Fishing in New Zealand: A Beginner’s Guide

Fishing in New Zealand: A Beginner’s Guide

If you are looking for things to do in New Zealand, you should go fishing at least once. There are A LOT of fishing guides in New Zealand charging between NZD 300-600 per day. But don’t worry – fishing doesn’t have to burn a big hole in your pocket! Here are the best tips to get started, from finding a fishing store to the right locations, and the best fishing equipment. Have fun and good luck catching your next meal!


Day licence

To fish at one of the New Zealand lakes or rivers you will need a fishing licence. Day licences can be bought online or in person (once you are in New Zealand) at a hunting or fishing store that sells licences for NZD 34, or NZD 20 for kids. If you plan on going multiple days it may be worth looking at getting the Whole Season Licence at NZD 169.


Tackle shops

If you just got into the fishing spirit during your stay in New Zealand you will most likely need to buy equipment. I can recommend 2 tackle shops which we went to during our stay: Southern Wild in Wanaka and Outdoor at H&J Smith in Queenstown. Both had very friendly and experienced staff that were very helpful and gave advise on what tackle to use and where the best fishing locations were at that time of the year. You should be able to get all your gear including a fishing licence for under NZD 80. More shops along your route to be found here.


Fishing locations

And now to the most important part of this read – where to catch your (maybe first) trout! As both lake Wanaka and Wakatipu lied on our journey, we fished at both of these locations with success to show for – one rainbow trout! It was so small I’m not even going to share a picture, but it was lots of fun. The best freshwater fishing locations can be found here.

Two secret locations in Queenstown only known by locals, which were absolutely gorgeous and filled with trout, were Lake Kirkpatrick and Moke Lake, both next to each other and to be found on Moke Lake Road (accessible only by car, 15 min west of Queenstown city centre). If I were to choose only one location I could go back to for photography and spend the day it would be these two lakes!

Whatever destination you chose in the end make sure to check out the local regulations regarding those waters.

So what are you waiting for? Grab your fishing buddy and head to the waters. Let the fishing game begin 🙂


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