Above is a camper van illegally parked at TRM by a member of the NZ Veteran Golf Association and NZMCA – NZ Motor Caravan Association. That’s OK.
This is supposed to be about freshwater fishing?. Bare with me… I will get to it.
We have known Faye & Mike Lack for over 50 years and have some wonderful shared memories – tramping the Milford Track (and fishing the Clinton River) etc. – so they are always very welcome to park over when they are passing through in their camper van.
Their visit was more of a social catch-up than them freeloading on a motel site.
I suspect they really stopped over so they would not miss the Springboks game.
Naturally SWMBO believes all camper van tourists should stay at motels but She is so commercially biased.
Of course we always give Faye & Mike heaps of aggro about freedom campers polluting and leaving such a mess behind but it is the other side of the tourist camper van image that we want to portray – aka Members of NZMCA – NZ Motor Caravan Association. These are the good guys.
This Association have their own serviced camping spots throughout NZ so should not be confused in any way with the less desirable aspects of other free loaders – usually younger tourists from overseas.
Back to Faye & Mike – for their retirement we think they have it sussed.
They tour the country back roads of New Zealand as part of a loose association of over 100 camper vans visiting golf courses. Their current programme includes Coromandel, Paeroa, Otaki, Foxton, Wanganui, Rotorua, Clarks Beach, Waiuku, Warkworth, Whakatane, Ngaruawahia, Taupo, Poverty Bay, Omokoroa, Hamilton & Te Puke.
Like fishing, the golf is simply to provide the focus, a good reason for a road trip to the back of beyond to play golf – without getting too serious about it all. Their aim is a fun retirement lifestyle.
This is similar to many older anglers who fish the Tongariro without worrying about “catching” – it is all about the more basic elements of being active in retirement – being out there fishing and enjoying themselves.
Many of the country golf courses around NZ have all the facilities these retired folk are looking for – providing a welcoming social and recreational environment in attractive ‘park-over’ properties, shower facilities, bar, etc. at a very affordable (i.e. very cheap) overnight rate – approx $10/night.
Many still have wives or partners who do not play golf but still thoroughly enjoy being part of the movement to discover an active retirement life style combining tourist road trips seeing so much of heartland NZ that one would never experience any other way.
Usual green fees in these country clubs are similarly very affordable at $20-$30.
It may be professionally unethical for a motel to be seen to encourage this sort of camping behaviour by ancient gypsy tourists? But as most of these remote trout fishing locations do not have motel style accommodation we hope we might be excused.
So they plan their retirement activities around their NZVGA programme to drive from club to club for several weeks every year as a gang of grey gypsies with one priority – that is to have fun in their dotage.
This is nothing new – some have been doing it for the last 20 years. Faye & Mike have been following the programme for about four years.
But these retirees have their own organisation to provide a mutually convenient programme for their travels. What a delightful way to retire and travel NZ with a social agenda and play golf in some of the most beautiful locations. Many of these rural courses are little gems.
NZ Veteran Fishing Association?
Why don’t freshwater anglers have a similar organisation to encourage members with a programme to travel around the country (rather than concentrated in the same location) to fish all the small streams and lakes that get forgotten about?.
There are quite a few anglers who do this already on their own.
Jim Rowland from USA – image below – who visits NZ every summer to play golf and chase trout.
There is also improved safety in numbers.
We know many anglers who visit TRM to fish the Tongariro regularly, that they would love to expand their fishing experiences to these other locations. What an enjoyable and interesting way to spend the retirement years…
Fish & Game already provide brochures that contain detailed maps with access descriptions and all other local information of all these remote back country fishing spots.
In addition there is the valuable nzfishing.com website. Doug Stevens has fished all these rivers and knows every fishable pool throughout NZ. His website provides another source of additional info for freshwater anglers.
Following pinched from nzfishing.co
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