December 2013

  • Manuka Beetle Patterns with Leon

    Comments 0 | Posted by: Global Administrator,

    During spring, the emerald green-backed Manuka beetle is abundant in most of our native forests. Manuka beetles can even be found in the tussock lands of our high country rivers, but their preferred habitat is the stands of manuka that are prolific throughout the central North Island. In a good season it is possible to shake hundreds of beetles out of a single bush.  

    Little wonder the rivers around Poronui are ideal places to use a Manuka beetle imitation during this time. Read more about these beetles.

    Why are Manuka Beetles so Interesting?

    Drifting a green humpy fly in the bubble line can often produce your first glorious rise of the season.
    But if the trout are not quite up on top I like to use a drowning Manuka beetle pattern which can be effective on those cruising Browns or Rainbows just a couple of feet down.
    Maybe you have a fly you think might work? Generally it’s got to have some peacock herl or green material in its profile. 
    And if you are interested in learning how to tie up a Manuka beetle imitation, I would be more than happy to meet up with you at the end of the day at the fly tying table in the lodge.
    Wishing everyone a great season! 
    Leon McCarthy 




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  • Food & Wine Weekends 2013

    Comments 0 | Posted by: Global Administrator,

    Each of our Food and Wine weekends this year got off to a great start with the informal dinner at the Lodge on the Friday night – the atmosphere of a typical house party. Both weekends attracted a mix of both regular and new guests.

    On both weekends the weather on the Saturday cleared for a picnic at the Safari Camp, and there was even some blue sky. Many of the guests took time out from their activities to join a relaxed picnic on the banks of the Mohaka.

    Martin’s and Al’s menus were delicious, interesting, with some great flavour combinations. There were the immediate hits like Martin’s Grilled Snapper, Pea Ravioli, Kelp Seasoning, Zucchini and Chives and Al’s Lamb Shoulder & Loin with Eggplant Kasundi & Cauliflower.

    The challenges this year were Martin’s Cauliflower Risotto, Gaunciale, Duck Liver, Nelson Scallops and Citrus Powder and Al’s Warm Pastrami with Fennel Bulb Slaw. Always one of the fun aspects of the Gala dinner is the unknown menu until you are sitting at the table.

    Duncan and Brian nailed it with their wine matches. If I had to choose a favourite I think it would be Mahi Boundary Farm Sauvignon Blanc 2011 and Man o’ War Dreadnought Syrah 2010.

    The weekends are confirmed for October 2014 again.  

    Please see menus below.

    Al Brown and Duncan McTavish
    Food and Wine Weekend
    11-13 October 2013
    Gravestone Sauvignon Blanc / Semillon 2012
    Tio Point Oysters – Natural & Tempura w/Wasabi
    Exiled Pinot Gris 2013
    Surf Clam Cocktail w/Ginger, Lime & Seaweed
    Valhalla Chardonnay 2012
    Seared Octopus & Chorizo Salad w/Whitebean Skordalia
    Dreadnought Syrah 2010
    Warm Pastrami w/Fennel Bulb Slaw
    Warspite Cabernet Franc/Merlot/Malbec 2010
    Lamb Shoulder & Loin w/Eggplant Kasundi & Cauliflower
    Holystone Dessert Wine Sauvignon/Semillon 2012
    Warm Cherry & Almond Tart w/Anglaise

    Chocolate Truffles  Coffee & Tea 

    Martin Bosley and Brian Bicknell
    Food and Wine Weekend
     25-27 October 2013

    Whitebait Sandwich, Crayfish Mayonnaise
    Venison Tartare, Confit Garlic, Sabayon
    Sardine Chips, Horseradish Cream
    Pea Panna Cotta, Hazelnuts, Goats Cheese Mousse
    2012 Mahi Marlborough Chardonnay

    Sourdough Bread, Cultured Butter, Herbed Lake Grassmere Sea Salt
    Oyster, Pickled Cucumber, Avocado, Watercress
    Roasted Carrots, Asparagus, Vadouvan, Roasted Jerusalem Artichoke, Salmon Caviar, Wild Herbs, 65/65 Egg Yolk
    2011 Mahi Boundary Farm Sauvignon Blanc

    Cauliflower Risotto, Guanciale, Duck Liver, Nelson Scallops, Citrus Powder
    2011 Mahi Ward Farm Pinot Gris

    Grilled Fish, Pea Ravioli, Kelp Seasoning, Zucchini, Chives
    2010 Mahi Twin Valleys Chardonnay

    Slow-Cooked Poronui Venison Casserole, Roasted Bone Marrow, Venison Loin, Beetroot Soubise, Quinoa
    2010 Mahi Rive Pinot Noir

    Strawberries, Basil Gelée, Strawberry Milk Ice Cream, Lemon Yoghurt Mousse, Balsamic Gastrique, Meringue
    Coffee & Tea



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  • Poronui Bees

    Comments 0 | Posted by: Global Administrator,

    It’s not that long ago the manuka on Poronui was thought of as a home for deer and little else. In fact it's only 25 years or so since large areas were rolled and crushed to be planted in pine trees – the times have certainly changed! 

    Rather than pulling out manuka, the opposite is now happening. 20,000 manuka plants have just been planted on Poronui in areas where exotic pine and eucalyptus trees have been harvested. If this goes well the planting program will grow dramatically over the course of the next few years.
    Manuka flowering on PoronuiWhy the change? Manuka still provides a great home for deer. It also grows well in an environment where most other trees struggle to cope. It adds to the natural character of the property and is great from a environmental stand point - helping safeguard the water quality in the catchment. Our trout benefit as well, because the green manuka beetle is a highly desirable item on the menu. 

    The big point of difference now though is honey. The fact that other plants don’t grow well on Poronui is actually an advantage, because bees working on Poronui while the manuka is flowering collect that nectar and very little else. As a result, Poronui manuka honey is very pure and develops high antibacterial activity - making it highly sought after.
    Manuka honey is now recognised internationally for providing many health benefits and is used widely in products such as wound dressings, balms, lotions and lozenges. Among other things It has tremendous antibacterial properties and has provided amazing results when used to treat burns, ulcers, infected wounds, tonsillitis etc. In many cases manuka honey has provided relief when traditional dressings or antibiotics had failed. 

    Most people however take their honey from a pot - where it is considered a functional food. It is worth noting that to provide significant antibacterial benefit, honey needs to have a non-peroxide activity or UMF of at least 10. Less than this, and it tastes great and goes well on toast, but doesn’t have any specific health benefits over other honeys. Beyond that and the high activity monofloral manuka honey is quite special - and really too good to go in the pantry next to jam and peanut butter! The amazing thing is that it is a combination of bee and plant with no intervention from man other than collecting it!

    The Westervelt Company now operates its own beekeeping business on Poronui. It’s a perfect fit with the tourism operation. The honey is a high quality premium product and the manuka supports the fishing and hunting as well as bees - and it’s great for the environment. In many ways Poronui is heading back to the way it used to be.

    If you visit in December or January you will see the hives around the manuka. There are actually 50,000 bees in every hive at that time of the year which adds up to a staggering 35 million or so on the property! The workers only live about six weeks so they cram in as much as they can to this short time.  Luckily they are far too busy working to even think about stinging anyone unless you stand too long directly in front of the hive entrance. 

    Steve Smith

    beekeeping on Poronui - a hive of activity
    beekeeping on Poronui - a hive of activity!

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  • The Poronui Library

    Comments 0 | Posted by: Global Administrator,

    Some very interesting reading has been added to the Poronui Library. In 'Tales of Fishing' by Bryn Hammond, published 1990, the chapter titled 'A Tale of Three Rivers' recalls a camping trip up the Kaipo River – well worth a read.

    I challenge anyone to recite from memory the doggerel verses at the back of Skues’ book 'The Way of a Trout With a Fly', in particular ‘Little Brown Wink’. His view on a trout’s sense of taste and taste are also worth reading. The book was published in 1949 and could be purchased then for the princely sum of 15 shillings.

    We now have quite a collection of books by John Parsons, the latest being 'Parson’s Glory' which he describes as 'a bedside book for anglers'. This book is dedicated to a New Zealand farmer called Phil Parsons who invented the Parsons’ Glory. Phil farmed near Te Awamutu and in John Parson’s words "achieved immortality". This book was first published in 1976.

    Be sure to borrow these or some of our other angling titles, for some bedtime reading; or you can curl up with one in front of the crackling fire at the Lodge.

    PS: we also have some great cook books, fiction and magazines if you feel like a change!

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  • Poronui in the News

    Comments 0 | Posted by: Global Administrator,

    Poronui has been in the news recently, with a great article in the NZ Herald, and a piece in Life & Leisure's Collector's Annual 2014.

    You can read the HZ Herald article on their website or download it here as a PDF.

    You can download the Life & Leisure article here as a PDF.

    And of course, if you feel inspired to experience the magic of Poronui yourself, please call Eve and the team on (64) 7 384 2080 or send us an email.


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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