Sunday, January 31, 2010

shootin' fish in a barrel

We took a little drive with John and Jane over to Golden Bay which is the next bay west from Tasman Bay where Nelson is. It was a full day round trip. Of course there were numerous stops and activities along the way. First was the Ngarua Cave, a cave in the limestone/marble rock on Takaka Hill. Many landmark buildings throughout NZ are constructed from the marble quarried on Takaka Hill.

From there we visited a couple stunning observation points as we climbed and then descended the hill. We also visited Pupu Springs near the town of Takaka. These springs have amazingly clear water that has been measured using special optical instruments as the clearest in the world, apparently approaching the theoretical maximum for water clarity.

But this is just the lead-up to the highlight of the trip. An industrious couple from the Netherlands started a salmon farm near this area. They produce salmon for the wholesale market but also offer another type of thrill by allowing "free" fishing in one of their holding ponds. Well, these fish have been farm fed their entire lives. They are conditioned to eat when the feed is thrown to them. So, you throw your line in, someone else throws a bunch of feed pellets by your line and, voila, you have a hooked salmon. Well, it isn't quite that much of a guarantee, but pretty close. In any event, it was great fun. My kind of fishing! The only downside is you must pay for what you catch (thanks John:)!). From here we made our way back up and down the hill traversing 52 streams that once took an overland party 11 hours up and 3 hours down in 1857, and on into Nelson.

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