Whet your appetite for a Red Centre foodie adventure with these perky summer picnics.There are some things in life that go perfectly together – humps and camels, beef and jerky and Uluru and sunsets, and then there are things that surprise.In the food world, every chef knows the iconic duos and can pull an unexpected twist on classic ingredients, but what if that twist involved other senses? A perfect pairing of food and location to stimulate the senses and refresh the palate? With Christmas almost upon us, our intrepid reporter took to Alice Springs to find the perfect summertime picnic pairing.
Desert picnics need resilient ingredients and Alice Springs has just the place. Milner Meats is more than just a butcher and offers a huge gourmet range for those in the know. Yarra Valley caviar, cooked blue swimmer crab, bugs and crays arrive like clockwork every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. And, when you add glazed hams, kangaroo mettwurst, traditional Polish sausage and free range eggs in to the mix, you get a distinct paddock to plate feel to your festive picnic. Gourmet goodies – pickled vegetables, traditional dukkahs and beetroot chutneys – are perfect for river bed spreads and, on Milner’s shelves, vintage cheddars rub shoulders with buttery, full-cream goudas and hickory-smoked semi-hards and French langres – all of which look splendid on a cheese board.
Some things in life are meant to combine and Simpson’s Gap is the local choice for a gourmet picnic or BBQ. It’s cool and it’s shady – even in summer – and, in the late afternoon, the most incredible red and orange hues intensify through the gorge.Carved from the West MacDonnell Ranges by Roe Creek, Simpson’s Gap is a rock wallaby dreaming place and, at dawn or dusk, you’ll likely see them grazing or relaxing near the waterhole. There are plenty of short walks past ancient ghost gums or larger walks to Cassia Hill to walk off your lunch.
HOW TO GET THERE
The turn off to Simpson’s Gap is along Larapinta Drive around 17km from the CBD. The park is open all year-round from sun-up to sun-down.
Address: 7/28 Gason Street, Gilen
Contact: 08 8952 1171