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Great food for great tramps

Image of the October 2018 Wilderness Magazine Cover Read more from the
October 2018 Issue
I have walked most of the Great Walks and my strongest memory is the breathtaking scenery, closely followed by what we ate. In fact, food plays a huge part in how much we enjoy a tramp, so these recipes have been selected to be nourishing, delicious and pack-ready.

Thai Red Curry

If you’re using fresh veges and tofu, this recipe is perfect for the first or second night of the Great Walk. A hearty and hot curry is also a perfect warmer on walks which head high into the mountains.


  • Serves Two
  • Prep time 5min
  • Cook time 25min
  • Cost $8-10


  • 2-3 tbsp Thai red curry paste
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cups veggies (potato, kumara, cauliflower) or 1.5 cup dehydrated veggies
  • 1 small onion or 1 small packet of onion flakes
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 4 tbsp coconut milk powder
  • 2-3 cups water
  • 250g tofu
  • 1 packet rice noodles


Cut veggies into 1cm chunks. If using dehydrated veggies, soak in boiling water for 30min, drain and set aside. Slice onion and fry for a few minutes in oil then add two tablespoons of the curry paste, sautéing for a further minute. Add veggies, garlic, coconut milk powder and tofu. Add enough water to cover the veggies, stir well and taste, adding extra curry paste if needed. Bring to the boil then simmer for 20min, stirring occasionally until veggies are tender. Cook rice noodles as per packet instructions and then serve with piping hot curry.

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Perfect for Whanganui Journey, Lake Waikaremoana and Heaphy Track

Choc cashew quinoa breakfast bowl
A protein-packed breakfast to help keep you moving after a few days on the trail. For a quicker cooking option, you can use quinoa flakes and reduce the water by about half. If you want to mix it up, replace cacao with other flavours like ginger and cinnamon.


  • Serves 2
  • Prep time 2min
  • Cook time 20min
  • Cost $3-6


  • ¾ cup white quinoa
  • 1 tbsp coconut sugar
  • 1 tbsp cacao powder
  • 3 tbsp coconut milk powder
  • 2 tbsp shredded coconut
  • ¼ cup diced dates
  • ¼ cup cashew pieces
  • 2.5 cup water
  • 1 banana (optional to serve)


Mix all dried ingredients together at home and place in a ziplock bag. Take a little extra coconut sugar, coconut and cashews for serving. When ready to cook, place dry mixture into a pot with 2.5 cups of water. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring often for 20-25min until quinoa is soft and most of the water is evaporated (you may need to add extra water if it’s getting too dry). Serve topped with sliced banana, extra cashew nuts and coconut.

Perfect for Abel Tasman Coast Track and Rakiura Track

Mountain sushi
The first time I made sushi I was amazed at how easy it was (if you’ve never made it before, watch a few YouTube tutorials which show how to roll it). Sushi also makes a fantastic tramping meal and is best eaten on the first day so that the veggies are nice and fresh.


  • Makes 3-4 rolls
  • Prep time 10min
  • Cook time 30min
  • Cost $4-8


  • 1¼ cup sushi rice
  • 1½ cups water
  • 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup or sugar
  • 1 small carrot
  • ¼ of a cucumber
  • 1 avocado
  • ½ capsicum
  • Tinned or smoked salmon (optional)
  • 4 sheets of nori
  • Sushi ginger, soy sauce and wasabi to serve


In a medium-sized pot bring rice and water to boil, lower heat, cover and cook for 20min until rice is tender and water is absorbed. Remove from heat and stir through rice wine vinegar and maple syrup. Put outside to cool for at least 30min.

While rice is cooling, thinly slice veggies in long strips. Place nori sheet shiny side down and cover with a 5mm layer of cooled rice, leaving a 2cm strip free from rice at the top of the nori. Be sure to press mixture right out to the sides and ensure it’s evenly distributed. Work with slightly damp hands to stop the mixture sticking. Place strips of veggies and salmon lengthwise in the middle of the sheet and roll up. Use a couple of drops of water to help seal down the end of the nori.

Cut into rounds with a sharp knife and serve with soy, wasabi and ginger.

Perfect for Routeburn Track and Tongariro Northern Circuit

Satay noodles
This is a quick, easy and lightweight meal to which you can add fresh veggies and peanuts for extra crunch. If you have a peanut allergy, replace peanut butter with almond butter.


  • Serves One
  • Prep time 10min
  • Cook time 10min
  • Cost $3-5


  • 1 packet two-minute noodles
  • ½ cup dehydrated peas
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp peanut butter
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • Chilli flakes to serve

Pro tip: Carry eggs in a solid plastic egg carrier to avoid breakages!


Cover peas with boiling water and rehydrate for 10min. Hard boil the eggs, peel, slice in half and set aside. Mix peanut butter, soy, sweet chilli and garlic powder together in a small bowl. Cook noodles as per instructions, drain off most of the water leaving about half a cup worth still in with the noodles. Add flavour sachet and peanut mixture and stir until well combined. To serve, top with eggs and chilli flakes.