Gary’s South Island fishing trip – Rotorua Canopy Tours 1000 club

The ‘1000’ club at Rotorua Canopy Tours is an exclusive club for guides who have taken over 1000 zipline tours. The reward for becoming a member of the ‘1000’ club is $1000 towards an experience of a lifetime.

Before summer we had an addition to the club, meet Gary – a Rotorua Canopy Tours guide who has been with the company since the beginning. Gary is not only a Senior Guide, he is also the Rotorua Canopy Tours Conservation Manager looking after the conservation programme in the Dansey Road Scenic Reserve.

Gary is a keen fisherman and decided to spend his $1000 reward on a fishing trip to the South Island. He had never been to Queenstown or Twizel area before and had heard stories of the giant trout being caught, he just had to go! Gary eagerly waited for the peak of summer to be over so he could jump on a plane and head south!

Rotorua Canopy Tours guide Gary with a rainbow troutAbove: Gary with his first South Island Salmon.

Gary flew into Queenstown and spent the first day of his short holiday exploring all it had to offer. Much like Rotorua, Queenstown has lots of different activities to offer, especially if you are adventurous and enjoy the outdoors. Gary’s first stop in Queenstown was Frankton beach. Not far from Queenstown airport, Frankton beach is on the shores of Lake Wakatipu and offers a great spot for treasure hunting. Armed with his metal detector, Gary searched the beach for forgotten gems while taking in the magnificent scenery. After polishing up the treasure he had found, Gary made his way into the centre of town. He explored the Queenstown Gardens before heading up the Skyline Gondola to admire the view of the lake and mountains from 450m above the town. While up there, Gary also had a turn on the ziplines at Ziptrek!

The blue waters of the hydro canalsAbove: The blue waters of the Mackenzie Basin hydro canals.

Time to go fishing!

The next day, Gary was up early and on the road – he was off to Twizel. Excited to get his line in the water, Gary drove non stop to the Mackenzie Basin hydro canals for three days of fishing. The Mackenzie Basin hydro canals are well known among fisherman for giant Brown trout, Rainbow trout and Salmon. Gary was ready to catch his record breaking fish! The weather was cold but the fishing was great! Gary didn’t catch the ‘big one’ but caught a salmon, two Rainbow trout and a few Brown trout. He released his catch back into the hydro canals to breed and swim another day.

After an amazing four days in the South Island, Gary was happy to head home to Rotorua to see his family and tell them all bout his trip!

Freedom camping in New ZealandAbove: Gary freedom camped at Lake Ruataniwha during his time in the Mackenzie country.

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