Best Places for Fishing

New Zealand is one of the world's top destinations for recreational fishing of all types. From fly-fishing to big game fishing, from lakes and rivers to the coast and ocean, there is great fishing on offer for all levels of interest and ability.


Ninety Mile Beach, the Hauraki Gulf and Kaikoura Peninsula are among the top spots for surfcasting. There are also many great spots around Christchurch. Grey mullet, Mao Mao, John Dory, snapper, gurnard, flounder, mackerel, tarakihi and moki are among the species most often caught.

Big Game Fishing

The warm coastal waters of the North Island offer perfect conditions for big game fishing - including tuna, marlin, mako, kingfish and swordfish. Best locations are Bay of Islands, Whitiangi on the Coromandel Peninsula, Major Island (Bay of Plenty) and Whangaroa & Tutukaka in Northland. Operators offer trips with all tackle included on good quality boats, usually with full provisions thrown in. Day trips or longer are available.

Cold water fish

The colder coastal waters of the Marlborough Sounds offer a different fishing experience. Amidst the outstanding natural beauty of the Sounds the great fishing includes snapper, hake, groper, ling, blue cod, trumpeter and butterfish. Boats and tackle for hire in most main places.

Trout Fishing

The lakes and rivers of New Zealand offer some of the very best trout fishing in the world. The North Island lakes Taupo and Turangi, together with the rivers that feed them, are well stocked with brown and rainbow trout above the magic 10lb mark. In the South Island it's lakes Bruner and Mataira together with the Arnold River that are top of the anglers list.

Salmon Fishing

The best salmon fishing is seen in the South Island, especially the rivers of Canterbury and Otago. The east coast rivers such as the Rakaia offer superb salmon fishing, peak season being January to April. Guided fishing trips on jet boats, which are ideal for navigating the best rivers, are memorable and successful. Methven is a good base for trips with easy access to the famous Waimakarri and Rangitata salmon rivers.

See Also: Lake Clearwater, Patearoa