Plan your trip

 New Zealand has some of the best trout fishing in the world. From fishing small spring creeks for a large population of fish to stalking a trophy brown trout in a crystal clear mountain stream, there is fishing for all levels of expertise. But to have the best chance of success do plan your trip well. We have put together information to help you plan and recommend only the best and most suitable accommodation, guides and transport for anglers.
About New Zealand
New Zealand is made up of three main islands. It stretches for over 1000 kilometres from north to south offering  wide range of weather patterns. From the subtropical north to the cool south which has quite heavy snowfalls in winter, conditions vary throughout the country. The most southern island (Stewart Island) is small and has no freshwater fishing.

Most of the country's population of 4.5 million people live in the northern half of the North Island, the slightly larger South Island has a population of less than 1 million people. While the majority of Kiwis (our name for New Zealanders) live in cities the best fishing is found in the remoter areas of the country.

We recommend you get our free  e-Guide Planning Your Fishing Trip to New Zealand for more detailed information that will greatly assist in your planning.

Getting into New Zealand
Once you have flown into New Zealand you will need to go through customs and fill in a form regarding any substances you may have with you such as food or materials that may compromise New Zealand's important agricultural sector. Bringing in fresh fruit is prohibited as is many other flora or fauna items. To see what is and isn't permitted this document outlines items that need to be declared or deposited in a quarantine bin on arrival. If in doubt declare it on arrival. For more information see>>>
Bringing fishing tackle into New Zealand
When you enter New Zealand you must declare all freshwater activity equipment on your Passenger Arrival Card and to a Quarantine Inspector. This includes all fishing equipment such as rods, reels, tackle boxes, nets, boots, waders, fishing flies and any feathers or other non-artificial material used for fly tying.

New Zealand is well accustomed to visiting anglers however and so if the equipment is clean and dry there should not be any problems. See>>>

Getting around
New Zealand is well served by air transport but this is mainly to the larger urban centres. Train transport is limited and as a consequence the best way to access the best fishing is by car or motorhome. A 4 wheel drive vehicle for anglers wishing to get off the main roads is also an excellent choice.
The accommodation listed on our site has been chosen because of its location and suitability for anglers. Most is very near good fishing and well set up to accommodate visiting anglers.

Request our free Anglers Accommodation guide which shows you the best places to stay to make the most of your time in New Zealand.

Where to go
Finding places to fish is not hard. It is estimated that New Zealand has around 4,000 lakes and 160,000kms of rivers and streams. As well over a third of the country is in public ownership. Use our site to find the best places to go. The following give some ideas.

Best places to fish

A selection of some of the best river and lakes

Travel guides and itineraries

Travel guides with suggested itineraries for self-drive fishing trips in different parts of New Zealand.

Remote areas to fish
One of the things many anglers wish to do is to travel to a remote river or lake to fish in a pristine environment. To get to the best remote backcountry fishing in New Zealand you may need a reliable sturdy 4 Wheel Drive vehicle.

And for those who wish to fish very remote back-country and wilderness regions a helicopter charter is nearly always available. Some rivers require a backcountry licence which is free to licence holders. Even though it is free all anglers wishing to fish listed backcountry waters must carry this permit. The reason is to ensure fragile fisheries do not become over crowded and put too much pressure on the fish stocks. Read more about these controlled fishery areas.

While the fishing is great in New Zealand it is not necessarily easy. And our unique conditions have made the fishing methods different to many other parts of the world. We have a saying that our fish did not get big by being stupid and sometimes it is necessary to relearn some techniques to ensure success. The best and fastest way to do this is to hire a guide.

Guides listed on our site are experts in the areas they guide in and by using a guide even for a day early on in your travels will greatly improve your chances of success.

If you wish to fish away from other anglers there are boat and helicopter charters in many areas that will take you to remote waters and pick you up at a prearranged time. Throughout our extensive areas of publicly owned land there are Department of Conservation huts which can be hired. Those operating the charters know where these are and can take you to them. See more about DoC huts.
The fishing year
As New Zealand is in the southern hemisphere the seasons are the opposite of what they are in the northern hemisphere. See an overview of the fishing by month to be found in New Zealand.
It is important that all anglers carry a current fishing licence. One licence from Fish and Game (available to be bought on line) covers most of New Zealand while a separate licence is required for the Taupo region (also available online). Visitors to New Zealand need to purchase a non-residents licence. is the complete guide to New Zealand trout and salmon fishing.

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