Sunday, September 25, 2011

Malaysian Prawns in Taupo

Saturday 3 September 2011

Bought a GrabOne deal for half price on the Huka Prawn Park in Taupo but found out later that locals get half price anyways so felt slightly cheated but nevertheless.. since both of us have not been to Prawn Park, I thought it would be great venue for a date.

Saturday came and we were there on the dot for the hourly guided tour around the centre. Check this out - the prawns here are actually - wait for it - MALAYSIAN prawns. What the hell right??? Steal our prawns and make it a tourist attraction hmpph!!! But they're doing a great job at breeding them so they're forgiven.

Macrobrachium Rosenbergii otherwise known as Giant Malaysian River Prawn

The species is called Macrobrachium Rosenbergii (Giant Malaysian River Prawn) and was chosen because they are good for commercial production. Basically because they breed fast and grow big - can be harvested at 8 months. Our guide told us that their largest prawn was named “Horse” - an amazing 68cm. He died of old age at 2 years old.

Old Horse

Coming from tropical waters, the prawns won’t be able to survive in the cold Taupo waters so the park uses the nearby geothermal water to heat up the fresh Waikato River water up to 20c which they then circulates throughout the ponds. Their bill would be $40000 each month if they used electricity to heat the water up!

Our first stop was the educational tour through the Nursery & Hatchery where more than one billion babies are born each year. There are quirky signs placed at the various stages of their growth. A male stud has SEVEN girlfriends who spawn up to five times per year - a 50-gram female can produce up to 50.000 eggs. Had fun hand feeding the baby prawns – very geli and they bite.

How true


Our guide showed us how to fish for prawns too. You need to be VERY VERY patient to fish for prawns which I am NOT. Draw in the line THREE minutes after you feel the first bite coz they want to take the bait away, run and hide, then only start eating. It was torture waiting.

This is how you do it...

Waiting, waiting, waiting...

Another popular attraction is “Shawn’s Walk” which incorporates an Interactive & Educational Hatchery Tour where guests can stroll through the park experiencing Shawn’s Jumping Rocks, Riverside Nature Walk which includes feeding wild trout and a Geothermal Foot Bath where visitors can soak their feet and enjoy fantastic views of the Waikato River.

Quick before I get wet!

I was getting hungry so we headed to their Riverside Restaurant where you can sample their whole prawns and other prawny dishes. The place was filled with Asians! Hahah. Goes to show how adrenaline seeking we Asians are :P

Prawn platter

All in all, quite a good date. And the number of prawns we managed to catch – ONE.

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