Poronui is synonymous with world-class fishing for trout. Ask anyone who has been there. It has a loyal following of international fishing folk who travel there year after year – and for good reason. It is also a rising horse-riding destination.
It’s an easy 40 minute drive from Taupo to Poronui, on the edge of the vast Kaimanawa Forest Park. This huge property is up on the elevated Central Plateau in the middle of the North Island so is open to the vagaries of mountain weather, any time of the year. We last travelled there in early summer, just as the fishing season was getting started, and the lodge was filled with husky fishing folk in their layers of merino, and robust horse riding types, also there to pursue their favourite pastime.
We had driven 20 or so kilometres from Lake Taupo, along the Napier-Taupo highway, towards Poronui. Snow flurries were whipping past the windscreen and tussock along the roadside had little drifts of soft snow building on the windward side. We turned the car heater up a bit more. Turning off the highway, we tracked through more kilometres of farm land and forestry plantations before arriving at ‘the gates’. Not every lodge in New Zealand has such an imposing entry, so it’s always worth a mention when we find one. A few words with the intercom and we were in.
The heart of Poronui is the large country-charming main lodge area which doubles as open kitchen/dining and lounge area. The long table was set for dinner, wine glasses glinting in the low light, and a soul-warming log fire down one end. The walls were lined with the usual photos of big fish, tall mountains and winding mountain trails. Host, Eve, made sure we were well taken care of.
There are a number of options for accommodation, fishing and horse riding during your stay. In the colder months these options are a lot less as the accommodation outside the main lodge shuts for winter. Longer horse treks are only available in the warmer months – mid-September to late May. And fishing options are also less in winter as some rivers close through that time. But as soon as October hits the fishing and horse-riding jump into top gear and all the accommodation comes on-stream.
So what are the options for fishing and riding?
- guided fly fishing for trout is a big attraction
- heli-fishing reaches the remote spots with good trophy fishing
- stay at the Safari Camp and fish quiet headwaters early in the morning
- camp out in tents and fish even more remotely
- take a multi-day horse trek and stay at the Safari Camp
- novices can join in the Riding School for some quality training and experience
- there are also half and full day rides available from the main lodge
- and if you’re local you can bring your own horse and have it housed at the stables
And if that’s not enough there is also mountain biking, hunting, hiking, archery and clay shooting, spa and beauty treatments, Maori cultural experiences and sightseeing opportunities. So if there are non-fishing friends or partners then they will also have plenty of activities to fill their day.
Email us to find out more about booking a stay at Poronui.
(C) by Sue Farley 2016 New Zealand Fishing Lodges