Feeding Eels…

One sunny Sunday over these marvelously, long summer hols (which, sigh, are soon coming to a close… term starts back 4 February), we went to one of our favourite places, The Saddleback Cafe. Nestled in the rural Ohairu Valley, it is such a tranquil place to escape Wellington City (not that it’s really the kind of city one needs to escape from!).

A stones throw from suburban Johnsonville, on the winding road to Makara Beach, the Ohairu Valley is home to farms, rural life-style homes and a number of horse stables. Sophie absolutely adores horses and her bedroom ceiling is decorated with posters of ponies. Neither Dan or I rode much as children, just the occasional trek on holiday, so it is quite special she has developed such an interest at an early age. We’ve held off on formal lessons (she’s only just turned three after all!) but she delights in the rural life of the Ohairu Valley and hiring a pony for a half hour trek round the arena at the Capital Riding Academy (adjacent to the Saddleback Cafe).

Whilst Dan led Sophie around the arena Charlotte and I delighted in the wonderful food at the cafe, which is always so warm and welcoming. We spotted eels for the first time in the little stream that runs around the cafe and were even more delighted to see a sign saying we could purchase eel food at the cafe! So… after Sophie had finished her ride we fed the eels!

The Long-fin eel has lived in New Zealand for 80 million years. It is New Zealand’s top freshwater predator and therefore important to the biodiversity of our waterways.

Since the mid-1800’s the Long-fin eel has been so undervalued that if we do not start to appreciate this fascinating fish it may soon become endangered species.

Nga taonga tuku iho – te tuna
The eel – An ancient gift from the gods

For fascinating information on New Zealand’s eels, click here!