Tongariro National Trout Centre
The Tongariro district, with its rivers and lakes, is the apex of our world-renowned trout fishery and the Tongariro National Trout Centre keeps this extraordinary heritage alive for present and future generations.
In 1984 the Tongariro National Trout Centre Trust was established to oversee the development of the Trout Centre. As a result children's monthly fishing days were organised and plans established for an angling museum. In 2000 the Trust gave way to the formation of the Tongariro National Trout Centre Society to promote and foster public interest in, and understanding of, the Taupo fishery through the development of a trout museum and wider education programs.
The River Walk Visitor Centre opened in 2003 by the then Prime Minister Hon Helen Clark and was the result of the hard work by the Tongariro National Trout Centre Society and the Department of Conservation, who shared the vision to create an educational facility that would be an excellent addition to the existing complex.
The centre consists of a museum, aquariums, underwater viewing chamber, children’s fishing pond, an education centre, the hatchery ponds, a Whio enclosure and nature walks along the Waihukahuka stream and Tongariro river.
The interior of the visitor centre mimics the path of a river as it winds its way past rocks and boulders, with each turn of the river providing something new to see. As visitors walk through the centre each new display offers a different learning experience. It showcases Taupo trout, the history of fishing in the district and its current management and future challenges, the freshwater environment and its value as both a commercial and recreational resource and angling. A fantastic historic collection of antique cane rods and an impressive display of reels, some dating back to the 1800s is part of the display. The Amos-Milner library holds a collection of rare and hard to find fishing books, diaries and literature which is a must visit for the fishing boffins!
It is hoped that the experience of walking through The River Walk Visitor Centre, along with a tour of the rest of the complex, will impress on the minds of all visitors how important it is that we protect the rivers, streams and lakes in the Taupo district to ensure we have a beautiful environment for trout to live in and for all New Zealanders to enjoy.
The River Walk Visitor Centre is a major attraction with 70,000 visitors per year including many schools for educational purposes as well as locals, tourists and trout enthusiasts among others.