Guest Comments: aka “RAVES”:
Hi Ross and Pip,
Another fantastic stay at TRM thanks to your amazing hospitality.
You really go out of your way to help guests and I feel like one of the family when staying there.
Thanks to everyone for the meals thoroughly enjoyed.
Thank you Ross for the guiding and the company and for opening up new fishing waters for me.
Thanks to Boof and Pumpkin for their tail-wagging greetings.
I will relive happy moments when eating the trout, and my niece really appreciated the fish.
I gather they will be the main item on Mother’s Day menu.
See you soon I hope but probably not till November.
(Letter abridged to comments on NZ issues only)
Spring has sprung here in British Columbia but I still have to wear ski gloves on my morning bike rides. I got home from New Zealand in time to watch the Masters and edit my last batch of photos and here are a few that caught my eye and will give you a look at the lay of the land. This was my 34th Trout Season down there impersonating a photographer.
Every season is different and this past one was a pivotal one that brought water quality issues front and centre. It started out with a cool, damp and lingering spring and by March was being called the biggest drought in the past 75 years. It gave your Tee Shots an extra 30-40 yard roll on the harden fairways but was likely quite damaging to a number of rivers that had lots of their real estate dried in the sun. Also, adding to the stew in a number of drainages, would be the nitrogen overload from the rapidly expanding Dairy Industry as it tries to keep up with the unquenchable Chinese Thirst for N.Z. Milk that the pro business National Party Led Government keeps greasing the tracks for. They are dismantling the wonderful Rivers Management Act that takes into account the needs of recreational anglers and they have also cut about 150 jobs from the Department of Conservation. Or in the words of an Irish Fishing Friend, “they are firing the Fookin’ Cops during a Fookin’ Crime Wave.” So if you are a N.Z. Trout Fisherman, Lassie is now barking louder than ever and the gloves are off. That’s the bad news.
The good news, for the skilled and at least semi fit, is that New Zealand still remains one of the truly great places in the trout world to wander around with 4-5-6 Weight Fly Rods, floating lines, and offers the type of fishing we love the most; dry flies and small nymphs when needed, and where patience, smart fly patterns, and accurate casting get rewarded. Add to this, the cleanest air and great scenery that your lungs and camera will love, locally grown fruits/vegetables available everywhere, super nice people, and you couldn’t find a better place to wear shorts for 4 or 5 months. If you are a golfer, you can also add in a hundred wonderful, almost empty country golf courses that are ridiculously inexpensive. So if New Zealand is on your Bucket List, sooner might be better than later.
So there you go. One season ends and another one begins and may the Gods of Fish forgive us all.
Trip Advisor report:
“Easy and welcoming”
Really appreciated how easy it was to stay at this motel as we were arriving late, when I phoned to book they had no issues with it and left the light on in our room and the key out for us. Stress-free! The room was nice and clean, the studio had a full kitchen including oven, big TV with loads of Sky channels. There is some road noise but not enough to keep us awake.
- Stayed January 2013, travelled as a couple
- Value 4/5
- Location 4/5
- Sleep Quality 3/5
- Rooms 3/5
- Cleanliness 4/5
- Service 5/5
Always a lovely relaxing time at this motel. Ross & Pip are more than welcoming, ready with fishing gossip/news/tricks and news of the town and district.
The motel complex is located perfectly for the mighty Tongaririo River. Rods and waders are ready for use, and the bikes make getting around the river healthy and fun!. Bike the Tongaririo River Trail – safe from cars, and quite a work out!
The motel rooms are roomy and well equipped. Posh is not the word to describe TRM, but comfortable, warm, self-contained with free wi-fi and sky make is almost perfect.
- Stayed December 2012, traveled solo
- Value 5/5
- Location 5/5
- Sleep Quality 4/5
- Rooms 4/5
- Cleanliness 4/5
- Service 5/5
Hi Ross and Pip…….. Boof and Pumpkin
Just a quick note to wish all of you and your extended family a happy Xmas and a fantastic 2013
Not sure how I would cope stuck in an office over here (Melbourne) without your fishing reports to look forward as I sit in traffic for an hour every morning . First thing I do just about every morning is to read your report as I contemplate yet another day away from my favourite place in NZ
Your reports differ from day to day ….will they be about the dogs , SWMBO , laundry duties , issues concerning the fishery or god forbid a fishing yarn . Always good , always fantastically crafted and 9 times out of 10 have me laughing….
Anyway THANK YOU BOTH for sharing your year with us all and may it continue long into the future
As Arnie said I Will Back……. bringing all with me later in the year plus if the gods smile on me and the leader of the opposition grants me a leave pass hopefully a couple of solo trips as well !!!!!
Take care , stay safe
Ps I’m already looking forward to your first report for 2013 …..hint hint I’m back at work on the 7th
21 November email:
Hi Ross and Pip
Thank you so much for your hospitality which enabled me to have a late season fish in my beloved Tonagriro. I must say the fishing was the best I had in the last five years. To be honest I did not expect much so the results came as a big surprise and a pleasant one at that. Most of the fish I landed were fresh silver bullets in very good condition. You can see that from the photo. I have got the OK from the Fishing News to write an article about the trip and will mention that I am condident that the fishery is on the way to recovery; not before time I might add… etc.
(Herb is a well known angler on the Tongariro where he holds an annual “Tongariro Roll Casting” school. Image on right is of the lower Bridge Pool in 2008 during one of Herb’s schools.)
31 October (Comment on TRM’s Daily Report for 30 October)
I am writing to give you some moral support for your excellent piece of yesterday when you told it as it is.You(and others) should not feel apologetic about writing of their concerns and the subject( The bottom of the river) is a story that needs to be told and what is going on ,exposed. That is our river,the work is being paid for with our money and as such we are entitled to be told what is being done ,why, when it is likely to be completed, who is responsible for the river and why so much possibly destructive work seems to be done at the peak of the spawning runs and apparently in conflict with the terms of the recently granted consent/s.
Because you speak your mind and express the concerns of so many fishermen who have stayed at TRM in recent months does not necessarily require an apology of any kind the next day. Your blog of Tuesday was one of the best written accounts of the concerns of hundreds of fishermen,both domestic and overseas and you are doing sterling work in raising it.All I await for now is a reply from those who are making the decisions and carrying out the work and I hope the proposed article in Target Taupo might be the start of a process to better inform the local community, the fishing community both domestic and overseas and give confidence that the many kilometres of wonderful water which presently is unfishable will progressively be returned to its former state.We live in hope!!
Once again thanks for doing the hard yards because you have expressed the views and concerns of many.
17 September 2012
So when does Pumpkin get her own website and Facebook page?
Many thanks for your continuing fantastic hospitality during my recent stay. Thank you for arranging the gales, the cold and the rain, and thank you for organising the ‘big run’ after I’d packed up my gear to come home, and thank you for raising the river after I had left! Despite this I still had a great time and my memory lingers as I eat the fantastic smoked trout I brought back. Incidentally I’ve pinched the photo of the 2 trout to show to people what can be caught on the Tongariro. My butcher (a keen salt water angler) was very impressed, and in true TRM daily report fashion I didn’t actually say I caught the fish but I didn’t actually say I did not catch the fish. My reputation as a trout angler has gone sky high as a result!
All the best and once again thank you for yet another enjoyable TRM experience.
27 August 2012
Hello Ross, Pip and Boof,
Just a quick email to say thank you very much for an enjoyable stay on Friday.
Your motel was lovely and quiet, and within walking distance to the river.
We will definitely stay again when visiting Turangi.
Cilla, Antony and our four legged fur child Gemma
Last word on Taupo trout condition debate…
Many thanks for a great weekend. After returning home recently from the pressure of the world champs it was fantastic to get amongst some Taupo rainbows. The quality of fish at present is awesome and we could have kept our limit within minutes. Having fished in Europe i can honestly say our central north island fishing is truly spectacular. We truly do not realise how lucky we are. Many Europeans are extremely jealous of what we have and a trip down under is top of their bucket list. No time like the present so get out there and amongst our truly awesome fishery.
New Zealand Fishing Team
From NZ TROUT FISHER June-July 2012 Issue 132 – page 27:
by John Murphy from Arizona.
“… The rooms at the TRM are fully equipped and the beds comfortable. Wi-Fi and Sky are provided for those in need of a link to the outer world. All for free of course – unlike my expensive hotel in Auckland… What I liked about the TRM is that the focus is definitely on anglers and Ross is ready to provide advice at any time. Ross maintains a nice website with loads of useful information about the area, including extensive fishing reports and interesting commentaries by Andrew Christmas (TRM’s guide). Thus, even if you aren’t in town you can dream about what it would be like if you were and plot your trip to coincide with the conditions you like best…..”
22 May from Canada
Hello from Canada. I just wanted to drop a note and say hi. I still remember my days at the TRM very fondly, and I love reading the ‘daily reports’ which bring back a lot of good memories. Ross I read the you had surgery, I wish you a a speedy recovery so that you can resume your fishing/ walkies with Boof.
I am doing well here in Calgary, the fishing is pretty good (almost as good as Turangi). Here is a pic of a nice rainbow I landed today.
All the best and I hope to see you in 2013!
14 April from Norway:
Message: Hello Pip and Ross! We are of course well and sound back in Norway, back to work and everyday routine. ….. I just want to thank you both for a fantastic stay in Turangi, much thanks to your hospitality and your other guests at the motel. I enjoyed everything, not only the terrific fishing, but also the chance to get to know both you and the other fishermen. Tongariro and your motel can surely compete with the best fishing spots anywhere. I also enjoyed the trip together with Andrew a lot. Except for one sensationally good day in the Tongariro, this was undoubtedly the highlight of my stay in Turangi. People at home think we are joking when we tell them about the catch we made in the back country. Please say hello from me and my friend Tore and tell him the offer is still there if he decides to take a trip to Norway. You may also give him my email address. I will definitely come back one day, but probably not next year. I believe the fishing in Tongariro in February with cicadas must be one of the most awesome dry fly fishing in the world. I would also like to explore more of the upper Wanganui and Whakapapa. Besides, I’ve read some very promising things about xxx. These rivers should be worth exploring, don’t you think? Take care and keep your lines tight!
(25 July Update:
The August/September issue of NZ TROUT FISHER magazine has a great feature article with an image of Freddie and his guide Andrew on page 15.)
10 April 2012 from Wellington:
I thought I would drop you a quick line and provide you some outstanding feedback.
We absolutely loved our stay with you over the long weekend. Our unit was lovely and clean (and well equipped!) and we thoroughly enjoyed our free up-grade! We found your facilities were great, and Noah loved the playground and beautiful scenery.
An extended thanks to your tour guide Boof as well, he knew the top spots for a rest and all the best look-outs!
Overall, we were more then pleased with your facilities and general tourist knowledge.
Many thanks again for making our holiday complete.
Laura, Steve and Noah Mathews
6 April from Chicago:
Dear Ross and Pip,
Thank you so much for hosting my wife and me at your Tongariro River Motel during our recent trip to New Zealand. I could not believe our good fortune at learning of your motel at the I-Site booth in Turangi. I had been learning more and more about the local trout fishing and was chomping at the bit to give it a try. Being on a husband/wife trip, our packed itinerary did not include me sneaking off and fishing for a couple days. But a few hours in the morning was approved by the boss. I was almost in disbelief when you offered to lend me a fly rod, an assortment of flies, waders, a vest, and marked a map so I could walk to the river and give it a go. It was still dark in the morning when I got to the river. Never having scouted the spots, fishing in the dark was a bit fruitless. It took me a while to get the knack of casting the weighted nymphs to the current edges. Finally, I moved to a fresh spot and made a cast that sent the nymph through some riffles and into a deep pool. The strike indicator dipped ever so slightly and I pulled back to a throbbing fish instead of a snag. Ooh that felt good. It zigged and zagged and leapt into the air. Ooh that looked good. I beached the fish on a shallow sandy area. It was a silvery rainbow, maybe 20 inches long. Not a giant like some I had seen in the photos from this river, but I was thrilled to have succeeded in my small window of opportunity. I was already an hour late in getting back so I jogged back through the weeds, along the trail, over the bridge and up the road to your motel where my wife was waiting. I was a sweaty mess, but I was smiling.
Attached is a photo of me fly fishing and one of the rainbow trout I caught. I certainly wish I did not live so far away from your dreamy trout mecca, but here I sit, back at work in a suburb of Chicago. You can bet I will be fishing locally soon as the experience only wetted my appetite.
Thanks again for your generosity and trust for lending me your fishing equipment. It was a beautiful experience.
All my best,
6 April letter from Jozef Ocvirk, Slovenia:
We just came back for fishing Rio Grande river in Chile. Have a look at several photos of fish we caught there. Some members of the group you already met because they had been at TRM.
Latest review 19 February 2012:
Tongariro River Motel is now 5 ***** STAR accommodation…?
This is a new “first”! The report in TRM’s Guest Comments is actually from SWMBO (She Who Must Be Obeyed is the Manager at Tongariro River Motel (“TRM”). Yes, you should be very suspicious too. She is so modest and has graciously accepted TRM’s revised five star rating from a google review which read as follows:
elmuzzerino – 16 Jan 2011 Always friendly and great location. Heaps of room and a little bit of old fashioned charm. Superb!
SWMBO was naturally absolutely delighted when, on the recommendation of a guest, She googled “Motel Turangi” to discover, to Her astonishment, with the above comment Google had re-rated and upgraded TRM to FIVE ***** STAR accommodation. Before you jump to conclusions we should emphasise this upgrading is nothing at all to do with the trout caught by our guests.
Just as exciting was the image of TRM repeated on right. Don’t think I would want to stay there… That is in fact the boat marker pole somewhere down the Tongariro River beside the Downs Pool. How it represents TRM is a bit of a mystery?. But at least their other images showed some of the huge trout our inmates catch in the Tongariro River… While we are being truthful we should admit not all our trout are quite as big as those shown in Google’s review. But you may have guessed that.
Now we don’t want to spoil the party but we have to be credible too. So we provide this correction for prospective guests. Tongariro River Motel star rating by Google is incorrect. We are not five star or even 4 star. Once upon a time when TRM was a member of the Golden Chain franchise a Qualmark inspector awarded TRM 3 1/2 (Three and a half) star rating. But we even question that. If you ever choose a motel purely on the basis of their star rating then we pity you. SWMBO thought the Qualmark inspections were a joke. Qualmark’s system may have been effective last century but now everyone can browse the web to check out motels for themselves far better than relying on a snooty inspector from Qualmark. So SWMBO strongly recommends you should only read “personal” recommendations from people you can rely on.. like SWMBO?.
The truth is, even TripAdvisor reviews are questionable. The worst one TRM had from 2010 criticised our restaurant??? We tried for two years asking TripAdvisor to correct that, without success. The simple error is that TRM do not have any restaurant so they must have been referring to another motel… But would they delete it? No way….
So we just thought you should know – if anyone asks TRM are now officially a “5 star” motel and unofficially a delightful relaxed comfortable and affordable place to stay. To be even more accurate, TRM is probably the furthest thing from a five star Qualmark endorsed lodge hotel accommodation that you will ever have the joy to stay in. At least that’s what our guests say…
Ross and Pip went out of their way to provide a relaxing stay and often seemed to lend us stuff from their house. Because we stayed for three days, Ross was happy to lend us some fishing gear which while we didn’t catch anything was a great half day exploring the river.
The units are tidy and spacious with lots of wood which I liked:) Had ovens so could cook own food which newer places don’t seem to have.
Really enjoyed stay – close to river and not far to the bakery:)
Will be returning soon!
- Stayed December 2011, travelled with friends
On 15 December 2011:
“Highly recommend for location and value for money”
An extract from the latest Blog from Doris & Dan who visited Tongariro River Motel for a few days in late November 2011 and departed to continue their journey south over two weeks later…
“…………The North Island’s Central Plateau just happens to be the “Trout Fishing Capital of the World”! And that fact stopped us in our travels. A 2-day stop, turned into a 2-week stay, purchase of a country-wide fishing license and new fly-rod and waders! The water is gin-clear, the trout are the size of our salmon and the rivers, streams and lakes are uncrowded, completely open to anyone with a license and without the need for an expensive guide. Most amazingly, the fishermen here are more than happy to share their favorite spots, and even move over to give you a chance to catch “the big one”! As they say, “no worries mate, plenty of fish for all of us”!
We were lucky enough to get a “tip” on a place to stay in Turangi – the center of trout fishing. Upon our arrival at the “Tongariro River Motel”, before being assigned our cottage, Danny was measured for a pair of waders and a choice of fly rods to use during our stay all inclusive! Although the managers were leaving the next day on their own holiday, they made sure Dan was set up to fish and introduced to the temporary manager, Brent, who was only too happy to fish with Dan, map out unique pools and share his knowledge of these prize fish. As Brent remarked more than once … magic! This perfect set-up of a 2-bedroom home of our own, great fishing & an attentive “guide” were the reasons for our extended stay (and possibly a return before we leave New Zealand). If we’ve convinced anyone to come try New Zealand’s fishing, make sure to stay at here!……
Stayed here during winter and found it to be a tidy and quiet motel. It’s a stunning drive into National Park from here so was a good base for skiing in winter. Also, with it being just a shortish drive to Taupo it was ideal when the mountain was closed! I imagine it would be an equally good place to stay in summer for walks in the area and activities around the river and lake. Our unit had everything we needed and plenty of space. Really enjoyed chatting to motel owners Pip and Ross who pointed us in the direction of a good walk along the river and happily shared fishing tips. Pip keeps beautiful gardens around the units. Highly recommend for location and value for money.
- Stayed September 2011, travelled as a couple (Scored 5/5 for following:)
- Sleep Quality
“Peace & Quiet” Trip Advisor reviewed September 25, 2011
When you want to get away from the hustle & bustle, even if you’re not a avid fisher-person or snow-bunny, try this place. It is a stones throw from the magnificent Tongariro River and an absolutely beautiful walkway along the banks of the river. I was lucky enough to be able to take my 4-legged friend with me and it is absolutely doggy heaven on earth being able to walk along that walkway every day – of course “Boof” (the gorgeous motel dog) had to come too, no show without Punch. There are also numerous other areas along the river banks for exercising dogs (and humans), a fantastic playground to explore on foot. The river is therapy for the soul, but a lot cheaper. Ross & Pip are just amazing, so helpful and friendly – you could not ask for better hosts. The motel rooms are not extravagent, they are basic but are very clean and have everything you need to be very comfortable. A very calming and relaxing place to be, my family have been going there for 30+ years (4 generations now) and will continue to do so for many yet I suspect.
Hi Ross ,
Thank’s again for your hospitality and your valuable “no bullshit” fishing tips,
Last Thursday when I left I spent half an hour looking at anglers catching fish after fish from the bridge pool and could count more then 20 fishes on each side of the bridge pillar , good to see how Tongariro can be ….
Will be back in January if not before !
25 July from Melbourne
Thanks for your kind hospitality extended to Daryl and me. Since arrival back in Melbourne, I have had dreams of the Tongoriro and have already begun plotting and scheming a return visit – or maybe there is a way of making an annual pilgrimage. Whatever the future holds, we had a great time, caught some very nice fish, experienced some good fishy challenge, had plenty of laughs (the only guarantee in fishing) and were left wanting more. What more could you wish for?
I will be referring any fishing buddies to the Tongoriro River Motel whenever I get the chance. Perhaps living through them until my return!
With thanks once again.
13 July from Perth, Western Australia.
Dear Ross and Pip,
Thank you very much indeed. I really enjoyed my time in Turangi, and have never stayed anywhere with hosts so friendly and welcoming.
Evening Ross and Pip.
Having safely returned to the shaky South and spending the weekend “tidying up” I have finally found a moment to express my thanks to you both for your hospitality. We all chatted in an animated fashion throughout our return journey about what a great wee break we had had from the stresses and constant reminders of how the quakes have affected our life styles and livelihoods. I am extremely grateful to you both for your kindness and generosity. It is another example of why I seek out and enjoy the camaraderie of fellow anglers and their better halves!!!!
I fully intend to drop by again with other family members. Till then, thanks again. Smiles
3 June from Auckland (a booking confirmation):
Hi Pip and Ross,
Confirming my request for Two 2 bedroom units.
Arriving Monday 11 July 2011.
Departing Friday 15 July 2011.
3 adults, Two adults and two grandchildren 3 yrs and 6 months.
Looking forward to our second home, we will have had 4 generations at TRM.
Regards to all Boof gets a pat!
Eddie and Pat Cadogan.
1 June from USA:
I hope all is well with you and Boof (and your wife). Just wanted to thank you for the good times and all you done for me on my stay with you at the TRM. The dinners and company was nice, it is nice to meet good down to earth people like you all the way across the pond. Since my return home from NZD I have been hunting black bears in my home state of Utah, it has been great. I just returned home yesterday….
Red Creek Outfitters
PO Box 600218
Paragonah, UT 84760
Strange reading the above mentioned review (see tripadvisor review dated 4 October below). Ross and Pip do not have a restaurant to complain about. In fact that particular review describes another AND ENTIRELY DIFFERENT establishment in Turangi. We have stayed with Ross and Pip on many occasions and will keep going back there to enjoy their establishment, what better endorsement can I give?
- Reviewer ratings for this hotel:
- Value 5/5
- Rooms 5/5
- Location 5/5
- Cleanliness 5/5
- Service 5/5
- Sleep Quality 5/5
- Date of stay: April 2011
- Visit was for: Leisure
- Traveled with: Spouse/Partner
- Member since: April 24, 2011
- Recommended by this reviewer? Yes
Ross and Pip
Thanks for all the assistance during my recent trip. The raft was excellent. I hope JP found it equally good. I wound up with 44 fish from XXX (Ask SWMBO) for the last week of my visit but with no monsters. Still there is always next time to look forward to.
7 February 2011
Ross and Pip,
Thank you so very much for a wonderful stay back in December! We had an amazing time!!!! Will share some photos once I post them. We went from North to South in NZ and Tongariro River Motel was our favorite! You gave us great tips for the hike, we were thankful to have the ski poles and you even gave us Tui beer on our return! Thank you again and we will highly recommend the Motel! It is a MUST DO on the top of our itinerary.
Hi Ross and Pip!
Just wanted to say thanks so much for the 10 days we spent at TRM, it was brilliant and you both were so good to us. The smoked Trout was amazing! I will say Hi to Wayne S for you and we will be sure to come and stay again next time we are down your way!
All the best for 2011 and see you soon!
Murray and Katie
18 January 2011 x France
Dear Pip and Ross,
….. We want to thank you Pip and Ross ….. We will never forget you nor the very short and fabulous time we had at the Tongariro River Motel, and on the river as well. We will send a separate message to Mike who is a great guide and who brought us also a lot of comfort….. We sincerely hope that everything will go well for you; you are doing a fabulous job at the Motel making your visitors feel so happy and at ease. We are extending to boh of you our sincerest wishes for health and for happiness together with your family and friends. Of course, if we happen to ever come back to NZ, we will not fail to come by Turangi!
All the very best
Catherine & Michel Dulac
10 December x Australia
Many thanks for your hospitality during my recent stay. I really appreciated the company, the food, the garden, the drinks, and the guiding. You both go out of your way to make guests feel welcome, especially lone travellers like myself. I’m glad I was part of the whole “Boof the Wander Dog” saga and have had great fun telling my friends the tale (should that be tail?) and referring them to the Daily Report. I have attached 3 photos – 2 of them including my size 5 boot – really it’s size 14 – but as I have witnessed first hand never let the truth get in the way of a long dragged out somewhat shaggy dog story on your webpage…
All the best to your for Christmas and I hope to join you again in 2011.
“The place to stay for trout fishing”
Tongariro River Motel is not new or flash, in fact the rooms have seen better days. Despite this I highly recommend this motel, especially if you are a trout fisherman, and afterall, Turangi describes itself as the ‘Rainbow Trout Capital of the World’. The key to this motel is the fantastic service that Ross and Pip provide. Ever helpful, they can recommend things to do, places to see, and (most importantly) places to fish. Prices are very reasonable with discounts for longer stays. There are studios and 2-bedroom units and all have cooking facilities (fridges, stoves, microwaves etc) with parking and free wireless internet. There is even a smokehouse on site if you wish to smoke any trout you catch. Fans are provided for hot weather, and heaters and electric blankets for cold weather. There is also a friendly dog (Boof) who loves going for walks on the riverbank with guests. If you are not intested in fishing there are amazing walks in the area and the Central North Island snowfields are not too far away. It’s not 5 star in quality but 10 star in value, friendliness and service.
Reviewer ratings for this hotel:
Sleep Quality 4/5
Date of stay: November 2010
Visit was for: Leisure
Age group: 50-64
Member since: 12 November 2010
Recommended by this reviewer? Yes
4 November x Japan
Dear Ross and Pip
Hello! Kon nichi wa!!!
It has been one week since we left New Zealand.
Thank you for your kindness during our stay at your motel.
We spent precious time in Turangi and enjoyed fishing on Tongariro River,
but we didn’t catch lots of trouts because of weather…. and also our fishing skill!!!
On the 19th Oct., Andrew guided us various point around Tongariro, and we caught
rainbow trouts which were beautiful and impressive.
Next day, we went the lower reaches of Bridge pool and we got two beautiful trouts
after lunch! On the third day we also went there and Yukiko got a trout after lunch!
It was very comfortable around Bridgepool. So,we sat on the driftwood’s stump to rest.
And we gazed at the mountains, river, bridge and sky… with sandwiches in one hand!!
It was precious time for us. We were set free from our busy days in Japan…
I thought we had to be grateful for nature around Tongariro River and preserve such as
beautiful natural scenery.
We hope we can go back to Turangi and see you again!
Takumi & Yukiko from JAPAN!!
“Lovely setting” (???)
Date of review: 4 Oct 2010:
We stayed for two nights at the lodge. Loved the quiet location and the setting near the river. We had two adjoining rooms which may have been smaller than some on the property. The rooms were fairly basic although there was ground coffee and tea available. The bed springs were not adequate and both my husband and myself had sore backs as a result of this. We did not find the food in the restaurant to be great at dinner although the breakfasts were very good. The TV was tiny and hard to see from the bed. Nevertheless, we enjoyed our stay, due mainly to the friendly staff and the lovely location.
(Reviewer ratings are not applicable. Why? Did you note the discrepancy? At first SWMBO (She Who Must Be Obeyed) thought I must have been complaining about Her cooking? If any of TRM’s readers wish to visit our restaurant or order breakfast then we could have a problem. TRM do not have a restaurant…)
12 September x Melbourne:
Hi Ross & Pip,
Just thought I would message you to thank you for your great hospitality, it was great to finally meet you and to stay at TRM! I’m definitely going to be back there when I’m back home again! Cheers for the Hat & all the Tongaririo Torpedo’s they worked a treat at the bridge pool first thing. Cheers Adam
13 August 2010 x Christchurch:
(Photos by Brendon Mathews from TRM’s library)
Thirty months have passed since the Taupo region was home to me and the family and a visit back to the hallowed fishery of fisheries was in order. The Mainland is now home, yet despite all the fishing available there’s nothing there (or anywhere else for that matter) that comes within in light years of what the Taupo fishery offers. With my constant ear bashing of how amazing Taupo is, a buddy suggested a trip up as he’d not done it before. We hatched our own plans of how we’d convince our wives of the merits of such a trip. While Grant was forced to abandon the trip just a few days out due to unforeseen business commitments, my weeks leave pass was secure from my version of SWMBO (W.I.F.E – Washing, Ironing, Food & Entertainment). I arrived looking forward to reacquainting myself with the winter fishery and all she offers.
It’s not that I hadn’t been back; far from it, but that those visits were only the passing-through sort, which afforded a night or two at best. Having guided the area I know that when coming from afar, it’s a total lottery ticket with regard to conditions and the only real way to hedge your bets is to come for a longer period of time.
So glo bugs were tied, indicators hatched, gear de-didymo’d. Even the timing looked good. It hadn’t rained for 4 weeks prior to the trip so the impending forecast of rubbish weather was just what the good doctor ordered. My last full season was 2007 (remember the year of the small fish?) and with all the recent hype of the fishery finally being on the mend I had anticipated a memorable return.
Being based at TRM is the ideal launching pad for a serious fishing expedition. While I must confess I have a strong bias, where else can you stay where the motel is for, by and of anglers. Sounds like the ultimate democracy except you can’t vote them in or out every three years. Why would you want to, or need to? They know what anglers want – and they give it to them. Even SWMBO caters for the non-anglers in a group!! But seriously, it was a no brainer choosing TRM. They’ve even got a free fish smoker and rod holders in the units. How good is that?
The striking thing about the pressure anglers place on the Taupo fishery, and the Tongariro in particular, is that when you visit you’ll find the anglers are concentrated like sardines in a can despite the trout being spread throughout the waterways. This means a short 5-10 minute walk will put you into clear water where there are unlikely to be other anglers. I only wish fishing was that easy on the Mainland. To illustrate the point, one morning I walked down stream from the Red Hutt Carpark to fish with my roommate, the one and only Hardy walking encyclopedia, founding member of the TRM BOF (Boring Old Fart) Club and true gentleman Mr. Malcolm Fry esq.
On my way to the pre-arranged meeting place at the mumble-mumble spot I observed a typical tally of anglers in the following outstanding fishing locations. Red Hutt – 0. Shag Hutt – 0. Shag – 0. Duchess – 0. Silly – 0. Upper Birch – 0. Lower Birch – 0. Barlows – 0. Cattle Rustlers. Yet further downstream reports later arrived telling of Hydro – 5. Breakfast – 3. Major Jones – 5. Judges – 7. Trolls under Bridge – 8. Braids – 6. It’s never been any different on the Tongariro and provides ample opportunity to fish in peace and quiet with just the gurgling of the river and dawn chorus of birds for company. It’s wonderful stuff.
I had a number of visitors during my stay and among us all (including Mr. Fry) we managed to harass over 60 trout for the week. Notable catches were a 5lb brown from the Hydro and several other rainbows nudging 6lbs. We fished the mouths of the Waimarino, T.T, Hinemaiaia and Waitahanui, and up the Nui, Hine and Tongariro. All waters held fish and depending on the weather we moved around to find the best fishing conditions.
There’s no doubt that being flexible is the key to consistent success. If we had stayed in one place or kept to one style of rig or method there would have been some long faces. One prime example of that was while I fished with Malcolm one morning at another mumble-mumble spot. He was using his tried and true nymphing rig, which had a Pheasant Tail in #12 on the end. It was bitten regularly and when he invited me to share in the catches I thrashed the water to a foam with my double glo bug rig for no bites. Malcolm resumed normal transmission picking up another fish within a few casts in the same spot. Not wanting to miss out I changed to the same and hooked up twice in 10 mins.
All-in-all, it was a great week and well worth the visit. I’ll be back and hopefully Grant will be able to make it next time. Until then we’re going to have to resort back to winter fishing for artificially fed trout using surf casting rods and goldfish for baits, in man-made canals 600m above sea level, where it’s frosty all day long at this time of the year. Turangi never looked so good!!
The 2010 winter edition of NEW ZEALAND TROUT FISHER magazine – issue 121 – has as their feature article “TREMENDOUS TONGARIRO” by David Williams – pages 10 to 15. If you have not been to Turangi before this is a good introduction and covers all you need to know about the history of the river, winter runs, tactics and techniques, flies, and most importantly – accommodation… An excellent quarterly publication which you really should subscribe to.
We can’t resist repeating the para on Accommodation:-
“The Tongariro River Motel is also accommodation dedicated to anglers’ needs. The proprietor (SWMBO?) is very knowledgeable about good pools to try and there is a fish smoker and large library of fishing books. Their website (…) is excellent and includes daily fishing reports, with weekly updates from guides, and some great descriptions of all the Tongariro Pools.”
Hi Ross & Pip
What a coincidence- Wendy & I were on the TRM website catching up with the latest news today when a knock on the door from the delivery man with some lovely smoked trout was heard.
Thank you so much for doing that for us- I had mentioned to Garth & George we may receive such a gift- & now we can get in touch with them to meet & eat.
By the way, they didn’t do all that well down south, nor did any of the others who went south from the club, so I am really pleased we came up north this time.
We had a great stay with you both, your warmth & fishing help we very much appreciated & made our stay memorable. Only yesterday Wen was telling these people at a restaurant in the Barrossa Valley who had dogs about her walks with Boof…..
Really miss NZ as does Wen- last night she dreamed she took our 2 grandsons there-yes we really do miss it!
Once again, thank you so much for your hospitality (& the fish)-we shall return!!
Travis & Wendy
11 February 2010 x Maine USA Dear Ross and Pip: I want to say hello and let you know that I am now safely back in Maine after a great trip to NZ and Australia. The highlight was clearly my stay at TRM: thank you for your hospitality and for helping with all the arrangements. Ross, having the license ready and waiting was a real help, and much appreciated! …..
Glad to hear you’ve managed to keep the Didymo out……..
That’s all for now. I’ll let you know when I’m in the Turangi area again. Thanks again for everything. Very nice to meet you both. Kind regards, Henry Whittemore,
Ross & Pip Just to let you know we had a wonderful month in NZ, especially at TRM and the great fishing experience, biggest “bows” I ever caught. As you know, we were only planning on staying 2 nights, but…the fishing and area extended our stay to 5 nights. Great time, thanks again. Reno (photo on left) & Claudia
Mike and Diane James
Matt and Bruce
From “Trip Advisor”
Aug 17, 2009 | Trip type: Family
When planning my family’s North Island driving vacation, I concluded we had one night to spend in the Lake Taupo area and debated whether to spend it in the city of Taupo, or at the south end of the lake in the much smaller village of Turangi. I chose Turangi for the opportunity to learn more about and observe the world famous trout fishing there, and the possibility of visiting the geothermal pools nearby. (If it had been summer, the nearby National Park would have been a major draw as well). If you face this same choice, I highly recommend Turangi.
Although the Tongariro River Motel wasn’t my first choice for a place to stay in Turangi — probably because Tripadvisor doesn’t list it as being in Turangi, but rather Taupo — I consider myself extremely lucky to have wound up there. Although there are motels and lodges elsewhere that I have rated highly on TripAdvisor for a variety of reasons (value, location, etc), this is a rare one that I am giving 5 stars because my whole family wholeheartedy loved it.
After repeatedly, over several weeks, trying to contact XXX (Censored by Boof) or the (much more expensive) XXX (Ditto) and receiving no reply from either, I e-mailed the TRM and almost immediately received an absolutely delightful e-mail back Ross and Pip. Reservations were easily and quickly made and confirmed, the Bakers not even demanding a credit card to hold our place. So I knew even before we got there that a stay at the TRM would be a treat.
Upon arrival we were greeted by Ross and Boof, the Wonder Dog (a local celebrity). Ross, as expected, was gregarious and a source of all sorts of useful information. Boof may be the sweetest, best mannered canine I’ve ever met. When I mentioned my plans to take a late afternoon stroll to observe folks fishing along the river, Ross offered to let us (and my 13 year old son in particular, who was drooling at the prospect) take Boof with us. We did so, and this was a huge hit with the family.
As for the accommodations, the unit we were given was enormous, with two bedrooms (and an extra bed in the living area if needed for a fifth adult), a large bathroom, a dining room, a completely equipped kitchen, and a good sized living room. Like many places we stayed in NZ, the heating was provided by an electric wall unit (in this case with an accurate digital temperature control), supplemented here by an additional floor-standing electric heater which could be used if needed. The unit had a DVD player in addition to a TV, and a modest selection of DVDs were available at the office for free viewing. Lighting in the living room area was a bit dim, but no problem. In general the furnishings were a little old, but well cared for and comfy. The whole place was extremely cozy. It would be easy to spend a week, or several weeks, there (and the modest cost would make this feasible financially).
The location of the TRM is wonderful for anyone with plans to fish in the river (most likely the biggest draw to Turangi), which is just a very short distance away, perhaps a hundred meters. (By the way, do NOT use Google Maps to locate the motel, which Google places nowhere near Link Road, the actual address. We were using the Google map to find the hotel and wasted about 20 minutes hunting for it, til we figured out the problem. If you’re coming from Taupo, look very carefully to your left right after you cross the bridge, the motel sign is easy to miss — at least we did!)
Dining options proved somewhat limited in Turangi, but there was a good grocery store within walking distance. With such a well-equipped kitchen in our unit, we decided to enjoy a home-cooked meal, a pleasant break from restaurant food.
Thanks again Ross, Pip, and Boof, for a wonderful stay. We hope to be back someday, and do some fishing the next time!
My ratings for this hotel:
Value 5 out of 5
Rooms 5 out of 5
Location 5 out of 5
Cleanliness 4 out of 5
Service 5 out of 5
Date of stay July 2009
Visit was for Leisure
Traveled with Family with Teenagers
Member since April 23, 2008
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend? Yes
Just a quick note to say thanks again for looking after us this weekend in Unit 4! We appreciated the fisho upgrade! You certainly have TRM well set up for fisherman.
I read with envy Mike’s report from the Reed Pool Saturday morning. We wetlined the top for only one… just shows you, it’s the angler not the river or the number of fish in it!! After reading his report I think I’ll have to go another few inches per second quicker sinking on my shooting head as I’m sure I wasn’t near the bottom for long enough.
And what a fantastic weekend weather wise… you wouldn’t have wanted to be anywhere else but on the river!
See you next time.
Just a quick note to say how much we enjoyed our weekend at TRM last weekend. You were fantastic hosts and went way beyond your call of duty and we really thank you for that. We have driven through Turangi many times but never realised it held such beauty.
Thanks Ross for your patience, and being on hand for our every need. Although I cant say I am hooked yet on fly fishing I definitely will give it another try and I guess if I am fortunate to hook one then I may become hooked as well!
Once again thanks to you both for making your place our place and will definitely recommend TRM to all my outdoor friends.
Keep up the good work
Athalie (Alan, Jill, Adrian)
A quick summary of my trip
Delayed in Melbourne, miss connecting Taupo flight, drive down in fog, very late arrival
Fished way to hard for most of the week to the stage on the last day my casting was a mess
Took your advice and went to the braids, got 2 fish, fell in river lost 2 fish
Up early one morning and off we went, steam coming of us as it was a bit cold, first time ever guides ice up, get back and you venture out of a warm office and tell us its minus 7.Spirits required to warm up
Played with Boof, walked Boof fed Boof, photo with Boof want to steal Boof!!!!
Enjoyable evening with the 2 of you and learnt more about the region
Fish arrive in numbers the night before we leave
Airport closed and sent to Auckland in a mini bus (That was not fun as the driver got lost all the time and even missed the airport turnoff even with me yelling 300 meters before it)
Rental car not ready so got held up at the airport and when it finally arrived took 1hour 45 minutes to get to Takapuna
Watched rugby and the All Blacks lost to France but then that’s not a surprise
Arrived home and the dogs got the shits with me as he can smell Boof on my jeans
Sounds like a Monty Python holiday doesn’t it
Anyway although the fishing was not what I was hoping for I HAD A FANTASTIC TIME thanks mainly to you two making us so welcome
I have raved about my time there so much the leader of the opposition has told me maybe I should move back home (now that’s an idea she shouldn’t bring up to often)
You may want to pass on to any Aussie intended quests that if flying Virgin either stay a night in Auckland or fly to Rotorura as I missed my internal flight down to Taupo as the plane arrived late.
Plus do the same when leaving as when I went to fly out of Taupo the airport was closed and others that were on that flight missed their international flights back home
Anyway thanks so much for making my holiday
It goes without saying if you are ever in Melbourne!!!!!
Take care and I hope to visit soon
13 March x Coquitam,BC Canada My son Rand and I had wonderful stay with you this week and a great time fishing the Tongariro. What fun to see our photos up on your Mar 10 fishing report page. It was my first Rainbow on this trip to NZ but not my first trout. Although I caught my first Brown Trout ( 5 lbs) on the South Island,I never spotted so many trout, and huge as I did on the Tongariri River! On the morning we left, we fished the sections well below the bridge and I hooked into 2 beauties but was not able to keep them on. Was just the enticement I needed to wish for another return to the river! I will have to add one more trip back to NZ to my \’bucket List \’ Thanks for all your input and warm hospitality Ross and Bip. Cheers, Fran Friesen
31 January 2009 x Portland USA I’m famous. http://tongarirorivermotel.co.nz/daily-report/
To anyone who likes or loves or especially is devoted to fly fishing, this is the place to go and this hotel is the place to stay. To say anything more would be a blatant advertisement for the river and the super friendly and helpful staff, not that it would be unjustified. Ross of the Tongariro River Motel is just one of a dozen people I’ve met that are more than helpful to give those who are rusty or a novice at fly fishing a helping hand. I’m coming back next year. I may come back in the winter to see what the hype is about when fishing is “good”.
Ross, if this is how you run the joint when you are busy and think you have to apologize, I have a feeling I’ll feel even more like family next time. You’ve been a gem. Can you send me full sized pictures of the ones you took of me? I’m still thinking of buying one of the studios and spending my “winters” here. Next time I’ll stay longer. Cheers all, John
24 December 2008 x New Caledonia >Good morning Ross !!! I give you a photo to remember us !!! I hope you remind us !!!! We just want to wish you a very good merry Christmas and an happy new year 2009 for you and your family, I hope we will come in April or November in New Zealand, and we come to see you…. Fishing trouts !!!! We’re looking our souvenir book’s and we remind our vacancy in your motel….so great and extra and beautiful….ouaouh !!! Sorry for my English…!! I have to learn much vocabulary !!! Best regards, See you, Sophie and Hervé
2 July x USA Dear Ross and Pip: Sorry to take so long to write … I’m still thinking about coming down under maybe at the end of the year for 2-3 months as NZ continues to be on my mind. I wanted to thank you so much for your great hospitality as I have never stayed in a hotel or motel where the hosts were so wonderful as the two of you were to me. And Boof of course-don’t want to leave out the main ambassador of the motel and river! I really enjoyed staying there though and plan to do the same when I get back there.Take care, Sincerely, Joe Tonahill