Poronui is one of New Zealand’s premier fly fishing lodges. It is remote, offers an excellent stay and world-class fly fishing, and is set on a vast estate of farmed land and wilderness country. What makes it stand out for many is that it is open all year round. So you can add a stay at Poronui to a North Island ski trip, a mid-winter escape, or an extended tour through New Zealand. Just a 40 minute drive from Taupo, it is close to main roads, tourist attractions and an airport, but far enough from the mainstream to give guests a true sense of ‘getting away from it all’.
I first visited Poronui in mid-winter, with ice sparkling on the frosty ground and darkness drawing in early each evening. This wasn’t too much of a problem as we enjoyed sitting around the huge fire in the lounge, red wine in hand, swapping travel stories, favourite fishing adventures and email addresses.
Because of its range of fishing options Poronui makes it possible to come and fish for at least 9 months of the year. This extends the usual New Zealand season by 2 months, when many lodges and waterways close at the end of April. Poronui remains open all year with good fishing available October through to late June, and other activities like hiking, horse-riding and hunting available through the mid-winter months.
The main lodge is stretched along the riverbank high above the Taharua River near Taupo, in the central North Island. With just seven luxurious guest rooms around the main lodge the stay is quiet and intimate. But a large separate venue, Blake House, extends capacity for exclusive stays for 2 or more people. And in addition to providing homes for the estate’s horses The Stables offers recreation options such as a gym and health club facilities, sauna and steam room, a billiard room and several extra dining spaces.
Poronui boasts excellent fishing – “A helicopter flight deep into the mountains will uncover some of the most legendary and challenging fly fishing in the world. These are trophy waters where huge trout cautiously cruise in deep clear pools. These fish can be picky!
The angling can be technically difficult – demanding stealth, knowledge of the current, and an accurate cast. But when all these factors combine, the reward is likely to be the catch of a lifetime.”
It can’t be said much better than that. Their fishing guides are all highly skilled fishermen and can get you to some of the best fishing spots imaginable. With glass-clear water and rocky river beds the fishing is all sighted fishing – see the fish before he sees you or you haven’t got a chance!
And although it’s not open over the winter months, one of Poronui’s prime attractions is the Safari Camp, which sits deep in the property beside the headwaters of the Mohaka River. Stay a few nights and enjoy absolute isolation in this remote spot, while being spoilt with hot showers, chef-cooked meals, and crisp sheets.