to a road house?
Its blowing a gale outside here in Ireland and 3 degrees max at the moment. Looking forward to dealing with the heat.
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Re: Food in remote areas

Postby GJ_Coop » Mon Mar 11, 2013 6:16 am

Australian roadhouses cater to people travelling in cars and truckers: they have a range of takeaway food, ie, hamburgers, chips, pies, greasy chicken, etc. They usually have sit down meals, a T bone steak for a trucker, for $25, or a full on breakfast, bacon, sausages, eggs, tomatoes, chips, etc. They provide plenty of calories in the takeaway department.

They often have a small section of groceries which cater for the sort of demands of those travelling in cars: chocolate biscuits, a huge range of $5 a bottle drinks, chips and if you are lucky they might have an extended range, sunscreen, tissues, Panadol, toothpaste, dog food, toilet paper, etc.

In general there is limited call for carrying supplies for the self propelled. They might have some frozen spongy white bread, tea bags, but even if they usually carry small bags of rice when you get there you may well find the supply truck hasn't been in and they are out of stock of everything except vinegar and bleach. If they do have stock it will be twice the price of what you would find in a town supermarket.

The exception to this type of roadhouse, Oodnadatta is an example, is where there is a settlement nearby and it doubles as the local grocery store, but even then you probably won't find muesli, or decent fruit.

Basically you can't rely on a roadhouse to provide the basic food supplies.
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Re: Food in remote areas

Postby find_bruce » Mon Mar 11, 2013 8:11 am

Roadhouses in the Pilberra vary tremendously. They all sell fuel & takeaway food, almost all of them sell beer. As GJ_Coop says, whether they sell groceries & what range & quality will depend on their being people to buy it, either a nearby local community or popular for camping.

Around Nanutarra there is an awful lot of not very much - the only thing that breaks the spinifex is the occasinal farm or mine & the farmers & miners will have organised thier own supplies.

I presume that while you are there you are going to spend some time at Coral Bay & in the Karajini National Park ? Coral Bay is right up there as one of my favourite places to visit & Karajini is such a contrast to the spinifex scrub all around, shade, water, spectacular geology
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Re: Food in remote areas

Postby il padrone » Mon Mar 11, 2013 8:24 am

Oodnadatta had muesli, rolled oats for porridge and a bit of 'fresh' fruit :wink: They did have rather a good range of foodstuffs so we could re-supply quite well for another 6-7 day stretch. That was at the Pink Roadhouse, but there was also the general store in town as well.


Yeah, we were carrying the bulk of our foodstuffs from town supermarkets and at times carried food for up to 6-7 days. It can be done if you plan things out carefully. Out that way I'd be planning on major food supplies from Carnarvon, Exmouth (if going there), Karatha/Roeburne, Port Hedland, Broome, Derby and Wyndham. Anything you get from roadhouses in between is just a bonus. Most of the travels between these places could be completed in 5-7 days of riding I'd reckon. Maybe the Gibb River Rd between Derby and Wyndham (if you go that route) will take you a bit more but I do believe that the Mt Barnett Roadhouse along the way is better than most, and along there you will be able to get water more often from the gorges so you'll be able to carry more food.
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Re: Food in remote areas

Postby RonK » Mon Mar 11, 2013 8:44 am

Peter, we have discussed touring food previously in this thread. Have a look through and see if it helps answer your question.
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Re: Food in remote areas

Postby Aushiker » Mon Mar 11, 2013 10:20 am

il padrone wrote:Oodnadatta had muesli, rolled oats for porridge and a bit of 'fresh' fruit :wink: They did have rather a good range of foodstuffs so we could re-supply quite well for another 6-7 day stretch. That was at the Pink Roadhouse, but there was also the general store in town as well.


To the OP just keep in mind that Oodnadatta is bout 4,500 km to 5,000 km away by road and is a different context to where you are riding.

I would be taking GJ Coop's experience on board. It also matches with my limited experience with the three roadhouses between Northampton and Carnarvon, the roadhouses throughout the southwest of WA and out at Gascoyne Junction (well only a Shire vending machine there ... folks drive the hour or so into Carnarvon for supplies), Mt Augusta Tourist Cmplex and the Murchison Settlement. I don't rely on them for anything food wise and on the Northampton to Carnarvon even water was only available if purchased.

Tom Price should have an IGA or a other brand of supermarket so you should be able to resupply without to much drama.

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Re: Food in remote areas

Postby mitzikatzi » Mon Mar 11, 2013 10:33 am

Nanutarra roadhouse is very expensive.

Tom price has a a Coles super market (Tom Price, Shopping Centre Central Rd, Central Rd, Tom Price, WA, 6751)
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Re: Food in remote areas

Postby il padrone » Mon Mar 11, 2013 11:08 am

Aushiker wrote:
il padrone wrote:Oodnadatta had muesli, rolled oats for porridge and a bit of 'fresh' fruit :wink: They did have rather a good range of foodstuffs so we could re-supply quite well for another 6-7 day stretch. That was at the Pink Roadhouse, but there was also the general store in town as well.


To the OP just keep in mind that Oodnadatta is bout 4,500 km to 5,000 km away by road and is a different context to where you are riding.

Not sure what you mean by "different context". I could get quite good supplies in Oodnadatta, a very small, remote township of ~160 pop'n, and 195kms to the nearest township. Not the direction we were travelling by the way - we rode 520kms from the previous supply point mostly on gravel roads, and had to ride over 400kms on rough dirt and sand roads to get to the next store. Seems pretty similar to me.

If anything the supplies in the NW of WA are considerably better as the towns up there are really quite large (Carnarvon pop'n 5,000, Karratha pop'n 16,000, Port Hedland pop'n 14,000, Broome pop'n 15,000), and the roads are nearly all sealed, mostly the main highway. Peter just needs to be prepared to carry supplies for several days - the big gaps are Carnarvon to Karratha (642kms) or Caranarvon to Tom Price (661kms), Port Hedland to Broome (612kms) and Derby to Wyndham/Kununurra via the GRR (708kms). Note - there are no significant townships between these towns. This should be achievable with some minor top-ups at the few roadhouses.

BTW Peter, re food parcels. We did post on a food parcel to Oodnadatta - the Pink Roadhouse is also the Post Office. It's quite easy to post on a package to PO's but not sure whether there are any outside the main towns in the North West. Also if there is a Greyhound bus service they may take a package on to a roadhouse, especially if you phone the roadhouse to arrange it.
Last edited by il padrone on Mon Mar 11, 2013 12:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Food in remote areas

Postby Aushiker » Mon Mar 11, 2013 12:01 pm

il padrone wrote:Not sure what you mean by "different context". I could get quite good supplies in Oodnadatta, a very small, remote township of ~160 pop'n, and 195kms to the nearest township. Not the direction we were travelling by the way - we rode 520kms from the previous supply point mostly on gravel roads, and had to ride over 400kms on rough dirt and sand roads to get to the next store. Seems pretty similar to me.


(1) The OP asked about "road houses like Nanutarra" NOT about towns along the coast in the north-west; (2) I didn't say anything in my response about towns other than mentioning Tom Price which the OP mentioned so have no idea what the comments about other towns has to do with my response.

As to Nanutarra I didn't know there was a town there or for a reason for it to carry much in the way of supplies. You learn something everyday :roll:

To OP I would personally take on GJ Coop's advise ... much more experience of this area than some others without a doubt. See his website at http://www.cycletrailsaustralia.com/ if you haven't already found it.

Cheers
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Re: Food in remote areas

Postby il padrone » Mon Mar 11, 2013 12:09 pm

Aushiker wrote:
il padrone wrote:Not sure what you mean by "different context". I could get quite good supplies in Oodnadatta, a very small, remote township of ~160 pop'n, and 195kms to the nearest township. Not the direction we were travelling by the way - we rode 520kms from the previous supply point mostly on gravel roads, and had to ride over 400kms on rough dirt and sand roads to get to the next store. Seems pretty similar to me.


There you go. I didn't know there was a town at Nanutarra or for a reason for it to carry much in the way of supplies. You learn something everyday :roll:

Umm... :?

Fair go Andrew, I said nothing of the sort.

* Carnarvon to Karratha is 642kms - all sealed highway. Exmouth is off on a side road, roadhouse at Nanutarra.
* We rode from Leigh Ck to Oodnadatta - 520kms. 70% gravel, sand and corrugations. Small store at Lyndhurst, Marree and pub at William Ck. Somewhat similar

My comment about Oodnadata was slightly TIC response to GJ Coop. I was not suggesting that the NW roadhouses were reliable, simply backing up what has already been said - a roadhouse near a township may stock more comprehensive supplies. That is all.


il padrone wrote:Peter just needs to be prepared to carry supplies for several days - the big gaps are Carnarvon to Karratha (642kms) or Caranarvon to Tom Price (661kms), Port Hedland to Broome (612kms) and Derby to Wyndham/Kununurra via the GRR (708kms). Note - there are no significant townships between these towns. This should be achievable with some minor top-ups at the few roadhouses.

Peter, by this I mean maybe getting a take-away meal, soft drinks, or even an evening meal if you choose to stay near the roadhouse. Do not rely on them for any sort of real food supplies to carry onwards.

On our recent Red Centre tour we actually spent two separate nights staying in a donger (basic cabin, with air-conditioning) at Kulgera roadhouse, and these were a couple of the better evenings on the tour - because of the friendly folk there and the great conversation in the bar.
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Re: Food in remote areas

Postby Aushiker » Mon Mar 11, 2013 12:18 pm

il padrone wrote:
Aushiker wrote:
il padrone wrote:Not sure what you mean by "different context". I could get quite good supplies in Oodnadatta, a very small, remote township of ~160 pop'n, and 195kms to the nearest township. Not the direction we were travelling by the way - we rode 520kms from the previous supply point mostly on gravel roads, and had to ride over 400kms on rough dirt and sand roads to get to the next store. Seems pretty similar to me.


There you go. I didn't know there was a town at Nanutarra or for a reason for it to carry much in the way of supplies. You learn something everyday :roll:

Umm... :?

Fair go Andrew, I said nothing of the sort. .


Okay whatever :roll:

Not sure what you mean by "different context". I could get quite good supplies in Oodnadatta, a very small, remote township of ~160 pop'n, and 195kms to the nearest township. Not the direction we were travelling by the way - we rode 520kms from the previous supply point mostly on gravel roads, and had to ride over 400kms on rough dirt and sand roads to get to the next store. Seems pretty similar to me.


My emphasis .... :roll:

Leaving you to it ...

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Re: Food in remote areas

Postby il padrone » Mon Mar 11, 2013 12:27 pm

From my first post:

we were carrying the bulk of our foodstuffs from town supermarkets and at times carried food for up to 6-7 days.....

.....Anything you get from roadhouses in between is just a bonus
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Re: Food in remote areas

Postby GJ_Coop » Mon Mar 11, 2013 2:11 pm

Yes, we are all in furious agreement: don't rely at picking up anything in the way of food in a roadhouse, except for the greasy delights.

Sorry I mentioned the big O, won't do it again, but unlike Pete when I got there, wasn't much of anything other than 20kg bags of rice and the aforesaid bleach and vinegar. That's in either store. The supply truck for the week had broken down and it was two weeks between restocking.

And when I got to Kulgera the store that was mentioned in some places was non-existent, although you could see where it might have been.

Moral of this story, things change, what happens for you might not be applicable in 2 months time, ie, pick up anything you need in a town where you know the store exists. Tom Price has a big Coles, Parabudoo has a decent IGA.

Then again, when I got to Laverton I found that the IGA had closed down after a fire, there were some alternatives for food, the Sandfire roadhouse burnt as well, etc.

Prepare for the unexpected and carry a lot of food to get you through to next confirmed restocking place, it might be 10 nights away.
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Re: Food in remote areas

Postby il padrone » Mon Mar 11, 2013 2:48 pm

Is all good. I rather enjoyed my two visits to Oodnadatta - got a lot of help from friendly people here.

Sad thing I heard while up in the Centre too GJ - Adam Platt of the Pink Roadhouse passed away sometime back last September in an accident, rallying or something. :(
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Re: Food in remote areas

Postby Peter Corcaigh » Tue Mar 12, 2013 6:28 am

I've raced through these responses and the link suggested by Ron K. I'll revisit the responses in a few days at my leisure. Once again the information is of great value and I'll head off much the wiser.
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Re: Food in remote areas

Postby rifraf » Tue Mar 12, 2013 8:12 pm

My tip would be, in addition to agreeing to not expect anything other than take aways and very pricy at that from roadhouses, to make sure any guide books are extremely up to date. I failed to do this at the Eastern end of the Nullarboor and found to my dismay the one I was counting on had been closed for quite a number of years (Yallata?). I had stopped at one only to leave without a purchase due to the lousy (IMHO) prices and service eg $7 for a 1 1/4 liter of water (from memory). A couple of days later getting low on water I came to a second roadhouse expecting to stock up and found it hadnt been open for years.
My guide was out of date. I managed to get some water from caravaners from memory but was glad when I made it to the Nullarboor Roadhouse.
(Initially anyway as at least they had water at a much better rate than the first one I came to.)
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Re: Food in remote areas

Postby il padrone » Tue Mar 12, 2013 9:02 pm

rifraf wrote: I failed to do this at the Eastern end of the Nullarboor and found to my dismay the one I was counting on had been closed for quite a number of years (Yallata?).

Hmm.... Yep, Yalata sure looks pretty closed on Streetview :shock:
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Re: Food in remote areas

Postby rifraf » Tue Mar 12, 2013 9:45 pm

il padrone wrote:
rifraf wrote: I failed to do this at the Eastern end of the Nullarboor and found to my dismay the one I was counting on had been closed for quite a number of years (Yallata?).

Hmm.... Yep, Yalata sure looks pretty closed on Streetview :shock:

Seeing that pic reminded me of all the slowly getting steeper and steeper rises and hills in that area. Made my trailer feel heaps heavier.
Saw some dingos just west of that roadhouse and one really bright orangey red one who when I saw it from a distance thought it was another fox but the closer I rode the bigger it got as it was initially standing on the road just staring in my direction and only moved off when I got within about 20 meters or so. Made me start thinking about getting chased like the dogs in town are apt to want to do. It wasnt a pleasant thought at the time as my impressions of dingos up till then were an expectation of small dog size. But this while not a dane size by any means but certainly a biggish dog though with ribs showing prominently giving it a hungry appearance which only fueled my paranoid imagination. The fact it was getting on toward dusk didnt help. :shock:
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Re: Food in remote areas

Postby }SkOrPn--7 » Wed Mar 13, 2013 8:37 am

Bunch of pussies live of road kill or the land........... :mrgreen:

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Re: Food in remote areas

Postby Aushiker » Wed Mar 13, 2013 12:37 pm

}SkOrPn--7 wrote:Bunch of pussies live of road kill or the land........... :mrgreen:


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Re: Food in remote areas

Postby rifraf » Wed Mar 13, 2013 1:15 pm

}SkOrPn--7 wrote:Bunch of pussies live of road kill or the land........... :mrgreen:

Ricky

Does the fact that theres usually a sprinkling of red dirt on my porridge count or is that just me being clumsy again.... :wink:
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Re: Food in remote areas

Postby }SkOrPn--7 » Wed Mar 13, 2013 4:59 pm

Aushiker wrote:
}SkOrPn--7 wrote:Bunch of pussies live of road kill or the land........... :mrgreen:


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G'Day Andrew yeah she is awesome been a while since I read her site. I'm a lucky bugger when it comes to touring as I can live of the land and there has been many times I have come across fresh road kill and made a meal. Seen many grey nomads just about puke at me cutting up road kill on the side of the road. Some woman with her boyfriend who were grass munching vegetarians starting ripping into me for dealing with road kill wanting to get some fresh meat for myself. Just wouldn't let up going on and on "do you know how that animal died" yadda yadda I just turned and said yeah you starved it too death and with that the silence fell and I was once again alone....

Ricky
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Re: Food in remote areas

Postby }SkOrPn--7 » Wed Mar 13, 2013 5:03 pm

rifraf wrote:
}SkOrPn--7 wrote:Bunch of pussies live of road kill or the land........... :mrgreen:

Ricky

Does the fact that theres usually a sprinkling of red dirt on my porridge count or is that just me being clumsy again.... :wink:


Absolutely nothing like well placed crunch not clumsy as all :lol: Aidan I hate it when you kick over a fresh made brew that takes the cake when I do that. It's not happy Jan all over my face.

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Re: Food in remote areas

Postby WarrenH » Wed Mar 13, 2013 5:09 pm

If the road kill is becoming rancid, not all is lost for a good feed ... the marrow inside the larger bones will still be good and it will supply lots of protein. The large bones must not be cracked or broken otherwise leave them well alone.

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Re: Food in remote areas

Postby rifraf » Wed Mar 13, 2013 5:12 pm

}SkOrPn--7 wrote:e woman with her boyfriend who were grass munching veterinarians starting ripping into me for dealing with road kill wanting to get some fresh meat for myself. Just wouldn't let up going on and on "do you know how that animal died" yadda yadda I just turned and said yeah you starved it too death and with that the silence fell and I was once again alone....

Ricky

Hi Ricky,
You might have said "No! Did you talk it death?" as it may have got the roadkill cackling :wink:
Was it the boyfriend you refer to as "the silence" :?: :lol:
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