Usually on my mancations I am dressed in a swanny, covered in mud, fish and sweat. Peppers Clearwater Resort gave me the opportunity to experience the other side of the coin in a more extravagant setting. If red wine, fly fishing, lakefront accommodation, Cuban cigars, PGA standard golf and tank driving is up your alley then the next two minutes reading is well worth your time.
Arriving at Peppers Clearwater Resort at 10am we were immediately shown through our rooms - beautifully appointed Lakeview Suites with large separate living areas and sensational views over the lake which welcomed a sense of relaxation and a drive for refined entertaining.
After a couple of hours of kicking back enjoying the view and working our way through a complimentary cheese platter it was time for us to go tank driving! Yeah that’s right, situated just on the outskirts of Christchurch are ‘Tanks for Everything’ which saw us donning overalls for a tour through a diverse line up of tanks, troop carriers, jeeps and other armoured army vehicles.
The historic range provided a great learning opportunity and insight into the advancement of engineering over the years, and in climbing into each of the combat units it’s hard not to put yourself in the ‘soldier’s of past’ shoes - realising how sheltered our generation is. This experience takes a quick back seat though when you find yourself behind the wheel of one of these beasts on the purpose built off-road track - taking you up hills, through mud holes, pine trees and even a section where you can crush a car – definitely worth a few extra bucks, especially when you can BYO... partner’s car?
Amping on testosterone the tanking adventure seemed to continue after leaving the park and returning to our van. It is hard to explain but you just want to crush things especially like that oncoming MX5 in our instance.
Having such a tough day our next activity on the itinerary was a lesson in fly fishing, expecting an old English guy who drinks one sip of tea for every cast we couldn’t have been better suited with local legend Jono who armed with his casual and humorous approach to life delivered a true Kiwi fishing experience. The kicker with all this was that we were casting just a 100m from our accommodation and in strolling another 100m we were casting just off the 14th fairway.
One can imagine that there are not too many places in the world where you have to be careful not to catch a golfer’s ear on your back cast or the ability to pull up dinner after nailing a birdie – and in having Jono there it was a amazing opportunity to learn the basics of a sport that I didn’t think was as easily accessible within a matter of hours. I strongly recommend getting a professional lesson to set you on your way.
After a long busy day of awesome activities it was time to dress up and treat ourselves to a fine meal at The Lakes Restaurant situated on Clearwater’s with picturesque views over the largest lake and 18th hole.
The meals are uncomplicated, flavour filled and taste incredible. We drank wine, overindulged and picked up a couple of Cuban’s on the way out to polish off with our night cap.
Jono earlier in the day had let us borrow his rods overnight so we could keep practicing, so we figured a night fish was on the cards. Grabbing a couple of chairs, a bottle of Chivas, the Cuban cigars and our rods we set up camp for the evening straight in front of our apartment on the lakes edge to reflect on a bloody great day. For me this moment was the highlight of the trip as I realised I didn’t have to be in the middle of nowhere to escape.
The next morning we woke up, packed our things and polished our trip off with a round of golf.
Now I am not the most avid golfer but Clearwater is different. I see this course as an architectural splendour. Just like any man made marvel I was constantly in awe as you are surrounded by lakes, trees, creeks and gardens. The fairways are like greens and the greens are a work of art. Make sure you have plenty of balls as the many water features can easily swallow them up.
Clearwater is an amazing resort with friendly staff and a particularly wide variety of activities on offer. It is the perfect location for a business trip or a comfortable mancation with the boys. After experiencing this I am amping to get involved in more fly fishing and have a heightened appreciation for the finer things in life.
Get amoungst it!
Where to stay >>
Pepper's Clearwater Resort
Tel: 64 3 360 1000
What to do >>
Tanks for Everything
Tel: 64 3 359 1007
Jonathan Pasley at Clearwater Resort.
Tel: 64 3 360 1000
Peppers Clearwater PGA Golf Course.
0800 235 825
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