Lake Taupo and Huka Lodge – North Island, New Zealand

A Paradise for Rainbow Trout and Those They Lure

Bumper stickers call Lake Taupo the Rainbow Trout Capital of the Universe, and they’re not exaggerating: Even by New Zealand standards, these trout are monsters, with the average catch weighing in at 4 pounds and 20-pounders causing barely a stir.

The nation’s largest lake, measuring 20 miles by 25 miles (with a depth of 600 feet in some places), Taupo is the crater of an ancient volcano and is located near the center of the North Island, framed by three active volca­noes in nearby Tongariro National Park. All kinds of craft, from vintage steamers to modern catamarans, are available to take fish­ermen and sun-seekers out onto its cool, clear waters, and in the town of Taupo, your hotel’s chef will prepare your catch to your liking.

Located 3 miles south of Taupo, Huka Lodge is the ne plus ultra of European-flavored country sporting lodges – it’s where James Michener found the inspiration for parts of Return to Paradise. With its proximity to Lake Taupo, and with the frisky Waikato River running through its serene, parklike grounds, Huka’s name is spoken with reverence in anglers’ circles around the world.

Spacious private villas are located along the serene, willow-draped banks of the river, redwoods tower over the glass roof of your bathroom, and sliding glass doors bring the out­doors in. You can ask for a gourmet lunch hamper and make an afternoon at mighty Huka Falls. As New Zealand’s most exclusive hideaway, the quality of wining and dining is never less than superb.

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