Resupplying in Arthur's Pass, Arthur's Pass National Park, South Island
I do a lot of tramping in Arthurs Pass National Park and normally take all my food with me. However if you found yourself in the Park one of the places you could buy food is in Arthur's Pass Township.
|Arthurs Pass Store and Cafe, Arthurs Pass Village|
On a recent visit to the area I went into the only two places that sell grocery items and took some photos to show you what you can expect to find there.
The Arthurs Pass township
Arthurs Pass is a small township perched in the depths of the Southern Alps. The regular population of the township is less than 30 people: mostly railway workers, cafe workers, Police, DOC staff and roading contractors.
|Sign at the Arthurs Pass railway station|
The town only exists because it is one of the crossing points over the Southern Alps. Both SH73 and the Trans Alpine rail link between Christchurch and the West Coast of the South Island pass through the township. It is also the nexus for Arthurs Pass National Park and all the wonderful short and multi day tramps located there.
|Map: Arthurs Pass township|
Because the town is so small it has very little infrastructure: there are a number of accommodation providers, two cafes, a DOC visitor centre and a railway station. That's it really....because of this one of the cafes also acts as the general store for the area.
|Arthurs Pass township: view west towards the Pass and the West Coast of the South Island|
|Arthurs Pass township: view east towards the DOC centre and Canterbury|
The Arthur's Pass Cafe Store
The Arthurs Pass Cafe Store is located right in the centre of the Arthurs Pass township...it is easily the most prominent and easy to spot building in the village. The main part of the building is seating for the cafe section of the store. The store is also the home of the only petrol bowser in the village.
|The Arthurs Pass Cafe Store, SH 73, Arthurs Pass Village|
The Arthur's Pass store carries a small but comprehensive grocery selection to supply both visitors and the locals who live and work in the area. It is located at the rear of the store, back beyond the cafe section of the building and consists of a number of shelves and a couple of coolers with chilled and frozen goods in them.
|Arthurs Pass Store:grocery section at the rear of the cafe|
|Arthurs Pass Store: inside the store and cafe: note the menu board|
There is a very limited selection of frozen meats which would be suitable for tramping supplies. For example they had single steaks and packets of four sausages in a variety of flavours as well as bacon, cold meats and a selection of dairy products.
|Arthurs Pass Store: small bags of frozen meat products, gluten free bread|
|Arthurs Pass Store: milk, cheese, butter, cream, bacon and cold meats|
I've taken some close up shots of the grocery shelves so you can see exactly what they have in the shop. I was mentally building a multi day menu in my mind as I took these shots...you could easily buy enough food to see you through for 3-10 days from the goods they have on offer.
Wither you could carry 10 days food is another matter...
|Arthurs Pass Store: groceries shelf I|
|Arthurs Pass Store:grocery shelf II|
|Arthurs Pass Store: groceries shelf III|
The General Store is primarily a cafe and tearooms so they have both menu and cabinet items for sale. There is a wide selection of sandwiches, pies, cookies and cakes as well as fruit and various beverages. You can see the menu on the blackboard in the photo below, the range is limited but they sell cooked breakfasts as well as a number of burgers, hot chips and toasted sandwiches.
|Arthurs Pass Cafe Store: the food cabinets|
There is also a selection of snack items arranged around the main counter so make sure you have a look at what they have available including jerky, chocolate, meal bars and candies.
|Arthurs Pass Cafe Store: jerky products|
|Arthurs Pass Cafe Store: sweets and chocolate supplies|
The store has a limited supply of clothing items including socks, merino tops, t-shirts and fleece and merino hats, scarves and gloves. They also sell lightweight rain jackets and baseball caps.
|Arthurs Pass Cafe Store: limited supplies of clothing|
There is a small off license at the Arthurs Pass store, they sell a limited selection of beers, ciders wine and large spirits bottles. The prices were comparable to what you would pay in Christchurch so $50-$60 for a large bottle of spirits and $12-$25 for a bottle of wine.
As always you must be 18 years of age or older to buy these products and I would imagine they WILL ask for ID to prove this. Apart from the bars at the Wobbly Kea and the Bealey Hotel (10 kms away) this is the only place to buy alcohol in the township.
|Arthurs Pass Cafe Store: Spirits and wine selection in their off license|
Arthurs Pass DOC Visitor Centre
The other place which sells a very limited array of resupply items is the Department of Conservation visitor centre in Arthur's Pass. They mainly have a selection of Backcountry Freeze dried meals but also have jerky products, gas cannisters and Em's Snack Bars.
|DOC Arthurs Pass Visitor Centre, Arthurs Pass Township, South Island, New Zealand|
|Arthurs Pass DOC Centre: inside the centre|
|The shop inside the DOC Visitor Centre in Arthurs Pass|
The store has some clothing items including socks, merino tops, t-shirts and fleece and merino hats, scarves and gloves. They also sell lightweight rain jackets and baseball caps.
|Arthurs Pass DOC Centre:the small selection of resupply items|
As you are going to visit the centre to check the weather for the next leg of the trail you might as well stop and stock up on a few items. Note that the DOC Visitor centre is the only place selling gas cannisters in the township, otherwise you are going to Hokitika or Christchurch as they are the next closest towns that sell these items.
Eating at the Wobbly Kea
The only other place to eat in Arthurs Pass is at the Wobbly Kea Cafe and Bar. It is located directly across the road from the Cafe Store in the centre of Arthur's Pass Township.
|The wobbly kea cafe and bar, Arthurs Pass Village, Arthurs Pass National Park|
The cafe is also a bar so if you are looking for a drink this is where you will need to go, hours are 9 am to 5pm over the winter, 8-8pm during the summer season. The Wobbly Kea serves cooked breakfasts, and lunch/dinner items in the style of bar food so pizza's, burgers, fries, dressed pies and toasted sandwiches. They also have a small cabinet selection including cakes and biscuits.
|Wobbly Kea Cafe and Bar: the inside of the cafe|
Online treasure trove about Arthurs Pass
There is a very comprehensive page covering information for trampers on the Arthurs Pass.com website. You should have a look as it is filled with fantastic information about the tramping in the park as well as more general information about Arthurs Pass.
|Good information for TA trekkers at ArthursPass.com|
I hope to see you out there some time...