Today our main event was fishing, which is odd considering the combination of people that we have with us at the moment. We tend to enjoy the more fast-paced sports (is fishing even a sport?). The place that we went fishing was a fish farm that stocked a pond with around 8,000 salmon per year, you get to use their rods for free, and however much you catch, you pay for by the kilo. We fished for a little while but none of us were having very much success, so we bought a small bag of fish pellets, those were what got us our lunch, as soon as we would cast our line, my Mom would throw in a few pellets that would attract the fish to the spot that the line was in the water so that the fish would bite on to the hook. The first of us to get lucky was Claire, she ended up catching the biggest of the fish that we caught, the more hardcore fishers on the other side of the pond were laughing at us because of how excited we were, but honestly it was pretty fun. The next to catch a fish was me and I caught the smallest of the fish, but we did not know that at the time and it was exciting just the same. Finally with two fish that would have fed us and after running out of fish pellets, we were leaving and on his last cast, my Dad caught yet another fish, but because there is no catch and release at that pond, we kept it, Gen took credit for it because she reeled it in for my Dad. That way all the kids were happy and this stop certainly provided us with the best laugh(s) of the day!
You have options as to how they prepare the fish for you – fresh or hot smoked. We chose to have the fish we caught smoked onsite, which took about 8 minutes. After getting our salmon smoked (each fish was smoked with different flavours – original wood smoke, lemon & pepper, and basil & garlic) we ate half of it at the café on the site of the fish farm.
We then went and fed the ‘tame eels’ on the same site – they have been there over 100 years. You stick a piece of raw salmon on a stick and then run it in the water and the eels grab it off the stick.
Our next stop was Pupu Springs, the spring of water that is the second clearest water in the world, we could see directly to the bottom. Since this is a Maori sacred site, we were not allowed to drink or touch the water. At the main spring the water comes out into the spring fed lake at a rate of 10 cubic meters per second. The water was incredibly clear – it all starts as rain water and then is filtered in the ground over the course of 1 – 10 years (depending on the underground route the water takes) before exiting the spring into the lake. It was a short 20-minute walk out to the site of the spring.
When we got back to our house we wanted to go out in the kayaks in the estuary near our house, but we had to wait for the tide to come in so that there was enough water for the kayaks to float. Thankfully our hosts have a tide ‘clock’ on the wall that tells us when the low/high tides are and how long until they occur.
PS — I found a couple of more photos — we thought you’d enjoy the Sutherns fishing posture…