I THEREFORE TAKE IT
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.
NZTODAY ISSUE 57