What a way to start our weekend! On a pristine day, the drive from Queenstown to Te Anau is one of the most varied and interesting drives I have ever driven. From massive alpine mountain and lakes out to farmimg flatland and back into to an alpine region. After arriving in Te Anau a couple of hours later we decided to head straight
to the Dock Bay Lodge to drop off our bags.
When we pulled upto the lodge I was pleasantly surprised with the amazing structure and its ‘tag’ as a boutique accommodation was an unbelievable understatement. Dawn at the lodge recommended we go to Redcliff Cafe for dinner and experience one of Te Anau’s hidden gems.
After trying a few of their vast selection of local wines it was our turn to grab a spot in the quaint wee dining room. Total compliments to the chefs as not only was the food beautifully presented but also cooked to perfection! After one more wine we decided to head home, we felt two stone heavier. Home early to make the most of the mansion and its awesome décor and surroundings.
Waking up the next morning in our room that to say the least was “fit for a king” we opened the drapes to be amazed by the views over the lake to the snow capped mountains behind. Right there and then we decided that if we ever won the lottery we would be moving to the lodge full-time. After enjoying being sprayed and massaged from every direction in the multi-head shower it was time to head off to the main event that my anxiety and excitement had built up since we booked this excursion a few weeks earlier.
After a generous breakfast we were picked up outside our lodge and chauffeured to the boat ramp by our guide Ken. Ken was a friendly local guy that had fished the river and lake for years and knew everything there was to know about Fishing in this pristine region.
I had been looking on-line for Jetboat operators in New Zealand when I noticed Fishjet and their grand activity. The thought of fishing for trout from the back of a jetboat was a unique experience that sold me immediately. Flying up the river on a jet propelled boat that can travel over water as shallow as 100mm was an
experience that definitely lived up-to my high expectations. After a ten minute trip up the river we stopped at one of Ken’s secret locations and cast out our rods.
Within five minutes I felt a bite but no matter how much I prayed, the trout was just too smart for me. Following the spinner the whole way and having a few teasing nibbles was all the elusive fish was interested in. Just as it reached the boat it turned direction and swam off into the distance. This guy had done it all before.
It had taken a bit of convincing for me to get my girlfriend to experience the thrill of fishing for the first time and after a crash course by Ken it was Briar that first hooked-on. After a struggle for a few minutes the beautiful looking brown trout was finally in the boat. Part of company policy is to release the fish to live another day and help keep this majestic wee river jam packed with what at the time seemed to be the most teasing fish I had ever come across. This was all about to change for me though! It paid off listening to the expert and casting out in the area Ken had advised me to try out. Straight away one was on and after a head to head battle with the creature I finally came out on-top and had myself a cracking
rainbow trout in my hands. Exactly the confidence boost I needed as over the next few hours I seemed to be pulling them in from every direction.
We decided to stop off for some tea and some home-made cookie’s while floating down the river listening to Ken’s wide and interesting knowledge of the area. Then we sped off winding along the river just taking in the amazing scenery on either side. It says it all about the beautiful scenery along the Waiau that Sir Peter Jackson himself chose locations along the river to film parts of his blockbuster hits ‘Lord of the Rings’.
The banks were covered in native trees abundant with wildlife which seemed to be one of the highlights for my nature loving girlfriend. I was more interested in what was lurking in the dark green waters below and trying to improve on my numbers for the day which was becoming easier and easier. Ken had mentioned that the most fish caught in one day was twenty and I was aiming to try and at least manage to hit half of that impressive target. Although I only managed to end the day with a half dozen, it was an experience that will stay with my forever and definitely one of the highlights of my travels to the land of the long white cloud. Whether you are interested in adrenaline sports, fishing or just chilling out with nature then look no further than this wonderfully family run operation. It was always going to be hard for Fishjet to impress me with my high expectations however I have to take my hat off to them. This had made my dream come true and the great experience had passed with flying colours.