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10 Best Places for Fishing in NZ

Want to know the best fishing and hunting hotspots in New Zealand? Read on...

There’s a huge diversity in the waters around New Zealand, which poses the dilemma of where to go? North Island or South Island? Coastal or in land? And the biggie…salmon or trout? You’re spoilt for choice here, but we have “lined” up some of the best spots in NZ – hook, line and sinker. Have a look and see if anything “catches” your eye…they’re “reel” good! Ok, we’ll stop. If you fancy going further afield, here’s our top ten fishing destinations around the world.

1. Moturiki Island, Mt Mauganui

You’ll often see locals casting lines around the rocks on Motoriki Island – follow them to find the best hidey-holes. Head down to the blue waters of Pukehina Beach for surfcasting, snapper and Australian salmon.

Best for: Rockfishing


Make sure to travel like a local when you’re there.

2. Russell, Northland

This little seaside town makes an excellent destination for a few days of game fishing. If you’re not a boaty, take advantage of the daily charters for some deep sea game. Even if you don’t catch much, you’ll be able to find a glorious seafood supper in Russell.

Best for: Deep Sea Fishing/Game fishing

3. Lake Otamangakau, Tongariro National Park

Otamangakau is a prolific fishery for catching rainbow and brown trout, and in recent years they’ve noticed the number of fish increase. You are likely to have the best haul on a boat, but the Lake Te Whaiau stream is still a great spot for anglers.

Best for: Boat Anglers

4. Omaha Cove, Greater Auckland

On the end of Harbour View Road, you’re able to park up and set up camp on one of the rocks. The glassy waters aren’t known for fishing, but it’s a beautiful spot, and you’re able to while away a few AM hours catching the odd skipper or two. P.S. This is considered a ‘secret’ fishing spot in Auckland, so don’t tell anyone we told you.

Best for: Rockfishing, Dropping off the grid

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5. Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown

Similarly to Otamanakau, Wakatipu is a deep glacial lake, encased by protective mountains – making it a great spot for a day on the boat. Trolling, downriggers and lead lines are the most popular methods here, and you’re bound to bring home some trout.

Best for: Trolling

6. South Bay, Kaikoura

You can’t beat Kaikoura’s trench for deep sea fishing. The mountain ranges framing the Kaikoura coast makes this an awesome fishing experience, and the waters are rich with crayfish, blue cod and terakihi – so you’ll be everyone’s favourite when you bring home dinner.

Best for: Deep Sea Fishing

Have you been to any of the 7 must-sees on the South Island? Read more.

7. Lake Te Anau, Southland

This is a hotspot for fly fishing in the Fiordland, and the majority of spinners bring home at least a rainbow trout or two

Best for: Fly fishing

8. Waimakiri River, Canterbury

The Waimakiri River threads through the mountainous creeks, and braids out through the Canterbury Plains. There are heaps of streams to choose from, and the Waimakiri Gorge offers fantastic salmon and trout fishing when in season.

Best for: Fly fishing, Angling

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9. Buller River, Nelson/Marlborough

If you’re up for a bit of a challenge, head to the Buller. It’s the fifth largest river in New Zealand, and it can be incredibly boisterous when the tides are high – but this doesn’t stop the brown trouts. Take a heavier rod to beat the Buller.

Best for: Fly fishing

10. Hokitika, West Coast

Although Hokitika might be best known for it’s jade, the wild rivers also offer up whitebaiting as well as trout and salmon fishing. If you’re with a less-than-enthusiastic family, they will find plenty to do here whilst you roam the rivers! The Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers are only a few hours away.

Best for: Whitebaiting, escaping the world

Still want more? See where else you could visit in New Zealand on The Hobbit’s Trail.

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