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Things To Do

New Zealand Fishing

Fly Fishing for trout in Taupo and Rotorua regionNew Zealand has the finest trout fishing in the world, accessible for 12 months of the year. And, apart from the rivers, lakes and streams, NZ also has a coastline longer than that of the United States for fantastic saltwater and game fishing.

From a boat, from a jetty, from the shore, from a willow-lined bank or wading in a freshwater stream, the fishing is fabulous. There's snapper, tuna, shark, salmon, kingfish, blue moki, marlin and many other fine fighting fish as well as the ultimate angling challenge of snaring the big, wily rainbow and brown trout.

The uncrowded bays, beaches, bluffs and streams offer solitude, serenity, scenery and, of course, fish!!!

Return to topCost
There are no fishing fees apart from the initial licence to cover trout and salmon fishing. No licence is required for saltwater fishing. You can get a trout licence (which also covers salmon) from sports stores or fishing guides. Adults pay NZ$65 for the season, $37 for winter, $25 for a week or $25 for a day. Children under 16 pay NZ$12.50 for the season, $7 for winter, $5.50 for a week and $3.50 for a day.

Return to topGuides
Mararoa River near Te AnauSome rivers are densely populated with trout, others have few but very big fish. A visitor, with no local knowledge, can sometimes be disappointed. Special tactics or techniques can apply to individual spots or times of year. Free advice can be gained from the Visitor Information Centres (look for the green i sign). Alternatively, you could enlist the services of a local fishing guide. Trout or salmon guides charge NZ$400 - NZ$600 per day. Chartering a boat and skipper for big game fishing costs NZ$700 - NZ$1000 per day. While this sounds expensive it can be quite economical when shared with a few others.
We have contacts for 21 guides for saltwater fishing and more than 50 trout guides. Simply email us, obligation free, if you'd like a guide as part of your itinerary and we can arrange it for you.

Return to topAccommodation
There are a number of excellent lodges that specialise in hosting anglers. These vary from wilderness lodges set in mountain grandeur to intimate retreats where you will be the only guests. Either way, the cuisine will usually be exceptional (and have fish on the menu), the welcome will be warm and the fishing advice superb.

Return to topLuxury Fishing Lodges
Huka Lodge, TaupoNorth Island:
Kingfish Lodge, Whangaroa Harbour.
Okiato Lodge, Russell.

Waikato/Bay Of Plenty
Cassimir, Tauranga
Inverness Estate, Papakura
Fantail Lodge, Katikati
Moose Lodge, Rotorua
Muriaroha Lodge, Rotorua

Lake Taupo/Tongariro
Huka Lodge, Taupo
Lake Taupo Lodge, Taupo
Tongariro Lodge, Turangi

Hawke's Bay/Wairarapa
Mangapapa Lodge, Havelock North
Longwood, Featherston
Wharekauhau, Palliser Bay

The Stone House, Bed and Breakfast, QueenstownSouth Island:
Motueka River Lodge, Motueka
Timara Lodge, Blenheim
Lake Rotorua Lodge, Murchison

West Coast/Canterbury
Lake Brunner Lodge, Kumara
Moonlight Lodge, Murchison
Braemar Lodge, Hammer Springs
Grasmere Lodge, Canterbury

Remarkables Lodge

Return to topGear
You can bring your own tackle but it must be declared at customs on arrival. Gear should be clean and hand-made flies won't be allowed in.
Guides and Lodges will have gear for hire and there are numerous sports and tackle stores. Also, pack some sunscreen and a hat for summer and some insect repellent.

Return to topTrout Fishing
SeafoodNew Zealand offers you the best chance in the world of catching a big, trophy-sized trout along with the unique experience of fishing in solitude in beautiful surroundings. In many of the clear, clean streams you will actually be able to see your trout before stalking and casting.
Some rivers can hold many fish weighing a bit over 2lb, other may have few trout but they'll be big (7 to 9lb).
Catch and release was introduced to NZ by visiting American fly-fishers and is widely practised.
While fish can be caught year round, the trout season is generally considered to be October 1 to April 30. Depending on conditions, some rivers and lakes are open to anglers all year. Regulations do vary from region to region so it's wise to check with a guide or your lodge.

Return to topSalmon Fishing
Each summer (late December to March), chinook salmon (also known as quinnat) ascend the rivers of the eastern South Island. The official season is from October 1 to April 30 and a trout licence also covers salmon. A 3-year-old New Zealand salmon will average 12lb and a 4-year-old around 16lb. Guides operate mainly on the Rakaia, Rangitata and Waikati Rivers and gear, transport and refreshments are provided. Often jet boats are used to gain access to pools where salmon may have paused.

Return to topSaltwater Fishing
Game FishingFishing may be good in winter when still sunny days follow a crisp frost at first light but it is usually at its best in summer and autumn when warmer water and a profusion of bait fish inshore entice feeding schools of larger fish. There are no closed season restrictions and no licence is needed.

Game Fishing
Excitement plus! You'll find a variety of fighting fish including yellowfin tuna and the striped marlin, the largest marlin in the world along with many types of sharks including the mako which has a streamlined body making it a powerful fighter and a spectacular leaper.
In old, established sport fishing bases charter boats (link to 'Guides') are readily available and will supply tackle, bait and refreshments. Both day and overnight trips can be arranged. Catch and release with tagging for monitoring fish movement is an increasing trend.

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