• Visitor Survey 2011

    Comments 0 | Posted by: Global Administrator,

    This year we thought we would use an online survey to ask our guests to provide anonymous feedback to us on how we could improve the Poronui experience.  And the results were very useful.

    Most people, in fact 94%, thought their Poronui experience was 8/10 or higher, with a massive 65% giving us ten out of ten. And we got lots of great ideas on how to make things even better. Many of these we are already implementing now in our quiet winter season, like desks and tea and coffee-making facilities in the rooms, plus making sure we give guests better information before they travel.

    Some might be a little more difficult - if only we could control the weather a bit better and ensure the fishing was perfect everyday, then we really would be happy!

    A big thank you to all guests who took part. We truly appreciate you taking the time and we welcome you back to see what a difference we have made.

    Rate your stay at Poronui

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  • Duck Confit with White Bean Ragout

    Comments 0 | Posted by: Global Administrator,

    Start with the duck confit, and while that's in the oven, you can get the other elements of this very approachable dish underway.

    White Bean and Bacon Ragout


    1tablespoon butter
    1 large shallot (or 1 small white onion)
    2 cloves garlic
    6 rashers streaky bacon
    1 dessertspoon flour
    1 ½ cups Sauvignon Blanc
    2 tins canellini beans (white beans)
    1 small sprig fresh thyme (leaves only)
    Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper.


    Finely dice the shallot and roughly crush garlic and add to saucepan with butter. Fry for 1 minute. Cut the streaky bacon into 2 mm thick strips and add. Cook for a further 2 – 3 minutes. Add flour to combine, then wine and beans with thyme leaves. Cook until mixture thickens and most of the liquid has disappeared.

    Cherry jus


    1/2 cup red wine (cabernet merlot ideal)
    1 jar pitted whole dark cherries
    1 tablespoon soft brown sugar
    1 cup beef stock

    Add wine and brown sugar to a medium saucepan, put on high heat till comes to boil. Simmer for 1 minute to release alcohol vapour (if left in this will leave a mineral taste ) then add half the liquid from the cherries and bring back to boil. Reduce by half. Add beef stock and further reduce by half. Just before serving add half the jar of cherries and bring to boil, then cool.

    And my duck confit is a lot simpler than traditional ones....

    Quick Duck Confit


    Four duck legs
    Duck fat

    Dry the duck legs with a paper towel, add to oven proof dish, cover with duck fat and cook on 130 degrees celsius for two to three hours until meat will easily part from the bone.
    Then remove from fat, drain and cool. This can be done in advance. To serve, heat in oven till hot then switch oven to grill and cook until golden brown.

    Wilted Spinach


    Pick and wash spinach. Bring a deep pot of salted water to boil and plunge spinach in for 15 to 20 seconds till wilted.

    Assemble as per picture. Enjoy with a glass of red!


    Duck confit at Poronui


     

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  • Poronui History - Punchie Wallace RIP

    Comments 0 | Posted by: Global Administrator,

    For over 40 years, Punchie Wallace lived on the outskirts of Poronui in a magnificent clearing fringed with giant beeches, along the eastern fringes of the Kaimanawa Forest Park. He recently died in a nursing home in Whakatane, where he had been in increasingly bad health.

    Poronui would like to credit much of this content to Hans Willems who wrote an article for Rod and Rifle describing his visit with Punchie in 1997.

    Punchie’s home in the bush was a simply constructed hut, with several sheets of plastic over the top of a simple manuka frame. It was divided into two areas: a living / sleeping area and a separate kitchen / storage area. The interior was lined with old curtains and would have been cosy and warm. There were minimal decorations: photos of his sisters (referred to as under-handers because they lived in Australia) and a few innocuous pin-up girls. There were four bunks constructed of local wood, a table and a comfortable armchair covered in deerskins, which also covered the pieces of linoleum on the ground.

    The top layer of the roof was a special piece of heavy-duty plastic that Punchie had hoped would withstand the sharp claws of the local possums. He slept with his trusty Savage .243 rifle in a sling next to his bed, and the taped up bullet holes in the roof were testimony to the fact possums didn’t have any respect for his new roof. Still it was one way to source the ingredients for his favourite possum and pork stew.

    According to Punchie, he started coming out in the mid-fifties when the spot was a bivvy used by hunters. When his wife died he decided to make it his home, and he lived there almost until he died.

    Punchie was always a bush man, working as a wood splitter, deer culler and private hunter. He shot over a thousand deer in his time, mostly sika, and his biggest is still on display at Deer World in Taupo. It is a near perfect symmetrical trophy shot in 1957 on Poronui that scored 203 7/8 Douglas. The head was penalised for over-spread, and would otherwise have been a world record at the time. This trophy also appears in Bruce Banwell’s “Great New Zealand Deer Heads, Volume III.

    A tough man, Punchie fought in World War II in North Africa and Italy and then turned to boxing, fighting some 20 professional bouts on the late 40s and early 50’s. In fact boxing is the source of his nickname ‘Punchie’. In 1949 he knocked out Jack O’Leary in Hamilton to claim the New Zealand middleweight championship, but his world domination plans came to a halt in 1950 when he himself was knocked out by famous Australian boxer Clem Sands while challenging for the Australasian championship. That loss made Punchie give up the ring and go back to the bush: “I wasn’t as good as I thought I was and I didn’t feel like being beaten up and dying before my time.”

    Punchie spent many happy years living on Poronui. He hunted a lot, and in winter would usually stay in the sack the whole day, only getting up for food and to ‘answer the call of nature’. He did the same in mid-summer, when the bush flies made life unbearable outside. His time was mostly spent listening to the radio, sometimes 18 hours a day, and talk back was his favourite. This enabled him to keep up his general knowledge and extensive vocabulary - useful for a very occasional discussion on politics when he visited the Rangatikei Tavern to get supplies and have a drink – velluto rosso was a favourite tipple.

    In the bush, time is something you are blessed with. Punchie was a long time without a watch, and used strategically placed beech trees to tell the time – there was a ‘morning tea’ tree, and an eleven, twelve and one o’clock tree. His system didn’t work so well with the low sun in winter, when there was only a 12 o’clock and four o’clock tree.

    His most horrendous experience as a recluse was the time a fierce cyclone struck and huge beech trees surrounding the clearing snapped off like match sticks. Large beeches fell across his access road and these took some months to clear.

    He took pleasure from simple things: a pet pig called Lightening who kept him company - until Punchie tired of him digging up the clearing, attacking visitors and wrecking the hut. Lightening then became bacon Punchie pickled himself, and was replaced by a tomtit called Tittie who used to flutter around Punchie  and perch on his cap.

    Punchie’s most disappointing experience was someone stealing a rifle and chainsaw when he was out hunting. The gun he never replaced, but the chainsaw was an essential and set him back a month of his superannuation.

    Punchie saw the bush as his backyard and never felt the need to leave. He wanted to die on Poronui but his Alzheimers progressed to the point where hunters would often find him sitting in the middle of the track and he was persuaded to move by some good friends who cared for him before he was moved to a private nursing home in Whakatane.

    These are just a few of the stories about Punchie. We wanted to share them with you because he was a special part of Poronui history and his photo album is currently with us on loan from his daughter.

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  • Life as Assistant Lodge Manager at Poronui

    Comments 0 | Posted by: Global Administrator,

    I have the world’s most annoying alarm clock, but amazingly I always wake seconds before the dreaded beep so as not to wake my husband or the little people on the other side of the wall.

    It’s 5.45am and I know Eve is opening her eyes too, expecting to meet me in 15 minutes. Sometimes I creep out and my husband doesn’t know if I have headed to the lodge kitchen or the stables.
    Whoever arrives at the stables first collects the horses from the paddock, while the other gathers the riding tack from the tack room. I like gathering the tack, the room is always warm and smells of the beautiful leather polished and cared for the day before. It has a very nostalgic smell for me, like the smell of a horse coming in after a long winter. These smells give me goose bumps.

    I was given my first pony for my eighth birthday; I achieved all levels within the New Zealand Pony Club Association and became fixed on show ponies. My parents drove me from one end of the country to the other to collect championship ribbons.

    After finishing school I was extremely lucky to travel to Canada with a wonderful team of show jumpers - all New Zealand-bred horses. That was to ensure my boss, Catriona Williams (nee McLeod), had exposure for the New Zealand Olympic team. We also had two very smart eventers to profile in Europe with high hopes for Olympic selection too. I spent five valuable years training with Catriona. Then I worked for one of the countries leading dressage riders Kathrine Gorringe. Kathrine had a beautiful team of young Holstieners. We trained two incredible Grand Prix horses and some that were very young and spirited. Riding a Grand Prix horse is like sitting astride a magic carpet - you float through the air weightless whilst on an incredibly strong and powerful animal.

    _DSC2747-1-(3).jpgNow back to Poronui and the start of this story. The mornings are crisp and beautiful - we have damp noses, rosy checks, and cold toes. Sometimes we chat constantly along the trails, but mostly we are silent - enjoying the different natures of each horse, critiquing our riding styles or watching out for the many other early risers - whether they be singing birds, dawn feeding deer or glistening fish when riding the riverbanks. Eve will often say it’s great to be alive. I always agre, and think how lucky we are to have Poronui to ourselves on these mornings while everybody else is sleeping.

    I came to live on Poronui in April 2001 after marrying Ben so this will be my 11th season. When I came I started by setting up the Riding School because of my previous experience, and I also waitressed in the lodge morning and night, only spending the middle of the day riding and exploring Poronui.

    The following season I progressed to making picnic lunches for the riverside and waitressing again in the evenings. I worked long hours but preferred to be busy than home alone. I was teased mercilessly for having to serve and clean up after my husband Ben, a guide at Poronui who would eat with his clients at the Lodge table.

    The next year I began cooking breakfast and guiding. The horse guiding grew into heli-hiking, heli-shopping excursions, art, garden and wine tours. Those were fun-filled days.

    The next year I was promoted to cooking dinners and so head chef for three seasons. I thoroughly enjoyed cooking with our beautiful New Zealand produce and being artistic and creative with food.

    Then baby #1 Olivia made an appearance - the first Poronui baby for many many years - so I had a season at home learning the tricks of motherhood, before returning the following summer to guide again. In 2010 Baby #2 Bonnar came along - a boy for Ben.

    Today my Assistant Manager duties range from managing guest bookings and visits to daily operations - sometimes cooking, guiding, arranging flowers, coordinating weddings… the list goes on. I’m happy to use any of my skills to ensure guests have a great stay and to support Eve and all staff with our very busy seasons.

    People often ask what has kept us here so long and that’s easy to answer for me – we live in a truly beautiful piece of New Zealand and we have the best guests who appreciate both us, and our country. Many guests return year after year and are so excited to see us – they love it that many of the same faces are there to greet them, saying it makes them feel ‘right at home’ and cared for.

    And I will always love showing off our country, our people and our products - whether it be Poronui or local products we come across.

    I love to work with my husband and together we have made many very special relationships here at Poronui. Long may it continue.

    Read more

  • Life as Assistant Lodge Manager at Poronui

    Comments 0 | Posted by: Global Administrator,

    I have the world’s most annoying alarm clock, but amazingly I always wake seconds before the dreaded beep so as not to wake my husband or the little people on the other side of the wall.

    It’s 5.45am and I know Eve is opening her eyes too, expecting to meet me in 15 minutes. Sometimes I creep out and my husband doesn’t know if I have headed to the lodge kitchen or the stables.
    Whoever arrives at the stables first collects the horses from the paddock, while the other gathers the riding tack from the tack room. I like gathering the tack, the room is always warm and smells of the beautiful leather polished and cared for the day before. It has a very nostalgic smell for me, like the smell of a horse coming in after a long winter. These smells give me goose bumps.

    I was given my first pony for my eighth birthday; I achieved all levels within the New Zealand Pony Club Association and became fixed on show ponies. My parents drove me from one end of the country to the other to collect championship ribbons.

    After finishing school I was extremely lucky to travel to Canada with a wonderful team of show jumpers - all New Zealand-bred horses. That was to ensure my boss, Catriona Williams (nee McLeod), had exposure for the New Zealand Olympic team. We also had two very smart eventers to profile in Europe with high hopes for Olympic selection too. I spent five valuable years training with Catriona. Then I worked for one of the countries leading dressage riders Kathrine Gorringe. Kathrine had a beautiful team of young Holstieners. We trained two incredible Grand Prix horses and some that were very young and spirited. Riding a Grand Prix horse is like sitting astride a magic carpet - you float through the air weightless whilst on an incredibly strong and powerful animal.

    _DSC2747-1-(3).jpgNow back to Poronui and the start of this story. The mornings are crisp and beautiful - we have damp noses, rosy checks, and cold toes. Sometimes we chat constantly along the trails, but mostly we are silent - enjoying the different natures of each horse, critiquing our riding styles or watching out for the many other early risers - whether they be singing birds, dawn feeding deer or glistening fish when riding the riverbanks. Eve will often say it’s great to be alive. I always agre, and think how lucky we are to have Poronui to ourselves on these mornings while everybody else is sleeping.

    I came to live on Poronui in April 2001 after marrying Ben so this will be my 11th season. When I came I started by setting up the Riding School because of my previous experience, and I also waitressed in the lodge morning and night, only spending the middle of the day riding and exploring Poronui.

    The following season I progressed to making picnic lunches for the riverside and waitressing again in the evenings. I worked long hours but preferred to be busy than home alone. I was teased mercilessly for having to serve and clean up after my husband Ben, a guide at Poronui who would eat with his clients at the Lodge table.

    The next year I began cooking breakfast and guiding. The horse guiding grew into heli-hiking, heli-shopping excursions, art, garden and wine tours. Those were fun-filled days.

    The next year I was promoted to cooking dinners and so head chef for three seasons. I thoroughly enjoyed cooking with our beautiful New Zealand produce and being artistic and creative with food.

    Then baby #1 Olivia made an appearance - the first Poronui baby for many many years - so I had a season at home learning the tricks of motherhood, before returning the following summer to guide again. In 2010 Baby #2 Bonnar came along - a boy for Ben.

    Today my Assistant Manager duties range from managing guest bookings and visits to daily operations - sometimes cooking, guiding, arranging flowers, coordinating weddings… the list goes on. I’m happy to use any of my skills to ensure guests have a great stay and to support Eve and all staff with our very busy seasons.

    People often ask what has kept us here so long and that’s easy to answer for me – we live in a truly beautiful piece of New Zealand and we have the best guests who appreciate both us, and our country. Many guests return year after year and are so excited to see us – they love it that many of the same faces are there to greet them, saying it makes them feel ‘right at home’ and cared for.

    And I will always love showing off our country, our people and our products - whether it be Poronui or local products we come across.

    I love to work with my husband and together we have made many very special relationships here at Poronui. Long may it continue.

    Read more

To discriminating anglers, Poronui is an historic fly fishing lodge where they go fishing for superb NZ brown and rainbow trout in pristine waters.

To sportsmen, Poronui is a supreme hunting lodge where they can hunt majestic deer in a hauntingly beautiful landscape. To others, Poronui is the ultimate luxury wilderness retreat, a place where they can relax or explore 16,000 acres of timeless wilderness.

To match the premier quality of the outdoor experience, Poronui offers three supremely comfortable accommodation options: the legendary Poronui fishing lodge, luxury camping down by the Mohaka river at Safari Camp or stately Blake House - the choice of celebrities, captains of industry and royalty.

Whether your passion is New Zealand fly fishing, hunting or hiking, our guests talk of the magic of Poronui – the breathtaking location, the genuine Kiwi warmth, and the camaraderie they share with guides and fellow adventurers.

Come and experience the legend of Poronui.

PO Box 1941, Taupo 3351, New Zealand Telephone +64 7 384 2080 Facsimile +64 7 384 2054 ©Copyright Poronui 2012