Elizabeth and Bob L. spend four to five months of the year enjoying their home in San Antonio, Texas. The rest is spent traveling the world. One of their favorite places to visit? Poronui. Over the past few years they have clocked up an impressive 200 days’ stay at the lodge. Elizabeth explains why:
How do you mostly spend your time? We are both retired (happily since 1995). We both love to day hike and Bob’s favorite leisure activity is fly-fishing, so our travel plans are driven mainly by those two interests. We spend our summers in the Oregon Cascades where there is the opportunity to do both, and four weeks every northern spring on self-guided village-to-village walking trips in Europe.
Since 2003 we have been spending a month at Christmas/New Years in New Zealand because Bob enjoys the fly-fishing there, especially the wading and sight-casting to big rainbow and brown trout in beautiful surroundings. The fishing program at Poronui delivers a brilliant opportunity for that type of fishing. We never tire of helicoptering out to sample the fishing in remote mountain streams that are protected and rested by the Poronui staff.
What is so special about Poronui? Apart from conducting the best fly-fishing program in New Zealand, Poronui’s people make the place. Staff and guides coordinate to provide courteous, competent and professional support to every guest. Communal dining combines guides and guests in a congenial and stimulating atmosphere.
How would you spend a typical day at Poronui? While we are at Poronui primarily to fish, we are not compulsive about it. When weather or river conditions for fly-out fishing are marginal, we may spend the day enjoying Poronui’s other amenities, such as walking on the extensive property, enjoying a movie at the Stables, just catching up on reading…. or indulging ourselves with a healing massage from the delightful Nancy Maniapoto! We have also traveled to nearby Taupo on non-fishing days for shopping, lunch, or a daylong hike up and over the Tongariro Crossing.
What special memories do you have of the lodge? Every visit to Poronui brings new experiences to add to our ever-growing collection of treasured memories of the place. Sometimes it’s landing a fish that should have gotten away, or a culinary triumph in the Wine Cellar, or a fascinating conversation over breakfast with a fellow guest who just happens to be a world-renowned expert on molecular biology or nuclear energy policy.
If you were recommending Poronui to a friend, how would you describe it? When we recommend Poronui, we highlight the unmatched charm and comfort of the facility, the genuine warmth and professionalism of the staff and, of course, the uniquely appealing fly-fishing program with its access to such a widely diverse and productive fishery.
How many times have you visited? Our first visit to Poronui was December 1994. We have returned annually since January 2003 for a total of 16 visits totaling more than 200 days.
How long is your average stay? Our typical stay at Poronui is two weeks. We have found a longer stay more relaxing because we do not feel compelled to make every day a fishing day.
Do you have a favourite spot/place at the lodge? Fishing the Mohaka in the morning and up to the Safari Camp for a late lunch is a special treat we try to manage once a stay.
What makes you feel particularly welcome at Poronui? From the moment we arrive until the dreaded day we depart, Eve and her carefully chosen crew makes us feel like cherished family members.
How does Poronui compare to other resorts you’ve visited? We have visited several other lodges (both fishing and non-fishing) in New Zealand since our first visit in 1994. In our view, no other lodge quite measures up to Poronui in terms of overall hospitality.
By: Grant Petherick, Poronui