Luxury Accommodations on the North Island
Poronui is a quintessential backcountry property that embodies what it means to “go bush” in the stunning wilderness of New Zealand. What started as a rustic fishing camp on the banks of the Taharua River has evolved into a sophisticated, world-class wilderness fishing lodge that is an important component of any serious fishing itinerary in New Zealand. The property is steeped in ancient Maori heritage and is surrounded by vast estates of privately owned Maori lands. There is a strong sense of history and tradition at the lodge and Poronui is privileged to have access and concession to much of this area. Anglers are treated to a truly remote, pristine fishing experience, whether on the property, to more than 25 miles of on-site water, or by helicopter to the more remote rivers and streams in the mountains surrounding Poronui. Nestled in the scenic foothills of the Kaimanawa Ranges of the North Island, the lodge is the ultimate wilderness playground and while it was founded upon fly-fishing, there are countless other activities to suit the non-angling guest. The elegant accommodations at Poronui combine with a very strong and diverse fishing program to deliver an experience to its guests that is truly unbeatable.
Poronui is a five-star fly fishing lodge located in the Taharua river valley on a 16,000-acre high country property. The Lodge has a modern drying room and daily laundry service as well as a fly-tying bench and library that is full of literature on the subject that brings us to Poronui in the first place: fishing. It is only fitting that a lodge offering so many outdoor activities would have a variety of luxurious rooms in which to put up your feet at the end of a long day. Guests may choose to stay in one of the three different retreats at Poronui, all of which have access to the amenities and activities available:
The Lodge – Settle into the relaxed and informal atmosphere of the main Lodge at Poronui, located above the Taharua River. This welcoming space has all the charms of a classic New Zealand sporting lodge, and the tradition of sharing fishing stories is honored each night with the guides next to the fire. Following a fabulous meal from the Lodge kitchen, retreat to one of the seven individually appointed guest cabins for a restful night of sleep.
Blake House – The most bespoke of the accommodation options at Poronui, it is taken on an exclusive basis. The house has a central living space consisting of two elegantly appointed lounges, a kitchen, dining area, library, and den. Two ensuite spacious guest rooms are located on each end of the house, each with bathroom ensuite and a private sun porch. The house is fully serviced together with a host and private chef.
Safari Camp – For the traveler seeking a truly unique and authentic wilderness experience, this luxury camp on the banks of the Mohaka River is sure to fit the bill. Enjoy a gourmet meal under the stars and allow the sound of the river lull you to sleep in one of the two guest tents. While Safari Camp offers serene seclusion, modern bathrooms with flushing toilets and hot/cold showers are just a short walk away from your tent.
Food and Beverages
From the pre-dinner hors d’ oeuvres to the gourmet streamside picnics, the cuisine at Poronui is truly first class. Poronui celebrates the tradition of fine dining and their team of chefs focus on using the freshest local ingredients in their flavorful and innovative dishes. Each of the accommodation options enjoys their own private dining experiences, but the Wine Cellar and the Cabana are great dining options for groups. The Wine Cellar is located at The Stables and is a modern underground cellar capable of storing 10,000 bottles of award-winning wines. These wines are also available at all of the dining venues on Poronui and are a fantastic complement to the delectable cuisine served at each.
Typical Length of Stay
Trips of any length can be arranged, although there is a three-night minimum stay requirement. There is no set change-over day, so guests can arrive and depart on any day of the week.
They say at Poronui that “there is nothing you have to do, but plenty that you can do.” So if your itinerary does not include fishing, an abundance of other activities await every guest on- and off- campus. There is an exhaustive list of local sightseeing opportunities, and a plethora of ways to do them, from jetboating and white water rafting to heli-touring. Should you have an appetite for high-octane activities, Taupo offers bungy jumping and tandem skydiving. Hawkes Bay is a world-renowned wine region and is only a ninety-minute drive away. For those looking to experience what has been described as one of the greatest single-day hikes in the world, the Tongariro Alpine Crossing is not far from the lodge and it takes you through a stunning geothermal region and dual World Heritage site with views of volcanic peaks that served important roles in the filming of the Lord of the Rings trilogy. To learn more about the local Maori culture, guests can visit the neighbouring valley to visit members of the Ngati Tuwharetoa tribe for a special event called ‘Kai Waho’ This is a one-on-one exploration of how the native people of New Zealand existed and how their fascinating culture, lifestyle, and traditions have been preserved over time. Kai Waho, with it’s focus on food (gathering and preparation) and bush walks, has been nominated as ‘No. 35’ in the top 100 global experiences.
Onsite activities for the active guest are aplenty: from field archery, shooting on either their Olympic standard sporting clay range or target range, or mountain biking along their 10km purpose-built track. Guided walks to the more remote corners of the property are available and afford the hiker the chance to get close to the amazing flora and fauna that is indigenous to New Zealand. Heli-hiking and heli-biking are excellent, albeit more expensive ways, to experience the scenic backcountry of Poronui and its surrounds. There are also gym and health club facilities at the Lodge.
Poronui is famed for its horseback riding program and offers many different adventures to riders of all skill levels, including lessons at the Riding School. The Stable complex is a top-class facility and is the base for all trips, from morning rides to multi-day treks through the beautiful native beech forests, mountain meadows and river valleys of the property. The horses are well-schooled, which will ensure an enjoyable ride for all levels of experience.
Poronui is also a premier outfitting lodge and therefore offers world-class hunting opportunities for trophy Red Stag as well as Sika, Rusa, Sambar, Chamois, and Tahr. Hunts for Arapawa Ram, wild boar, and feral goat can also be arranged.
Of course, nothing beats a spa after a day spent on the river or in the mountains, which is why Poronui’s tantalizing list of treatments are very popular.
Telephones and high-speed internet access are available, though cell phone coverage is not available at the Lodge.
How To Get There
Air New Zealand currently offers direct flights to Auckland, New Zealand from Los Angeles International (LAX), San Francisco International Airport (SFO), and Houston Intercontinental, departing in the evening and arriving the following morning. Though the flight time is only 12 to 13 hours, you will cross the international dateline, which is why you lose one calendar day in transit. From Auckland, you will catch a regional flight to a number of different cities closer to Poronui. Taupo is the closest airport to Poronui, but there are more frequent flights to Napier and Rotorua. Driving times are 40 minutes, 90 minutes and 90 minutes respectively. Please call us if you wish to arrange a private driver, fixed-wing or helicopter transfer from a given destination on the North Island directly to Poronui. If you choose to hire a car, please bear in mind that New Zealanders drive on the left-hand side of the road. Check in time is after 2:00 pm and check out is before 11:00 am with flexibility.
Arrival and Departure Details/Times
Note that upon arrival in Auckland, you will need to pass through immigration and customs—a process that is notoriously challenging for anglers traveling with fishing gear and outdoor equipment due to the strict biosecurity regulations in New Zealand. If you would like to bring your own equipment into the country, please let us know so that we can give you the best possible information on how to do so in a way that will not result in the time-consuming fumigation or confiscation of your gear. Once you have cleared this process, you will need to proceed to the domestic terminal either by bus or by walking five minutes along the clearly marked path. Air New Zealand representatives will be standing by to assist you in checking your luggage onwards. Be aware that carry-on restrictions are tighter on regional aircraft, so you may have to check an additional bag (including your fishing rods).
Valid passport, and proof of departure from New Zealand (return plane ticket is adequate); If the intention is to stay longer than 3 months, a visa application will need to be completed. Fishing licenses can be bought prior to departure or at the New Zealand Lodges.
Yellow Dog offers a full in-house travel and reservations system, and we can assist with airline tickets, hotels, transfers, and all travel logistics for every destination that we offer. Contact us at 888-777-5060 or [email protected] for more details on airfare ticketing, travel services, and trip insurance.
Poronui enjoys a reputation as being one of the finest fishing lodges in the world and it has earned that reputation by offering exceptional angling opportunities to suit every preference at all times of the year. Fly-fishing is an integral part of the Poronui experience—indeed, the lodge was founded upon this past time and it now plays host to devout anglers from around the world. What makes this destination so unique and desirable to the discerning angler is the range of fishing options that are available on any given day. Poronui is located in the heart of trout country and with its privileged access to vast tracts of prime trout habitat, it is not uncommon to find yourself on a river that hasn’t seen another soul in weeks. Much of this access is gained via modern off-road vehicles or helicopter fly-outs. We highly recommend the heli-fishing experience, as it will take you on a spectacular ride to the more remote rivers and streams in a matter of minutes… it is truly worth the cost. For some anglers, a float trip is a terrific way to cover a lot of water in a short time. For others, an overnight trip at one of Poronui’s remote streamside camps is the ultimate way to experience New Zealand backcountry fishing in its purest, most adventurous form. Trips can be customized according to angling ability and preference for either “quantity” or “quality” when it comes to fish, and this is something that makes Poronui’s fishing program one of the most dynamic in all of New Zealand.
The guides at Poronui are wonderful ambassadors of New Zealand; passionate, knowledgeable and patient are just a few words to describe them, but above all, they are fun! All of the guides are members of the New Zealand Professional Fishing Guides Association. Angling in New Zealand can be technically difficult, physically exhausting and even frustrating at times, but your guide will instruct you on stealth and casting techniques to ensure that you are rewarded for your efforts. And when you do succeed in landing a legendary New Zealand trout, there will be no doubt that the juice is worth the squeeze.
Boats and Equipment
Poronui provides all gear, but if you wish to bring your own, make sure that it is clean and dry so that you don’t get held up in NZ Customs. They have a wide variety of Simms boots and waders as well as fine 5- and 6-wt. rods and reels with dark-colored lines (this is important). The guides will have the best knowledge of effective flies for each given day and time of year and these are provided at no extra cost. Feel free to call us if you would like to bring your own flies and we can help you fill your fly box with a good arsenal for New Zealand. Wet wading is the modus operandi during the summer months, so be sure to pack quick-drying clothing and perhaps some long johns to be worn under shorts (a typical kiwi uniform). Waders are used in the early or late season. Note that felt-soled boots are banned in New Zealand as of 2008. Due to the variable nature of New Zealand weather, we advise that you bring lots of layers—and that your clothing be dark or dull colored to prevent the fish from seeing you before you see them. Polarised sunglasses, strong sunscreen, and insect repellent, and cameras are also critical items to pack.
Remember that Yellow Dog’s services are completely free! When you book a trip with Yellow Dog, you never pay more than when you book directly with the lodge or outfitter. A full week package is $8,580.00 NZD per person. You will be quoted and invoiced in US dollars. Trips of any length can be arranged, so please call Yellow Dog for details and custom package pricing.
- Luxury accommodation
- All meals and alcoholic beverages
- Guiding and access fees
- All fishing gear (high-quality rods, reels, boots, and waders)
- Daily laundry service
What’s Not Included:
- International airfare to Auckland and domestic airfare to Taupo
- Transportation to and from the lodge
- Optional fly-outs by fixed-wing aircraft or helicopter
- Fishing license
- Personal items
- Phone calls