New Zealand Self Drive Adventures

November 26, 2019

A license is required for freshwater fishing in New Zealand but not for saltwater fishing.

How much is a New Zealand fishing license? There are several versions of license available depending on whether you are a non-resident or live in New Zealand. There are also several geographic fishing regions in New Zealand. Each region has its own regulations and for locals, its own license.

There are full season and single day licenses available to both locals and non-residents. As noted above, there are a few variations that are available to local residents but not to visitors. These are: Single region licenses, long weekend licenses and winter only licenses. Non-residents must purchase a full license for either a day or a year.

If you plan to fish for more than a day or two then a full license for the whole season is probably the best value regardless. This allows you to fish in all regions throughout the country for a full year (except the Taupo region).

Taupo is a separate region with a separate license due to the high number of visiting anglers and the 12 month season. Taupo is designated fly fishing only whereas most other regions allow spinning and fly fishing. There are also some designated back country streams that require an endorsement on your full whole season license. This is at no cost but must be applied for.

Although a whole season license allows you to fish almost everywhere, be mindful that the majority of streams and the headwaters of the majority of rivers close during the spawning season. In the North Island this is from the end of June to the end of September. In the South Island it is from the end of April to the end of September. Always check the regulations as there are a few rivers and streams that have a different closed season due to their importance as spawning areas. (There are less than a handful that fall outside the normal seasons.)

If you are planning a winter fishing trip then Taupo is the best location aside from the lower and middle reaches of a few major rivers in the central North Island which remain open during the winter.

New Zealand fishing license costs as at the time of writing this blog were: (NZ Dollars)

Resident: Full whole season $133, Day $34, Local area $106, Taupo season $99, Taupo day$20

Visitor: Whole season $180, Day $34, Taupo Season $129, Taupo Day $20

Check out our do it yourself North Island and South Island fishing road trips or just browse the our site for useful information about travelling and fishing in New Zealand.

Author: David Turner