NZ Today - - ON FILM -

ex­tremely slowly bik­ing up to the Ton­gariro Na­tional Trout Cen­tre. The Uphol­sterer how­ever goes hell for leather along the nar­row, wind­ing track, which is punc­tu­ated by roots and dips and all man­ner of bends. It is a beau­ti­ful trip and at least I have time to en­joy it.

The Trout Cen­tre is well worth a visit. You can read all about the his­tory of trout (they are an in­tro­duced species) see the hatch­eries and if you hap­pen to be here the day we are and are a child, you can take part in the trout fish­ing com­pe­ti­tion on the lake and take your fresh or smoked trout home with you.

I was quite in­ter­ested in the his­tor­i­cal as­pect of this in­dus­try. Brown trout ar­rived on steam ships via the United King­dom and Tas­ma­nia in the 19th century and rain­bow trout came here from Cal­i­for­nia.

New Zealand is recog­nised as one of the pre­mier places to par­tic­i­pate in the sport of trout fish­ing, but the num­bers and con­di­tion of trout have been up and down over the years. This is due to var­i­ous fac­tors in­clud­ing erup­tions at Mt Ruapehu af­fect­ing the wa­ter­ways. Cur­rently the num­bers and qual­ity of trout are the best they have ever been.

It’s great see­ing young people try their hands at fish­ing ac­com­pa­nied by a sausage siz­zle and en­ter­tain­ment by an ac­cor­dion­ist, an in­stru­ment I am par­tic­u­larly fond of. We meet a de­light­ful group of chil­dren who hap­pily pose for a photo af­ter the com­pe­ti­tion, hold­ing up their prize fish.

This is the per­fect way to end our Tu­rangi ad­ven­ture. The cen­tral New Zealand town is surely the trout fish­ing cap­i­tal of the coun­try and we would have been re­miss if we hadn’t vis­ited the trout cen­tre. See­ing the beam­ing faces of the chil­dren with their fresh and smoked trout was an added bonus.

Make sure you keep an eye out for NZTODAY Is­sue 58 where I con­tinue my cen­tral North Is­land jour­ney. This time I am head­ing fur­ther north to pic­turesque Lake Taupo. I may even try a bit of trout fish­ing my­self.

The prize catches proudly dis­played.


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