Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Resupply point: St Arnaud General Store: Nelson Lakes NP

Resupplying in St Arnaud, Nelson Lakes NP, South Island.....

One of the places you will need to resupply while on the trail is at the beginning/end of the Richmond Ranges and the start/finish of Nelson Lakes National Park.

This is at the settlement of St Arnaud on SH 63 close to Lake Rotoiti.

Entering St Arnaud from the Blenheim end of SH63, general store on the right

St Arnaud is located between the Richmond's and Nelson Lakes National Park. It is roughly 7-10 days in both directions to the next resupply point. If you decide to forgo a drop box, then your only resupply option here is the St Arnaud General Store. 

St Arnaud near Nelson Lakes National Park

The St Arnauld General Store

St Arnaud is a small settlement on SH 63 half way between Murchison and Blenheim. There are less than 50 permanent residents but it is often busy as it is the gateway to Nelson Lakes National Park. 

The St Arnaud General Store, cafe and petrol station

There is only one store in St Arnaud, the General Store on the main highway through the settlement. Calling this a store is a misnomer as it is basically a small grocery selection attached to the local NPD petrol station.  

The St Arnauld General Store

 The grocery selection is limited but you can certainly buy enough supplies here to get you through to either Hanmer (off the trail) or Arthur's Pass (with a drop box at the Boyle Outdoor Education Centre). 

I heard that the price were expensive, but a quick peruse of the shelves showed that they were only marginally more expensive than in a larger town. 

St Arnauld General Store: chiller and bread selection

The cafe attached to the store has a decent selection of cakes, slices, pies and sandwiches/rolls which can provide you with treats and lunches for the first day at least. They also do coffee and light meals if that is something you are interested in. 

St Arnaud General Store: the inside of the store

The store had methylated spirits (denatured alcohol) and a limited selection of screw type gas canisters for sale. There were very few of them so it might be best to contact them before you arrive to see if they have any available. 

St Arnaud General Store: toiletries and hardware

All the usual suspects are present: bread, rice, noodles, pasta meals, mashed potatoes, soup, canned tuna, cereals, nuttela, peanut butter, dried fruit, crackers, milk and milk powder, sugar, tea/coffee etc. etc. They have a limited supply of pre-packaged meats in a chiller including ham, bacon and salami.

I didn't spot any freeze dried meals, tortillas/wraps or anything similar in the shop.

St Arnaud General Store: general food groceries

The store also sells alcohol: they have wine, beer, RTD's and a selection of spirits for you to choose from. As always you need to be 18 years old to buy alcohol in New Zealand. 

The St Arnaud General Store sells alcohol....

I love that they have my favourite beer Kronenbourg (Vitamin K) in stock..must be all the tourists from France/Germany who drive the demand...

RTD and beer selection at the St Arnaud General Store...Kronenbourg!!!!

There is a small selection of fresh fruit and vegetables, enough to restock for the next section of the trail. I saw apples, oranges, bananas, onions, corn cobs, potatoes, garlic, capsicum, carrots, parsnips and tomatoes. 

Fruit and vegetable chiller at the St Arnauld General Store

So...not a supermarket but at least a possible resupply option as you pas through.

Incidentally, if you are catching the Nelson Lakes Shuttle to the Mt Robert car park (if doing the side trip to Angelus Hut) the shuttle collects you from the kiosk in front of the General Store. Bookings are essential and best made several days before your day of travel. 

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