New Zealand Self Drive Adventures

February 29, 2020

There are a large number of fishing lodges in New Zealand with a wide variety of fishing quality, accommodation and availability of equipment and guides etc.

As with all subjective opinions on what is best, there needs to be some way to choose the criteria on which the judgement is made. For a purist fisherman, the quality of fishing in the location and in nearby waters will always be the number one criteria.

For overseas visitors that are serious about their fishing but don’t want to bring equipment, have no local knowledge and a suitable budget then, full service lodges are probably high on the list.

The other criteria that makes sense is cost. Value for money is important to everyone even those that have ultra high standards and expectations want to know they will get the experience they are willing to pay for.

With the above in mind the following lodges make our list based on having quality fishing locations nearby, access to local guides and accommodation that ranges from good to luxurious. Further on in this article there is information for those that want modest accommodation and will use their own equipment without a guide.

1. Owen River lodge

Top of the south Island near Murchison, on the banks of the Owen river. Full service, equipment and guiding. Separate bungalows with central lodge house. High quality food and accommodation. Main river is the Owen which has large brown trout. Several other rivers within reasonably close proximity.

2. Poronui Ranch

South of Taupo New Zealand (central North Island) Full service, equipment and guides with luxurious food and accommodation. Wilderness rivers to fish with large rainbow and brown trout. Main river is the Mohaka and the tributaries that come together to form the Mohaka.

3. Stone-fly lodge

South of Motueka New Zealand (Top of the south Island) Full service, equipment and guides, high quality food and accommodation. Mainly fishing in the Motueka river for medium to large brown trout. There are other productive rivers in the vicinity.

4. Tongariro Lodge

Turangi New Zealand (central north Island) on the banks of the Tongariro River. Full service with access to guides and equipment. Very good quality food and accommodation with separate cabins and a central lodge. Main river is the Tongariro with other famous rivers nearby.

5. Nokomai Station

High country property one hour south of Queenstown. High quality food and accommodation with separate cottages and a lodge house. Full service, equipment and guides. Main river is the the Mataura with several other reasonably good rivers in proximity. A seasonal place to experience the mayfly hatch in the height of summer. Other outdoor activities are available.

Most of the above properties have exclusive or guaranteed access to stretches of water that are well know for producing large fish.

DIY Fishing

For those that want to stay on the river or close to it but prefer not to hire; guides, equipment and luxury accommodation, there are countless places that fit the bill. If you are wanting to be able to fish several locations and take in the local scenery and attractions you may want to visit our website. We provide a wealth of information on self guided fishing trips in New Zealand. We can also do the work for you with our inexpensive pre-planned itineraries that include, maps, contact numbers, email addresses, location specific fishing advice and what else there is to do locally. The itineraries are designed in a travel loop of various duration. Go to and click on itineraries in the touring section.

Author: Dave Turner