It was a long two-and-a-half months for Tuki Trout Farm owners Robert and Janet Jones when there were no visitors to their Smeaton property.
For 35 years they opened everyday but the coronavirus restrictions turned them from hosts to full-time farmers who turned their attention to the rest of their 1500-acre farm.
Mr Jones said visitors had been quick to return when the farm was reopened for fishing five weeks ago, and three weeks ago when the restaurant reopened for 20 diners.
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Not only is it good for his business, Mr Jones said the return of visitors was good news for his suppliers and other local businesses.
Usually about a third of visitors are from overseas but more home-grown visitors are dipping a line into the dams.
"We have a lot of physical distance and fresh air here ... which suits us quite well," he said.
"People love getting out and we love looking after them ... and we are happy to see a lot of people coming back as return customers to reconnect in our wide open spaces."
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