Art, culture & heritage, Northern Territory, Australia

Bush food

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Bush Tucker, Alice Springs Desert Park, Alice Springs, Northern Territory, Australia

Gain fascinating insights into traditional life in the NT and get tips on how to survive in the harsh desert environment. The hunger-gatherer ways of Aboriginal people has seen them acquire the knowledge and skills that have sustained them for tens of thousands of years, and now you can arrange an indigenous guide to show you how it's done.

Organised tours are by far the best way to understand bush tucker. Take a bushwalk led by expert Aboriginal guides to locate all kinds of local food and water sources. They can be arranged all over the territory. Note that if you plan to go by yourself you need to obtain a permit before taking anything with you.

It is what you eat

Head into the Outback and try some foods you've surely never tried before. Taste magpie geese cooked beneath hot coals, or sample turtle, kangaroo, goanna, snake and also a wide range of seafood if you're out near the coast. There's plenty for vegetarians too. Depending on the season, some interesting finds include bush bananas, wild watermelon, yams, wild grape, pink beach apples, billy goat plums (complete with 50 times the amount of vitamin C of oranges), cockleberries, waterlillies and wild beans and nuts.

For those with a taste for adventure or want to relive an episode of Survivor, why not try a meal of live witchetty grubs? They're found in roots from the ground and are high in protein with a distinct nutty taste. Honey ants are another edible insect that are highly sought after by indigenous people for its sweet taste.

The good doctor

Bush medicine is another handy thing to learn if you want to be able to survive in the wild. Some examples include squashed green ants to remedy the flu and sap from wattle trees to cure a headache.

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