New Zealand's rivers and lakes are streaming with trout, the harbours have snapper and kahawai just begging to be hooked and for the big-game sports fisherman we have yellow-tail kingfish, tuna and marlin awaiting the ultimate battle. The most memorable fishing experience involves flying by helicopter deep into the remote bush-clad regions of the Southern Alps, hiking to a crystal clear mountain river to fish and then jet-boating back down to civilization - the Great Outdoors at their very best. The waters are clear and calm making New Zealand a perfect fishing paradise. With literally thousands of remote rivers, a coastline length of 15,134kms plus 800 islands the less keen fisherpersons amongst you can always find a deserted beach to lose oneself on. If you would like a unique itinerary drafted to suit your individual requirements, feel free to contact us - we will gladly assist you in planning that perfect vacation.
Fishing in New Zealand can be described as a privilege, quite possibly being the best in the world. One thing is certain whether you would like to take to the sea, the lakes or to the rivers - the catch is likely to be both bigger than you've ever dreamed of, providing excellent sport surrounded by unspoilt beauty all around you! However with more than 250 local characters on our books willing to teach you all they know about the fish in their area, it is impossible to put an itinerary together for you until I know more of your details such as season, frequency, variety, type of fishing and budget. You can try your hand for just a few hours, a whole day or multi-days staying in remote mountain huts. New Zealand is a wonderful place for a vacation and scuba-diving around our coastline is simply breath-taking. The Poor Knight's Islands are on the "10 best Dive Sites" in the world. Nearby you can dive for crayfish (NZ lobster) or huge scallops - they will even have them cooked for you back on the beach.
Let me know your ultimate fishing wish for a perfect vacation in New Zealand and I'll promise a never-to-be repeated fishing experience. Accommodation options can of course range from camping to motels or exclusive lodges, please let me know your preference and I will arrange everything for you. The following is my list of favourite fishing accommodations:-
The following are a list of modules you can use for planning your perfect vacation to New Zealand. There is great variety and is only intended as a small reference to what is possible in this vast country. In fact the possibilities are endless, so please email me your ideas.
Module 1 - Luxury fly-fishing.
North of Christchurch you will find the stunning Hurunui sub-alpine region. Fishing for the elusive Brown Trout is a way of life here! Enjoy 5 days in this remote area, staying in remote mountain huts accessible only by 4x4. There is the option to stay in an exclusive 5 star Sherwood Lodge B&B each evening if you prefer. Imagine returning each day to the warmth and comfort of your lodge, where a hearty meal will be waiting for you.
Each day discuss with your local guide where you would like to fish. He will take you to his favourite fishing holes upriver by jet-boat or to a remote mountain lake by 4WD where you then overnight in a trampers hut (picnic lunch included).
Other options nearby are :-
- Horse-trek from Mt Lyford.
- Hanmer Springs Thermal Resort.
- The Waipara Valley Wineries.
- Whale Watch excursion in Kaikoura.
Module 2 - Trout fishing by raft 4 days/3 nights.
The centre of the North Island is wild and remote with few inhabitants. The Rangitikei River has carved a course through the soft limestone of this region, creating the spectacular Mokai Gorge.
Your accommodation for the next three nights is on the banks of the river with views "to die for". A glass of wine in the outdoor spa on the deck makes a perfect way to end a perfect days fishing. Dinner is delivered hot to your private cabin each evening. Breakfast ingredients are provided for your own preparation. Picnic lunch included on day 2 and 3.
Day 1 :- Travel to your cabin. Fish for Rainbow Trout in the "evening rise pool" before enjoying your evening meal.
Day 2 :- Wander down to the river in the morning to join your fishing guide who will take you to remote pools rarely fished as they are hidden deep in the canyon. The gin-clear water is perfect for “spot fishing” providing a great chance to catch a trophy fish.
Day 3 :- Fly by helicopter to the remote head of the Rangitikei to fish at will – tonight you camp out in a remote mountain hut and enjoy a “bush-tucker” meal prepared on the campfire!
Day 4 :- Depending on how far you need to travel today, you may have time for an early morning fish down on the river before you depart.
Other options nearby are :
- The Mokai Gravity Canyon. There are opportunities to bungee jump (with an elastic band tied to your ankles) from the 80m bridge, a giant Swing swoops you through the canyon at 200kms per hour or an 800 metre Flying Fox can take you up the sheer cliff face for a thrilling ride.
- Enjoy a full day rafting through the spectacular Mokai Gorge. It was one of four rivers used for filming the Hobbits on the River Anduin in the Lord of the Rings’ Fellowship of the Ring. If you prefer to stop and fish, just let your guide know.
Module 3 - Remote fishing in the Mt Aspiring National Park. 3 days/2 nights.
At the northern reaches of Lake Wanaka, where east meets west, you can try the thrilling Siberia Experience – fly into the very heart of the Mt Aspiring National Park and hike/tramp over the hill to the Siberia River on the first day, fly-fish for Salmon and Trout to your hearts content, then jet-boat back out on the last day. Wow!
This is one of New Zealand's most unpopulated regions and a landscape that is worth experiencing, not just seeing. Snow-capped mountains offer diverse natural attractions where glaciers, caves and virgin native forest compete for your attention. The mountain lakes are full of salmon, fishing in the crisp clear mountain air is a pure delight!
Module 4 – Fishing in Fiordland 4 days/3 nights.
Cruise from the southern city of Bluff towards the uninhabited Fiordland National Park. For the next 4 days stop where and when you like, fishing for Blue Cod and other bottom feeding fish. Fiordland’s waters teem with a multitude of fish species! Discover a labyrinth of uninhabited coastal waterways. Drift off to sleep to the sound of silence as you overnight in sheltered and pristine fiords untouched by mans hand.
The Fiordland National Park is quite simply unparalleled to anything in this world. The awesome fiords have countless waterfalls tumbling hundreds of metres down sheer cliffs, mountains rising straight out of the sea, fur seals and (usually) dolphins. These are flooded glacial valleys with sheer sided walls that plunge hundreds of metres under water as well as above.
Other activities that can be enjoyed once you have caught your daily limit are kayaking, swimming, dolphin watching and bush walks. This is New Zealand at her very best!
Module 5 – Houseboat Fishing on Lake Wanaka.
If you have experience in cruising you can hire this house-boat for your exclusive use (sleeps 10). Wanaka lies on a tranquil lake filled with Salmon with picture-perfect mountains as a backdrop and it is one of my favourite places in New Zealand!
There are several other possibilities available in the area :-
- Play golf-cross after your visit to the Rippon winery.
- Mountain-bike along the lakefront.
- Glendhu Bay is a sheltered and picturesque bay for postcard perfect photos of the mountains behind. Try the swing out over the lake.
- One of the best short walks in this country is to the Rob Roy Glacier. The walk will take you up through beautiful rain forest to a hidden valley, right up to the glacier face.
- Visit the incredible Puzzling Maze – fun for young and old!
- The NZ Fighter Pilots Museum has a much loved collection of classic World War II fighters plus the added attraction of a flight simulator. The local ski field at Cardrona has a chair lift open in summer - take a leisurely walk in the mountains, or take the fast route down on a mountain bike (hire your bikes in Wanaka).
- Or how about joining a horse-trek up the Cardrona Valley on Appaloosas?
Module 6 – Snapper Fishing on Great Barrier Island.
From Auckland, fly to the near uninhabited island of Great Barrier Island, a pristine environment where the virgin native bush reaches down to the waters edge. Enjoy bottom fishing for juicy Snapper from several “secret fishing holes” around Great Barrier Island on board the ‘Reefrunner’ with Richard Lintot as your local guide. Later you can trawl for Kingfish!
Your lodge is set in the secluded bush overlooking Tryphena, with sun-drenched decks offering idyllic views of lush valleys and their vineyard. Dinner is included – the chef will be more than happy to prepare your catch!
Long rods are also provided for surf-casting from the rocks down on Whangaparapara Harbour
The island has the kind of rugged, untouched beauty that appeals to adventurers – extend your stay and hike one of the many trails on the island, or hire a mountain bike for the ultimate adventure. Kayaks are also available for getting to the many remote islands and natural harbours.
This module is perfect for combining with module 7 as you can fly directly to the Bay of Islands from Great Barrier Island.
Module 7 – Big-game fishing, Bay of Islands, Northland.
The 46 foot Lidgard design sportfisher boat is fully equipped with everything you need for a comfortable, enjoyable charter game fishing vacation. Big game tackle consists of 80 lb Tiagra Reels on Composite Developments and 30 lb Shimano set-ups, for Marlin and Kingfish plus light snapper tackle equipment is supplied.
All world records for Striped Marlin are held here in New Zealand – do you dream of joining that elite list? After visiting the Bay of Islands in the 1926 American author and adventurer Zane Grey (1872 - 1939) wrote: "The New Zealand coast is destined to become the most famous of all fishing waters. It will bring the best anglers from all over the world". In their thousands billfish swarm along this coast each year from late December until June.
The Bay of Islands is an aquatic playground. You can fish, kayak, snorkel or swim as much as you like as you cruise and stop at many of the islands, hopefully accompanied by dolphins.
Other possibilities in the area :-
Back on land stay at Russell, a quaint little village which was once the capital of New Zealand! It was also once known as the "hell hole of the South Pacific" between 1830 and 1840, when whore-houses abounded and drunken brawls between whalers and seamen were the norm. Today it is a much quieter place!
Take the ferry across to Waitangi – the birth place of our nation. Drive north 2.5 kilometres along the coast. The historical Waitangi Visitor Centre and Treaty House marks the site of the original treaty signing in 1840 between the Maori people and the British Empire. This is the heart of New Zealand’s historical beginnings, with audio-visual displays, an important Marae (Maori meeting house) which is probably the most visited by the Maori today, the beautifully restored Treaty House and a Waka (Maori war canoe).
Nearby are the Cavalli Islands, famous for diving on the Rainbow Warrior wreck, New Zealand`s most famous dive site. The Rainbow Warrior was a Greenpeace vessel specializing in disrupting French nuclear tests on the Pacific atolls. The French Secret Service bombed her in 1985 while she was tied up at the wharf in Auckland. This ridiculous act of terrorism resulted in the death of one of her crew, plus several others injured – something the New Zealanders have never forgiven France for.
Module 8 – Sight-fishing for the elusive brown trout on remote Lake Waikaremoana.
Deep in Te Urewera National Park (between Rotorua and Gisborne) you will find the rarely fished pristine waters of Lake Waikaremoana. Here you will find an abundance of trophy sized Brown Trout who seem to enjoy taunting you with indifference to your skilful efforts at flicking the fly at the end of your rod – their vision can reach 200 metres and it is a game to them! This is not fishing, this is hunting and stalking each individual fish.
David Dods has been hunting the elusive Brown and the sparkling Rainbow Trout for 30 years, he is a man possessed and he can’t wait to take you out on the lake. On the rivers he will take you to remote holes where the trout can be caught on dry fly or nymphing.
The first and last night’s accommodation is in their simple Byre B&B (a converted cowshed!), but for those who lust after a little adventure there is also a “bush camp” on the other side of the lake. It has a quiet melancholic quality, in part due to the mist that hangs low over the mountains most mornings which is why the Tuhoe Maori were called "the children of the mist".
Module 9 – Kayak-fishing for salmon on mountain lakes, West Coast.
Just north of Franz Josef Glacier on the West Coast of the South Island you will find Lake Mapourika - a visually stunning kettle. It is the result of a period of past glaciation at the coastal section of the Franz Josef glacier valley, the lake is fringed with a wonderful temperate rainforest. The climatic conditions are such that the kayaks glide on the water with a minimum of physical effort. Enjoy the thrill of being pulled along by your catch!
Here the sea-run Salmon are caught by trolling with leadline. Use a lead cored sinking line to make your lure/fly travel close to the bottom without catching the bottom. Freedom fish (non-guided) where and when you will, returning each evening to your B&B.
Module 10 – Kayak-fishing for snapper, Northland.
Each evening camp out on the beach and cook over the open camp fire – bring your own food and drinks. Kayaks, fishing equipment, guides and camping equipment are included. Transport to and from Tutukaka is not included. Northland's Pacific coastline has stunning scenery which provides you with exceptional sea kayaking and fishing in the clear subtropical waters of New Zealand's warmest region. Great guides will take you to a range of secluded kayak destinations from tranquil harbours and mangrove ecosystems, to adventure kayaking on the open coast and offshore islands, with opportunities for a wide range of associated activities. These include snorkeling for crayfish, swimming, island walks, kayak surfing & kayak sailing options.
- A fishing licence is required for trout or salmon fishing and covers the whole of New Zealand, with the exception of the Taupo region, where a separate licence is required. A licence costs around NZ$65 and can be obtained from New Zealand sports shops and fishing guides. Fly fishing is open 1 Oct to 30 June.
- Hunting licences cost around NZ$60. The first weekend in May is the beginning of the hunting season, however there are regional and species-based variations in different areas. Hunting can easily be added to your personalized itinerary.
- Most salt water fish have a catch limit per person, each species varies.- Diving for crayfish or scallops can easily be added to your personalized itinerary. Mussels can be plucked from the rocks anywhere in New Zealand except in Marine Reserves where all species are protected.
- Game fish are usually tagged and released. Recommended big-game fishing seasons are as follows :-
- All necessary licences and fishing equipment are included in the modules. However you are more than welcome to bring your own equipment.
- Marlin - January to the end of April
- Shark - November to May
- Yellowfin Tuna - December to March
- Yellowtail Kingfish - All year round
We know New Zealand - we live here!