Guide to Alice Springs Bush Tucker

During your visit to Alice Springs, take some time to learn about local cuisine and the diversity of bush tucker. There are several organised tours available for you to go on a bush walk led by an Aboriginal guide giving their perspective on different kinds of local bush food.

So what exactly is bush tucker? Bush tucker or bush food is comprised of food taken directly from the land, and it falls into several groups; food from animals, food from plants, edible seeds, grubs and insects, honey and nectar and water. Bush tucker can be anything from rock wallaby to wild fig, wattle seeds or caterpillars. While the desert is very barren, water was often found in tree roots or soakages. Bush tucker provides insight on a hunter-gatherer way of life and is the reason why Aboriginals have survived over tens of thousands of years in the desert. Learn how to survive in the harsh elements and what the difference between edible plants and poisonous ones are.

If you choose to go searching for bush tucker alone, you’ll need to have a permit before you can take anything with you. Alternatively, choose from the many tours surrounding the area, which will give you a deep insight towards bush tucker.

Image Source: Tourism NT/Shaana McNaught

Choose from RT Tours Australia, The Alice Springs Desert Park experience, The Dreamtime and Bushtucker Tour, or the Mbantua Outback Dinner. RT Tours Australia offer small group tours and a combination of home baked food, bush tucker sampling and bushwalking available as a tour over lunch or dinner. The Alice Springs Desert Park also provides excellent information around bush tucker secrets and what exactly outback medicine is. It will give you clear insight on where to look and how the dry, sparse land is still filled with fruitful produce. The Dreamtime and Bushtucker Tour brings the stories of the Warlpiri Aboriginal people along with their traditions to the public. It’s great for large groups and is a three-hour long tour. Here you’ll experience the stories of the people along with encountering different bush tucker like damper, witchetty grubs and kangaroo tail. This tour has been running for over 32 years and provides a wealth of information around Aboriginal culture. The Mbantua Outback dinner is an ideal way to experience the desert as the night stars fill the sky. Dinner is held in a bush setting, serving up a three-course meal over mulga fire. It’s the perfect opportunity to learn about different cultural sites in Alice Springs as well as experience first-hand bush tucker growing in the wild. Mbantua was the name giving to Alice Springs by the original Aboriginal inhabitants. Here you’ll get to experience bush food delicacies and learn traditional cooking styles.

Bush tucker is a significant part of the Aboriginal culture and worth experiencing for yourself. Explore and learn about how the land is the most vital resource and where to find these sources of life through one of the many tours available out of Alice Springs.