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New Zealand offers bountiful fishing opportunities, from its thousands of kilometres of undulating coastline to its crystal-clear rivers and lakes. A New Zealand fishing trip takes in the top fishing destinations and most prized catches around the country.
At New Zealand Luxury Escapes, our New Zealand fishing trip itinerary showcases the best the country has to offer. We recommend the below 14 day itinerary as a starting point. However, we find every traveler is different, so we work with each client to craft a bespoke vacation package that best suits your interests.
Our luxury fishing tours include stays at the best New Zealand lodges and fishing excursions in a variety of landscapes.
We recommend the following 14 Day New Zealand Fishing Trip Itinerary:
Read on for full details of our recommended 14 Day New Zealand Fishing Trip.
Flight transfer Auckland to Bay of Islands – 1 hour
Your exclusive New Zealand fishing trip experience begins in Auckland, the gateway to the North Island. Get a glimpse of the city before being whisked away to the Bay of Islands a world renowned holiday destination offering over 144 islands to explore in a sub tropical paradise.
World class big game fishing, deep sea fishing, salt water fly fishing, scenic cruising, sailing, diving, kayaking, bush walking, helicopter flight seeing, romantic picnics on your own private island are but some of the many options available.
Eagles Nest, your multi-award winning New Zealand luxury hotel & retreat, is set within a 75 acre estate atop its own private ridgeline offering spectacular views of the Bay of Islands. Unlike so many New Zealand luxury hotels, Eagles Nest at Russell in the Bay of Islands also offers the services of its own resident personal trainer and spa therapists ensuring the most indulgent of stays. Four of the five world class villas offers its own private heated horizon edged lap pool.
A team of talented resident personal chefs can spoil you for the evening. They will offer a specially designed menu of your choice featuring freshly caught fish, venison, lamb, crayfish (lobster) and more.
Stay 2 nights at Eagles Nest, Bay of Islands (extend your stay for more fishing opportunities).
Accommodation: Eagles Nest
There are a range of luxury fishing charters available. The area is famous for its game fishing with species like marlin, tuna, mahimahi and yellowtail kingfish in the local waters. Deep sea fishing options are varied with snapper and hapuku as prime target species. There is excellent boat and shore based saltwater fly fishing available for snapper, kahawai and kingfish. Striped marlin are a local specialty and plenty of record-breaking fish have been caught in the Bay of Islands. Land your fish or catch and release – your choice.
There is also a smorgasbord of non-fishing adventures at your fingertips, scenic cruising, sailing, diving, kayaking, bush walking, mountain biking, helicopter flight seeing, romantic picnics on your own private island are but some of the many options available from Eagles Nest.
Flight transfer Bay of Islands to Rotorua – 1.5 hours
Rotorua is known for crystal-clear streams and world class fly-fishing, magical forests, shooting geysers and natural hot springs, as well as showcasing our fascinating Maori culture.
Your stay at Treetops Lodge and Estate will indulge your senses and rejuvenate your soul, brining you back to nature. The lodge is nestled in 2,500 acres of private native forest and pristine wilderness. Don your waders, tie your flies, and find the perfect spot to set your hook. Prepare for victory and eradicate that niggling tale of the one that got away with an amazing day of premier fishing in the pristine waters of the estate. Enjoy beautiful scenic vistas and crystal-clear waters and enjoy some of the best brown and rainbow trout fishing in the world, regardless of season.
Stay 2 nights at Treetops Lodge, Rotorua (extend your stay for more fishing opportunities).
Accommodation: Treetops Lodge Rotorua
Treetops is known for both its trout and saltwater fishing, being close to the central lakes and rivers, but only an hour from the deep sea fishing grounds of the Bay of Plenty. Locally there are 13 trout fishing lakes and 60 streams and rivers, and it’s an easy drive to the famed Tongariro River. Fishing for brown and rainbow trout is by fly, boat and spin fishing. There are also small numbers of brook and tiger trout. The nearby Bay of Plenty has some of New Zealand’s best game and saltwater sport fishing. The lodge will supply you with all the fly fishing gear you will need including waders, rods, reels and warm thermals. Charter boats will do the same for deep sea fishing
Outside of fishing, the lodge offers stunning walking, biking and horseback trails or refresh and unwind at the wilderness spa offering luxurious wellness treatments. Rotorua also offers fascinating geothermal and Maori cultural experiences as well as an adventure scene with an epic network of biking trails and adventure activities such as rafting and tree-top zip lining.
Flight Transfer Rotorua to Taupo – 30 minutes or Private Land Transfer – 1 hour
Poronui is the ultimate luxury sporting retreat, a place where you can have fun and relax in the authentic New Zealand countryside. Located in the beautiful Taharua Valley on New Zealand’s spectacular North Island, the estate boasts some of the world’s best wilderness experiences. The scenery is breathtaking, the hospitality is second-to-none, but it is the attention to the little things that makes a stay here truly memorable. Be engulfed by a warm welcome, unforgettable experiences, passionate people, luxury accommodation and gourmet New Zealand cuisine.
Poronui is one of New Zealand’s most well-known fishing lodges, and is rated one of the top 10 fishing lodges in the world by Forbes magazine. A favourite of passionate fishermen for its excellent brown and rainbow trout opportunities, it also attracts a lot of sporting hunters, and is a recognised wilderness retreat as well.
Stay 2 nights at Poronui Lodge, Taupo (extend your stay for more fishing opportunities).
Accommodation: Poronui Lodge
Poronui was the site of some of the earliest trout releases into NZ waters in the late 1800s. There is world-class brown and rainbow trout fishing on Poronui’s 40 kms (25 mi) of fishing rivers. Fishing at Poronui is synonymous with gin-clear waters surrounded by native forest and big brown and rainbow trout in the heart of New Zealand’s backcountry. You can stay close to home and travel on foot or by 4WD to some of Poronui’s easily accessible fishing rivers.
Uncover the full range of incredible fishing experiences by taking a helicopter ride to one of the many rivers available to anglers, including the famed Tongariro River. The helicopter will pick you up right in front of the lodge and the guides will lead you to some of the most challenging and legendary fly fishing in the world. Take pleasure in stalking and sight casting to large browns and rainbows in the shallow, clear waters.
**There are three accommodation options – the main Poronui Lodge is a world-class wilderness sporting lodge with just 7 adjoining cabins overlooking the Taharua Valley. The rustic-luxe Safari Camp, on the banks of the Mohaka River, has beautifully appointed canvas-roofed and walled cabins where you can really get a feel for the wilderness surrounding you without compromising on comfort. And Blake House is a stately owner’s residence available for exclusive use; it can accommodate up to 16 people in four double suites and two luxury bunkrooms.
Flight transfer Taupo to Marlborough Sounds – 2 hours
Today your journey takes you to New Zealand’s South Island. There are few locations in the world where you can so easily discover the true romance of nature. Set in the heart of the Marlborough Sounds, Bay of Many Coves Resort is a luxury five star resort hotel nestled amid a rolling landscape of untouched native bush that kisses the shoreline of the tranquil bay below. Bay of Many Coves Resort is a gorgeous place to enjoy some great sea fishing, delicious cuisine and let yourself and your partner or friends be thoroughly pampered.
The apartments are stacked across a hillside above the sea, overlooking the Bay of Many Coves, which opens off Queen Charlotte Sound. Fishing is provided by quality local charter boats with blue cod, terakihi, snapper, kahawai and gurnard in the inshore waters and the possibility of grouper as you get out towards Cook Strait.
Stay 2 nights at Bay of Many Coves Resort, Marlborough (extend your stay for more fishing opportunities).
Accommodation: Bay of Many Coves Resort
Day fishing charter options include a luxury launch and a more traditional local fishing boat. The main target species are blue cod (catch & release), terakihi, snapper, kahawai and gurnard; further out to sea there are grouper to be had in season there is also the chance to try for scallops. There are also opportunities to visit local salmon, paua (abalone), green-shelled mussel and oyster farms. All the fishing gear you require will be provided by the charter boats.
There are also plenty of other things to do. The resort is close to the renowned Queen Charlotte Track which provides a great day’s hiking. Go scuba diving (the wreck of the Russian liner, the Mikhail Lermontov, is definitely worth a dive if you’re experienced), go dolphin-watching or take a kayak or rowboat and explore the nearby bays. Join an eco-cruise and visit nearby protected islands and historic places.
Flight transfer Marlborough Sounds to Motueka – 45 minutes
Just imagine luxury accommodation, fine cuisine, remote location central to three spectacular national parks and easy access to world renowned rivers, for some of New Zealand’s best fly fishing experiences.
Stonefly Lodge has four simply but beautifully appointed guest rooms, all with wide views across the river valley and nearby Kahurangi National Park. All power is generated on site and the lodge has been applauded for its sensitive environmental development and sustainability policy.
The Motueka River is renowned for its trout with some of the country’s highest trout populations; recent drift dives indicate populations of 100-500 trout per kilometre.
The lodge is centred around a high galleried great room with a large double-sided stone fireplace. The main dining area, bar, library-games area, and sunroom are all linked through this main room, providing a fabulous social space to mingle or withdraw, whatever your preference.
Stay 2 nights at Stonefly Lodge, Motueka (extend your stay for more fishing opportunities).
Accommodation: Stonefly Lodge
There are dozens of rivers within an easy drive of the lodge and many more accessible by helicopter. Fishing is stalking and sight casting for wild brown trout. The Motueka river, right outside the front door (almost), is an excellent trout-fishing river, the average fish size is 1.5 – 2 kg (3 – 5 lb) but 3 kg (7 lb) fish are often caught, and the occasional 4.5 kg (10 lb) one as well. The lodge has good fishing gear available but if you want to bring your own – rod 5 -6 weight, 8ft 6′ to 9ft, reel should hold 100 metres plus of backing and have a good drag system. Fly line – floating line to suit the rod weight, with double taper or weight forward most suitable.
Stonefly Lodge is also an ideal base from which to explore the Abel Tasman, Nelson Lakes, and Kahurangi National Parks, along with all the wineries and craft studios the region is renowned for.
Flight transfer Motueka to Wanaka – 4 hours
Wanaka is like no other and is New Zealand’s premier alpine destination. Here you will find stunning glacial lakes, incredible mountain vistas, world class fishing and all manner of outdoor pursuits.
Minaret Station Alpine Lodge is the epitome of comfort and luxurious accommodation in the wilds of the Southern Alps. Minaret Station is only accessible by helicopter therefore treats guests, to an authentic Alpine experience. Framed by the rugged beauty of this secluded mountain landscape, guests will enjoy a level of comfort and style never before available in New Zealand’s wilderness.
Guests staying at Minaret Station’s luxury lodge are hosted either exclusively, or accommodated as part of a group in one of the four luxuriously appointed Alpine Chalets. Impeccable cuisine is central to any luxury vacation experience. Using fresh local produce, resident chefs and kitchen staff prepare modern European and Asian Fusion cuisine coupled with an extensive range of local and award winning wines. Guests can choose to dine in the Mountain Kitchen’s dining room, alfresco on the deck or in the privacy of their own chalet.
Stay 2 nights at Minaret Station Alpine Lodge, Wanaka (extend your stay for more fishing opportunities).
Accommodation: Minaret Station Alpine Lodge
All fishing at Minaret Station is heli-fishing, so the options are endless. A stay at Minaret Station is sure to be a wilderness highlight of any New Zealand fishing trip.
Minaret Station specialises in backcountry fly-fishing experiences targeting primarily rainbow and brown trout with both species often sharing the same stretch of water. Chinook salmon provide an exciting challenge during their short season.
Minaret Station privately owns a 50,000 acre parcel of wilderness providing guests with exclusive access to prime fishing rivers in the Southern Alps. In addition to this, Minaret Station holds independent concessions to fish on conservation lands covering some four million acres including National Parks and world heritage areas.
Gin-clear water allows early spotting of fish. This clarity however means that whilst anglers can see the fish, the fish can also see the angler. Spot and stalk is the method of choice and by far the most exciting. Anglers often use dry fly, streamer and nymph techniques on the same stretch of water. South Island river fishing opens at the beginning of October and runs through to the end of April.
Minaret Station also provides exciting and unique saltwater fishing opportunities. Deep water bass species including bluenose and grouper offer exhilarating sea fishing to enthusiasts of all abilities. Further south Fiordland’s internationally acclaimed fiords provide airily calm and sheltered conditions for sea fishing. Fiordland or blue cod is found exclusively around New Zealand’s rocky coastlines, and the fiord’s deep and cold waters provide a haven for this territorial fish.
Minaret Station offers a number of chartered sea fishing options on the Southwest Coast, Stewart Island, and in and around Fiordland. Guests have the opportunity to fly by helicopter directly to charter vessels moored up in one of several sounds within Fiordland, or Minaret Station’s own purpose built charter vessel – Storm Jet.
Fly fishing for Kahawai or sea trout is also an exciting option where glacier fed rivers meet the Tasman Sea.
Non fishing companions are welcome to enjoy a wide range of exciting or relaxing activities on offer.
Flight transfer Wanaka to Queenstown – 45 minutes
Today your journey takes you to Queenstown, the ultimate luxury destination on New Zealand’s South Island. From world-class luxury lodges to indulgent spa experiences, superb cuisine and exclusive tours, Queenstown is a delight to experience.
Your accommodation near Queenstown is at Blanket Bay Lodge, in the picturesque and remote Glenorchy region. Voted one of the world’s best luxury lodges, Blanket Bay is the cherry on the cake as far as South Island fishing lodges go. Situated on a commanding site at the top end of beautiful Lake Wakatipu it enjoys spectacular alpine views and is surrounded by high mountains and deep rugged valleys.
The fishing is excellent, with wild brown and rainbow trout and salmon in the lake and nearby rivers. The lodge is 45 minutes from Queenstown, which is also the nearest airport. In addition to fly-fishing and heli-fishing there is also hiking, skiing and horse riding nearby and the highly regarded Otago wineries are just an hour’s drive away.
Stay 3 nights at Blanket Bay Lodge, Queenstown (extend your stay for more fishing opportunities).
Accommodation: Blanket Bay Lodge
Blanket Bay originally sprung from its owner’s love of fly-fishing. To ensure a magical fishing get a way, everything at Blanket Bay is designed to provide a world-class experience for the most demanding and experienced anglers. Blanket Bay is close to several of New Zealand’s iconic trout fishing rivers (The Greenstone and Caples are only minutes away by helicopter).
Large rivers, slow moving pools, fast runs and riffles, bush clad streams, open river floats, or small mountain lakes provide exciting options for your fishing pleasure. You may fish nearby in local rivers and streams, or the lake edge at Blanket Bay (a 10+ pound trout was caught at the mouth of Stoney Creek, just alongside the Lodge). Alternatively you may prefer to fly fish the lake banks, or the mouth of the rivers that flow into Lake Wakatipu.
Lake Wakatipu is home to Brown and Rainbow trout and land-locked Quinnat Salmon. Fishing season on the rivers runs from November through May. There is excellent nymph fishing during the early season and superb dry fly and nymph fishing during the summer months. Brown and Rainbow trout average more than three pounds, with five to six pound trout not uncommon. Trophy size trout over 10 pounds are more likely in early or late season.
Fishing on Lake Wakatipu is available year round.
The loyal fishing partner can discover endless ways to restore their physical and spiritual well-being. There is nowhere else on Earth where there are so many activities so close by – the country’s best hiking on the Routeburn or Milford Tracks, jet boating and kayaking, 4WD tours, horse riding, art trails and vineyards, plus flight-seeing over the World Heritage Fiordland National Park and Milford Sound. And let’s not forget the numerous international standard golf courses around Queenstown.
As your unforgettable New Zealand fishing trip draws to a close, soak in the views one last time before departing Queenstown at your leisure.
A fishing trip to New Zealand is sure to rank among your very best fishing experiences. Fishing Tips and Tricks in New Zealand.
New Zealand’s crystal-clear lakes and rivers offer excellent freshwater fishing, with abundant rainbow and brown trout as well as salmon on the South Island. In particular, Lake Taupo is world-renowned for its trout fishing.
And with 15,000 kilometres of secluded, idyllic coastline, sea fishing is equally rewarding.
Popular saltwater catches include:
The big game saltwater fishing season runs from December to June. Book a charter to catch marlin, kingfish, yellowfin tuna, and billfish.
Contact New Zealand Luxury Escapes for more information or to begin planning your New Zealand fishing trip today.