CamperMate

A Weekend Road Trip to Tekapo

'The Salmon are on...' read the text message mid week. My friend is a keen fishermen, and is eager to share his success. While always great to hear from him, it often makes for hard reading when stuck inside working on a sunny day. That text however, was enough to spark a weekend trip to the canals in Tekapo, complete with a 24 hour fishing licence from the fish and game website. 'Finally, no longer would I pay $8 for 100 grams of smoked salmon at the supermarket!' Or so I thought.. Loaded with car seats, fishing gear, ski's and snowboards the four of us left behind the road works of Christchurch, bound for Tekapo. Road works ChristchurchDriving a 4 birth campervan in Christchurch is one sure-fire way to remind you about the rebuild, if you should somehow manage to forget. Within thirty minutes however, we were on the smooth new motorway near Wigram, and heading south toward our first stop in Geraldine where the upon arrival the boys decided to rescue a soccer ball they'd found in the Orari River. IMG_9886 (Large) We pushed on complete with the soccer ball with just an hour and a half or so to Tekapo. We arrived to this awesome view, site 27 at the Lake Tekapo Holiday Park. Not only is this site a great view out of the rear window but it's also just a two minute walk to Tekapo Springs (hot pools) also. If you're planning on a trip here, make sure you book in advance as these lakeside sites are pretty popular for obvious reasons. The site cost us $60 per night (2 adults and 2 kids). Tekapo My 24 hour fishing licence started at 10.30am, so the morning was spent preparing the fishing gear, checking and rechecking everything was intact and ready to haul in the salmon. Fishing was supposed to be best near the fish farms so we drove the thirty minutes from Tekapo and parked up alongside the canal. Salmon CanalsTo raise my confidence even higher, a giant salmon jumped about 5 metres from the campervan. With an overly confident smirk on my face, I cast my line, along with the '400x more potent than regular bait', soft bait and let the line drift back past me with the canal current. I could almost taste the smoked salmon on crackers, as the hook neared the site the salmon jumped just a minute earlier. Indeed, my poker face toward other fishermen could not contain this amazing spot I had 'discovered'. Tekapo Canals Catching a Salmon was proving to be a little more difficult than anticipated, and an hour went by of casting upstream and waiting for the big one to bite, my hopes fading each time as the line drifted past me. I changed location.. Nothing. I changed bait..Nothing. I didn't change anything and persisted.. Nothing. Several hours passed..You can guess, nothing... Tekapo Almost to rub salt in my wound, someone caught a salmon in the spot I was an hour earlier. With two boys growing bored and having explored every crevice of the campervan, time was up on my 'sure thing' salmon fishing experience at the Lake Tekapo Canals. Much to the delight of my partner Paulina. Tekapo As we drove back across the canal and back toward Tekapo heading back toward Roundhill Ski Area, my mind raced through the 'what ifs'. What if I had used a smaller hook? What if I had used a lighter sinker? What if I had used no sinker? Tekapo Canals The afternoon was still salvageable. It was now onto a few hours skiing/snowboarding at Roundhill Ski Area. The ski season to date is pretty bad in Canterbury but with such a good day it was worth heading up. The road up there is 32km, and not something I would recommend doing in a large campervan given the gravel road. If you're in a large campervan I would suggest organising a ride from Tekapo instead, as these were much worse than the Christchurch roads. Roundhill is a typical club field, with a pretty laid back atmosphere, and there was no  queue for the lift which was awesome. After a few runs on the mountain, the sting of not catching any salmon earlier started to wear off. I am still buying my salmon for $8/100 grams, so if you have any tips please share them with me ;) @campermate. Roundhill [mc4wp_form] Blog post by Adam Hutchinson