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Float tubing New Zealand

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Dr. Elmer Ceder writes...

I am a Calif. stillwater flyfisherman who will be on a 2 month trip to NZ in Feb/Mar of 2002, I want to know whether you feel that NZ would be a good place to use a float tube and whether to bring one from the states or try to obtain one there. Any prime waters you might recommend would be appreciated. It seems that the tubing is in its infancy there.  

Dr. Elmer Ceder

Paul answers...

Most definitely! New Zealand is a fantastic place to float tube.

I've tubed Lake Otamangakau (known as the 'Big O' - for obvious reasons) which is a rather amazing lake in the Taupo district. If you catch a fish here, it's very likely to be over 10lbs and it will possibly take you water-skiing. Tubing is rather popular on this lake.

The Big O

Other good lakes would be various parts of Lake Taupo itself – the bit around the canal near Turangi would be worth checking out. As, do doubt, would Rotorua (which I haven't fished BTW, and can offer no reason on why this should be).

In the South Island go and fish the South Mavora lake (without fail!), Moke Lake near Queenstown, the Clutha arm of Lake Dunstan (all in Central Otago district) and, if you've got a bit of daring-do about you (and I figure that you probably have), try the other side of Lake Te Anau.

Of course everywhere and anywhere will be worth a look.

Take your own waders. The water is cold – you will need them. I met someone who thought that he didn't. He was wrong. I'd also recommend taking your own tube with you. Of course there are places hiring them, but certainly don't rely upon this.

One tip I should include is the fact that the weather can be pretty changeable and the lakes are pretty big. I could imagine that if one were to launch one end of Lake Taupo and a gale was to spring up at just the right moment, that you could end up being blown 40 miles off course.

Best wishes

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