HomeTaupo – TurangiTaupo Turangi: Where to fishWaiotaka Stream

Waiotaka Stream

The Waiotaka Stream provides good fishing for large trout in a small stream. Despite its close proximity to the Tongariro it receives much less pressure and is ideal for anglers wishing to escape the crowds on the more famous waters while targeting large fish on a challenging smaller water.

Fish type Rainbow and brown trout
Situation The Waiotaka stream flows into Lake Taupo at Stump Bay, just north of the Tongariro River.

Access map

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Description It's very easy to miss the small Waiotaka Stream when crossing it on State Highway 1. However, the stream widens into a very attractive small river upstream. The bank side vegetation does not allow much casting space however, making it more suited to the experienced angler. In places it is necessary to stand on the bank a couple of feet above the water so make sure your net is long enough.
Lower reaches


The mouth of the Waiotaki Stream provides excellent fishing in the shallows in early summer when the smelt are running. There is a drop-off about 100 metres into the lake from the mouth which you can wade out to if you wish when the lake level is low. Take care after dark.

From SH1 to the mouth the river is very narrow and overgrown, making it difficult to fish.


Travelling north, the mouth of the stream can be reached by taking Frethey Drive which turns off SH1 approximately 300 metres past the SH1 bridge. Frethey Drive takes you to Stump Bay. Follow the pumice vehicle track to the mouth, but be aware that off the track the pumice is very soft and care is needed if driving rather than walking.

See the Waiotaka River access map.

Middle reaches


Above SH1, anglers can fish around 4-5 km by following a walkway along the bank of the Waiotaka. Much of this section of the river has vegetation growing along the banks making for some very difficult casting. Because of the small size, and the challenging conditions it presents, this river does not receive a lot of angling pressure.

Fish numbers and size

Despite its small size, there can be good runs of large fish during the winter months. There are also some resident fish present throughout the year that can be spotted in the clear water and carefully cast to.


A walkway that follows the true left bank of the Waiotaka can be accessed from two tracks that lead off the highway just south of the bridge on SH1.

The well signposted Waiotaki Road takes anglers to near the upper limits of winter fishing. To get to Waiotaka Road: if you are travelling north from Turangi, either turn off SH1 into Korohe Rd (7km from Turangi) and turn right at the junction; or turn off SH1 at the Grace Road intersection near Turangi.

A vehicle access track also lead off SH1. and is signposted as being to the Waiotaka Fishing Pools

See the Waiotaka River access map.

Upper reaches

Above the prison, the river provides some good sport but the difficulty of access makes it hardly worth the trouble.


Access is either by helicopter or a long walk through the the Waimarino River end of the Kaimanawa Forest Park. The only road access is a prison road and permission
to use it is not given.

See the Waiotaka River access map.


Most of this small stream is very shallow, and so floating lines are recommended.

When fishing the mouth, use a floating line and a light-coloured smelt fly during the day, and a very dark fly during the evening.

Other fishing waters of the region