You're an experienced angler who wants to take your time exploring New Zealand rivers. You want to hire guides from time to time to introduce you to new water, but you also want the freedom to fish those waters on your own, once you've learned about the lies and flies. You may want a night of luxury here and there, but most of the time you'd be quite happy spending your evenings in a basic but comfortable river cabin, or an inexpensive hotel strategically located close to prime fishing waters. If this sounds like your idea of fishing in New Zealand, we've got the solution . . . in both North and South Islands.
Fly to Auckland, Hamilton, Rotorua or Taupo. If you fly into Taupo we'll pick you up at the airport, otherwise rent a car or catch a bus to get to Taupo (3 hours from Auckland, 1 3/4 hours from Hamilton, 1 hour from Rotorua). In Taupo, we'll get you provisioned and set up at Kereru Lodge - a private fishing camp featuring two chalet-style self-contained cabins and a two bedroom house. Kereru is set in 15 acres of bush on the banks of the Tauranga-Taupo River, one of the most productive tributaries to Lake Taupo and offering year-round fishing. (If you'd like a night or two of luxury - perhaps at the beginning and end of your trip - we'll book you into Tauhara Sunrise - www.tauharasunrise.com).
Taupo is a great base from which to explore the rivers of the Central North Island. Fish the Taupo tributaries, including the Tongariro, Hinemaiaia and Waitahanui rivers (year round fishing). And explore the many and varied wilderness rivers, with access by vehicle, raft or chopper (season is Oct 1 - May 31). The Taupo tributaries contain predominantly wild rainbows, while the wilderness rivers contain a mix of wild rainbows and browns.
While you're in Taupo, we'll help you map out a plan for the rest of your New Zealand fishing trip, organizing guide introductions, and recommending & booking accommodation for you as necessary. We can also furnish you with the gear you need for fishing in New Zealand: rod, reel, waders, boots . . . even a lightweight Goretex fishing jacket and a New Zealand pre-pay cell phone.
An aerial view of the fishing camp at Kereru
Fly to Christchurch or Queenstown. If you fly into Queenstown we'll pick you up at the airport, otherwise rent a car to drive from Christchurch to Queenstown (about 7 hours). From Queenstown you will head 1 hour south to Garston where you will stay at the Garston Hotel on the banks of the famed Mataura River. Or, if you prefer something more private, you can stay in a self-contained and self-catered historic farmhouse that caters only to single-party bookings. In addition to the Mataura, rivers easily accessible from Garston include the Oreti and the Nevis.
While you're in Garston, we'll help you map out a plan for the rest of your New Zealand fishing trip, organizing guide introductions and recommending accommodation for you as necessary.
Freedom fishing is intended for more accomplished anglers who wish to be guided for one or two days to gain the necessary local knowledge to be successful for the rest of their New Zealand trip.
Freedom fishing offers a superb starting point for anglers who are coming to New Zealand for long periods of time to "trout bum". The map studies are absolutely priceless for this type of angler. Our guides have trout-bummed on over 200 rivers in New Zealand.
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