You’ll be sold on whale of April Fool’s tale

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Local fishing guide Stu Dever hooked some unsuspecting tourists with a sign for whale-watching trips on landlocked Lake Wakatipu.

Dever put the spoof notice – also offering “swimming with dolphins” – on the jetty next to his boat in Queenstown Bay this week as an April Fool’s Day gag.

But three overseas visitors took it seriously and tried to book excursions.

“The people that called were all young foreigners who were keen to see our whales and dolphins,” says Dever.
“One bloke who had a few drinks in him even phoned me at two o’clock on Wednesday morning to try and reserve a place on the boat.

“I first told them all there used to be loads of whales in Lake Wakatipu but they were pretty elusive these days, before explaining it was an April Fool’s joke.

“Fortunately, they took it well.”

Dever says he thought up the prank after years of having tourists quiz him about local whales and dolphins.
“Once, some German people even swore blind they’d seen some penguins on the lake.”

Meanwhile, motorists driving past Hendo’s Hole on Frankton Rd yesterday morning were duped into thinking the stalled Five Mile development had changed hands, when a ‘sold’ sticker graced the ‘for sale’ sign.

Tenders for the mortgagee sale closed last Friday – but the property hasn’t sold yet, confirms Bayleys realtor David Murray.

He doesn’t know who played the April Fool’s prank.

“It’s the best ‘yeah right’ one I’ve seen for a while. I think it’s very funny but it’s not true.”