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Town builds on its fishy reputation

Published: 7:11PM Sunday June 27, 2010 Source: ONE News

The small town of Rakaia has long sat in the shadow of a very big fish statue in the town centre and it's now come up with a fishy scheme to attract tourists.

Rakaia, population 1,000 just south of Christchurch, has launched a 4-D movie and a 30,000-litre aquarium filled with fish.

The attraction, Salmon World, is housed under a roof shaped like a fish and owned by Pat Turton who loves fish - salmon, to be specific.

"I could stand here for two or three hours hanging around with the fish. I love it," he says.

And, of course, its closest neighbour is New Zealand's biggest fish, the Big Salmon.

It's about two decades since Rakaia locals pitched in and put the iconic salmon on the side of State Highway 1. But now it's going to have to share the limelight with fish much smaller but just as impressive - salmon, at every stage of the salmon life cycle in the aquarium.

"Without the fish it's just another funny little town you scoot through on the way from A to B," says Neil Pluck of the Rakaia Community Association.

The film is one of the first 4-D movies in New Zealand and it's about fishing, along with some other river-based escapades.

It was shown to its first audience today.