I turn 40 this year.
Age is something that I have never paid much attention to. Times around the sun and all that. However, certain milestones, maybe, are worth marking, at what could be considered ‘halfway’ is one of them.
So, in order to mark this, my mother wanted to something special as a family. The original suggestion was a cruise, but, for me, being stuck on a large ship with a couple of hundred people I didn’t know, isn’t what I would call fun – so I instead suggested we all head to a lodge somewhere and spend a couple of days doing a pile of nothing.
Poronui was one of those places that I had often heard about, sitting right in the area where I had been introduced to hunting but hadn’t necessarily ever thought of visiting. This seemed like the perfect opportunity to go check it out.
Poronui, located in the Taharua Valley, is just outside of Taupo – head past the Aucklander mainstay of Clements Mill Road, where many of us traditionally would head to hunt for Sika in the Kaimanuwa ranges take the next right and you will come to the front gates.
It’s a large property, with multiple lodgings on it, from Blake House (where we stayed) – large enough to house an extended family group, through to the Safari Camp – a ‘remote’ campsite that can sleep with all the bells and whistles.
The Blake House
I think we had under-estimated where we were staying. Well, maybe more correctly, we didn’t really know what to expect.
Upon arriving, we found a host, a personal chef and a whole lot more space than we had thought.
As in, two lounges, library, ‘smoking’ room and enough bedrooms to comfortably host six adults and four kids, with the kids often sleeping in separate rooms (the divide and conquer method of getting little folks to sleep).
I think the kids spend most of the afternoon just heading from room to room exploring the house, while we adults settled in, unpacked and started our own exploring.
The inside of the property is pretty phenomenal, but then, so is the surrounding area.
Poronui sits in the foothills of the Kaimanawa Mountain Range.
A big chunk of the land is covered by beech forest.
While we were there, I spotted piles of birds – Tui, Bellbird, Kereru and hawks.
They also have Falcons and Whio (blue duck) there as well – but didn’t spot them. Apparently, there are also bats to be found.
And oh, the view!
This is actually a spot that kept finding myself standing in. Out the back of the Blake House, overlooking down in the Taharua river that passes through the property and bracketed on one side by the back of the Kaimanawa Forest and on the other by a stunning forest of Eucalyptus trees.
But, Poronui is not just about the surroundings, it’s also about what you can get up to while there.
Given the nature of our visit (whole family, kids in tow) – I didn’t really plan on getting any hunting done, and that also kind of ruled out a day of fly fishing – so – instead, we planned things we could do while some of us looked after the kids, and basically tag team in and out on it.
On the list of things we got up to – horse riding, clay shooting, cooking lessons, spa treatments and plenty of wanders around the countryside.
Poronui really is an amazing place.