2019 Great NZ Trek catering

DSC03152Ten separate chocolate cakes iced together, designed by Tony and decorated by Larisa, about to be cut to celebrate the end of 15 years of great NZ trekking.

After fifteen years, travelling the length of New Zealand, Cape Reinga to Slope Point, the Great NZ Trek competed its final leg. It has been a great experience for Lovely Grub to have travelled with many trekkers over the last four years. Read on for our story

Days 1 & 2

DSC02805After driving 8 hours south to feed 350 guests over 8 days, we stopped over at Lawrence.

DSC02831-2First camp was set up in the horse paddock at Tapanui A & P Show Grounds.

Day 3 to Otaria Road, Gore

Took us about 40 minutes to roll into the 'business end' of the camp site from Tapanui. What a lovely place tucked up under a hill with lovely rural views.

DSC02867-2Dawn broken and Danni is already packing the special diet cereal away.

DSC02866Camp workers had very little sleep, the players have even less. The caffeine supply from our coffee team Tamper Black, had to be large and constant.

DSC02868Head chef Maggie taking a well-deserved break having poached over 400 eggs among other things

DSC02861-2Chocolate pudding was on the menu…. popular as ever - as seen in smiling faces. This years trek shirt was a rich pink making meal times very vibrant occasions

Day 4 at Venlaw Road, Wyndham

DSC02876Situated in a very pretty valley on Venlaw Road, Lovely Grub’s gear is behind the main marquee just right of the 3 caravans used for careering staff.

DSC02872-2View up the valley of the quieter “sleeping end” of the camp, far from the generators.

DSC02879-2Trekkers, including walkers, bike and horse riders, report their numbers to the gate warden before leaving camp.

DSC02882-2When I pull over they all stop…. That feels good. Definitely not lost here - only just out of camp at Venlaw road. It was my photo opp. My white truck and trailer heads the catering section followed by Mac in his pantry truck pulling the Bidfood freezer trailer. Next is Judy in the Ford pulling another Bidfood chiller and the 3 caravans for our team followed by Maggie in the Green kitchen truck pulling the Lovely Grub’s walk-in chiller.

DSC02869-2Bidfood delivery day is a busy one and we need to be at next venue just in time for them with all hands-on-deck to accept, check-off, record temperatures and stow 6-8 pellets of food.

Day 5 to Tyneholm Station

DSC02891-2Partaking of a beer or two during that lazy resting day in beautiful late afternoon sun.

DSC02887Both horse and bike riders washing down their transport.

DSC02896-2Trekkers loading a hearty roast dinner onto their plates.

Next day was a rest day – but not all what suggested for the Lovely Grub team - really means half an hour extra sleeping.  At 4.00 pm I learn our freezer unit is failing. Luckily, we always have Glen the Fridgey, on hand to keep our gear in top running order. A new fan is needed and located in Invercargill. A two-and-a-half-hour trip later it’s fixed and we are eating our saved dinner. Thanks for all your help Glen.

Day 6 to Tokonui Rugby Club

The 'grapevine' knocked on my door at 10:30pm the previous night and dragged me out of bed to greet Howard and the Country Calendar team. who were great company. A beer and quick camp tour of the camp in my night shirt saw another hour of the precious night disappear. Next day I missed the turn-off where they waited to film our trucks leading the convoy. All ok though as they got the shot with their drone the next morning.

Sadly we farewelled Maggie and Helen, to a Dunedin-Auckland plane and drive to Cambridge to cater for high school rowers at the Maadi Cup. Along with extras we really had to step-up to cover for them.

DSC02908350 Great NZ trekkers assembling for a final photo.

DSC02914Depleted Lovely Grub team amidst trekkers. Danni with the red scarf. Mac to her left, Judy, Larisa and Livia to her right. Yours truly was behind the camera.

 DSC02918Mrs Lovely Grub… Judy enthralled in the moment.

Days 7-8 – Slope Point, the final destination.

DSC03044Nightfall at Slope Point and before a celebratory rest day.

The Great NZ Trek finally reached Slope Point in the southernmost region of the South Island, for a time of great celebrations complete with band and a celebration cake. Dressed in their finest, some in cowboy gear and other great costumes, they with some of our staff, partied long into the night. Several party animals were waiting for breakfast when I started work at 4.00 am.

DSC03165The business end of the camp with semi-trailers parked up for Spik’N’Span toilets, FARout Showers and the Bulk Water tanker.

DSC02924Feeding up on the final days.

DSC02969Scrambled eggs day, but need to pass the bacon, spaghetti, hashbrowns, and sausages first - and porridge if not already partaken.

DSC03136Dishing up an entree of green paua collected and prepared by trekkers.

These last two days were very special with full moon and amazing sun rises and sets.

DSC03112The southern coast reached and reflection on the end of the Great NZ Trek.

DSC03173Sadly, we packed down and headed off to resume our different lives. Just for a change we got everyone fish and chips upon reaching Oamaru. Next day we were on our way to the South Island Field Days at Kirwee, and me to Hamilton to help with the Maadi catering.