The long white cloud

Friday, February 24, 2006

A fishy tale

From Napier up to the beautiful Te Urewera National park, which has some absolutely stunning scenery and we have both decided to come back here for maybe a holiday or a long weekend. We stayed in a quaint fisherman’s cottage at Lake Waikaremona motor camp. Probably the best camp we have stayed in in terms of location. The cottage was no more than 5 metres from the lake, and there was fishing and swimming to be had. So we had some. Figuring that it was a good omen to be staying in a fisherman’s cottage, I decided to splash out on a 2 day fresh water fishing license ($36). I have never had much luck with trout fishing - you really need fly fishing gear, no honest – and it didn’t change here. Still, the lake was a stunning place in which to spend valentines, and we quaffed the bottle of Mudhouse pinot noir that we picked up on our drunken wine tour around Blenheim. The wine must have been pretty good as we promised ourselves that we would have an early morning dip in the lake the next day (7am), which was fun at the time but meant that we needed about 3 cups of tea in order to thaw ourselves out.

Up to Gisborne, a lovely city and definitely a candidate place for settling down in (as Auckland is starting to seem very cityish and very expensive).

Up to Ohope, and tried my hand at fishing again. Met a lovely old gentleman from Bolton , I quickly realized he was a member of the "honorary blokes club" and we fished together for several hours like we were long lost buddies. At the end of the night we both went our separate ways. Life is funny.

Now the gaffer and I have not been all that "good" on this trip. We have both noticed that we may be putting on a few extra pounds. Like greedy little hobbits we have been having “second breakfasts” when we have a break during the driving. This extra timber had me slightly concerned when we decided to hire some belly boards to do a bit of "body surfing". As it turns out the surf shop did a one-size-fits-all board and so we decided to give it a go. And what fun it was ! I would definitely recommend this if you have not tried it. It’s fairly easy to get on a wave and travel a short distance, but if you hit the wave just right then the it is very fast and very thrilling.

Back up to Auckland now and we are heading back up to the Bay of Islands where we intend to meet up with Marie and Paresh from the UK (Marie is a midwife who works at St Helier hospital with Lisa in the UK).

I had forgotten how spectacular the top 10 holiday park is at Russell. The view from our cabin is amazing, blue skies, tropical trees and the sea in the distance.

The four of us decided to hire a boat for the day and take it out into the bay. We caught the ferry from Russel to Paihia early in the morning to pick the boat up. None of us has any boating experience (unless pedalos at Skegness Butlins counts ?) and so we all listened intently to the briefing, hoping that if any important – and potentially life saving - piece of info was being conveyed, then maybe one of us would remember it. The weather was absolutely beautiful and we headed straight out of the bay to Robertson Island. We had a brief stay at the island where we had a quick swim and also managed to beach the boat. With a bit of huffing and puffing though we managed to get her back into deeper water. The rest of the day was spent fishing and three very impressive (OK legal sized) snapper were taken from the depths (see piccie). Although the gaffer didn’t manage a keeper, she would like it on record that she did catch the prettiest one (foul-hooked it actually, but what the heck !). By the end of the afternoon the weather had got much worse and my Paihia bomb had started to wear off, and so I was quite pleased when we unanimously agreed to head back. At the campsite Marie gave myself and Paresh a crash course in fish filleting and we skinned and cooked the three snapper, which we ate with some store bought chips and washed down with Speights and Chardonnay.

Does it get any better than this ?


  • You're right about the Russell campsite. It scored 9 out of 10 on the Ward / Knowles / Benjuthula ranking system, placing it at third in the New Zealand all time Top Ten top-ten. Only Wanaka and Queenstown (lakeside) scoring higher. I remember there being a fat cat community being resident too. Perhaps it's something in the muffins.

    By Blogger Benjuthula, at 2:28 AM  

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