Here’s where many of New Zealand’s famed trout start their lives. Well set up for kids too with an aquarium, hatchery and museum.
Tongariro National Trout Centre is signposted 5km south of Turangi on SH1. There’s a large parking area and toilet at the Visitor Centre and museum, from where the start of the track departs.
Pick up a map of the walk as there is a labyrinth of pathways and roads around the centre. Despite being prolifically signposted, it can still be hard to know which path to take.
The track passes many of the buildings and infrastructure responsible for raising trout to populate our waterways.
Numerous interpretation panels explain the many facets of trout and their place in New Zealand lore.
Brown trout were introduced to New Zealand from the 1860s and made very successful migrants. By swimming out to sea and up other rivers, they gorged on the macroinvertebrates, aquatic insects and small native fish, reaching steroid-inspired sizes of over 10kg!
They spawned natural hatcheries and bred quickly. Today they reach weights of around 5 kg, but most anglers catch fish in the 1-2 kg range.
Rainbow trout have also successfully adapted to New Zealand conditions and still get to that gargantuan 10 kg.
North Island ▷ Taupo Region ▷ Turangi
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Thanks to all the good people working for the NZ Department of Conservation - for all your hard work - making NZ more beautiful, accessable and healthy! Cheers 😍