Documents and 24/7 Support: We've got you covered!
When you touch down in New Zealand your detailed documentation pack will be hand-delivered by one of our trusted representatives. You'll find everything you need in one handy place: your personalised itinerary, clear instructions and maps, and reservation details for your accommodation and activities.
24 Hour Assistance: We’re just a free phone call away if you encounter any issues while you're on the road - at any time of day or night. Don’t waste your precious vacation time stressing - First Light Travel are here to help you quickly when every second counts.
What's also included?
|Dedicated Travel Consultant||Detailed Daily Itinerary and Vouchers|
|Full 24 Hour Support||50 Page Essential New Zealand Guide|
Welcome to Auckland
Welcome to Auckland, our City of Sails.
Situated amongst a cluster of extinct volcanic cones, Auckland is a large harbour that bustles with life, both on water and on land. It straddles a slim piece of land with the coastline facing both the Pacific Ocean and, on the wild West Coast, the Tasman Sea.
After checking into your hotel, relax and stretch your legs with a stroll around our beautiful city. Explore the highly acclaimed Waterfront Restaurant Quarter or choose one of the many activities available for a more in-depth understanding of Auckland and the surrounding area.
Some activities and sightseeing options if you have time:
|Explore Waiheke Island||Island Kayaking Adventure||America’s Cup Sailing|
|Auckland's Sky Tower||Relax on the Beach||Rangitoto Island Cruise & Walk|
|West Coast Wine Tour||Whale and Dolphin Safari||Muriwai Surf Beach|
Accommodation: Auckland - 1 Night
Auckland to Rotorua via Waitomo Glow Worm Caves
Today you'll drive to the North Island's west coast to meet the Waitomo glow worms before heading onwards to geothermal Rotorua.
Waitomo Glow Worm Cave Tour
As you gently float along an underground river, a spectacular light show unfolds before your eyes. Your local guide will tell you all about these fascinating creatures and the secrets of their underground home.
Emerging into daylight, take a gentle walk along a gorge path to Te Ana o te Atua, the Cave of the Spirit. Here you will find a treasure-trove of history including evidence of past explorers and the fossils of extinct giant Moa birds.
Your journey ends today at Wildwood Lodge, set in five acres of magnificent landscaped gardens. With private lake frontage on the shores of tranquil Lake Rotoehu, there's no better backdrop for your first taste of New Zealand Fly Fishing tomorrow.
Sir David Attenborough: “An Astonishing Cave” And “one of natures most Magical Illuminations!”
Approximate Distance: 225 km | 140 miles Total Driving Time: 2 hours 50 mins
Accommodation: Rotorua - 2 nights
Fly Fishing Rotorua's Rivers and Lakes
Among stunning vistas and crystal-clear waters it's time to enjoy some of the best brown and rainbow trout fishing spots on the planet.
Wild Trout Safari
With over 30 rivers and their tributaries in the local area it can be hard to know where to begin! Your Wildwood fishing guide will show you all the best locations and introduce you to the ins and outs of sight fishing in New Zealand.
Travelling by 4WD you will be spirited away to remote locations where you are unlikely to encounter any other anglers.
If some of the streams have dark patches and you're wondering where the famous crystal clear New Zealand water is, take a closer look: it's likely to be a huge school of rainbows blocking your view!
The area's brown trout are some of the biggest wild fish in the country, averaging 7-8lbs. Often hooked, they are brilliant escape artists, ducking for cover under fallen branches and undercut banks. You'll get a taste for the thrill of the chase in no time with plenty of tips from your guide.
Your non-fishing travelling companions will find much to tempt them here: within two minutes drive of the Lodge, there's a delightful country golf course and natural thermal springs to bathe in. It's an easy drive to the giant geysers, bubbling mud pools and candy-coloured lakes of Rotorua's geothermal wonderland.
Rotorua to Turangi: Discover the Tongariro River
A scenic drive brings you to Turangi in less than two hours. Welcome to the unofficial trout-fishing headquarters of New Zealand.
The mighty Tongariro River is world-renowned for fly-fishing. Its clear, fast-moving waters flow over a mixture of rock, gravel, and sand. With deceptively deep pools and boisterous rapids, it attracts huge brown and rainbow trout in the tens of thousands.
The fabulous Tongariro Lodge will be your home for the next two nights. Situated in beautiful park-like grounds on the banks of the Tongariro River, this authentic luxury fishing lodge is as close to the action as you can get.
Settle in by the open fire, and treat yourselves to a four-course meal cooked by the talented Lodge chefs: great fuel for tomorrow's trout-stalking expedition on the river.
Approximate Distance: 132 km | 82 miles Total Driving Time: 1 hour 37 mins
Accommodation: Turangi - 2 nights
Fly Fishing on the Mighty Tongariro River
Spend an unforgettable day on the largest and most important spawning river in the area with your expert Tongariro Lodge fishing guide.
Guided Tongariro Fly Fishing Expedition
This morning your guide will collect you from the Lodge for an exciting day exploring the Tongariro River and its tributaries. Trophy trout over 10lbs are landed by Tongariro Lodge guests each year, so keep those camera batteries charged and ready.
Any non-fishing companions travelling with you are blessed with an outdoor lover's paradise right at the doorstep. One of the world's greatest one day walks, the Tongariro Alpine Crossing, is within easy reach. There is also a gentle riverside walking and biking trail accessible directly from the lodge.
As they say – “Zane Grey made it famous, the Queen Mother stalked trout in it, Jimmy Carter found solitude beside it. The incomparable Tongariro River, yours to share and enjoy.”
Mountains to Coast: Turangi to Hawkes Bay
Drive east to beautiful Hawkes Bay, an area loved for its sheltered beaches, Mediterranean climate and award-winning wines.
When you arrive in the Bay, why not make time to visit the charming coastal city of Napier? The exquisitely preserved 1930s Art Deco architecture gives a unique feel and atmosphere - it's like stepping back in time.
Driving a little further south, you'll arrive at your destination: Craggy Range Vineyards. These award-winning wines are begging to be sampled of course, but you're also here to for a relaxing stay in one of the four luxury Vineyard Cottages nestled among the vines.
The Hawkes Bay area is NZ's best-kept trout fishing secret. With three nights here, you have two full days to explore its braided rivers and lowland waters.
Approximate Distance: 220 km | 136 miles Total Driving Time: 2 hours 48 Min
Accommodation: Napier - 2 Nights
The Hidden Gem of New Zealand Fly Fishing
Whether you are a complete beginner or an experienced angler, the uncrowded waters of Hawkes Bay offer countless opportunities for challenge and success. Four main river systems make their way from mountains of the central North Island to the Pacific Ocean across the fertile plains of Hawkes Bay. Thanks to these systems and their tributaries, this region offers you a fascinating variety of spring-fed streams and fast-flowing rivers as well as beautiful Lake Tutira for still water enthusiasts.
Guided fly fishing in Hawkes Bay
Today your Hawkes Bay fly fishing guide will assess the conditions and select the best locations for you to take full advantage of his local trout-stalking knowledge. Who knows, you could have a monster in your hands by the end of your stay!
For non-anglers, the Tukituki Valley area around Craggy Range is home to some of Hawkes Bay's most spectacular scenery. Panoramic views of Ruahine, Kaweka and Maungaharuru Ranges and Cape Kidnappers are a worthy reward for hiking to the summit of nearby Te Mata Peak. The nearby country town of Havelock North offers boutique shops, cafés, restaurants and specialty food stores and is a charming place to browse.
Back at the vineyard, the award-winning Craggy Range Restaurant is the perfect place to celebrate your catch.
Hawkes Bay to Motueka: Stonefly Lodge Luxury
Today we say goodbye to the North Island - it's time to get acquainted with the South.
As your flight descends into Nelson, get a stunning introduction to New Zealand's sunshine capital as you admire the glittering waters, forests and bays from the plane windows.
In less than an hour, you'll discover a region of golden beaches, tranquil bays and lush coastal forests: welcome to the beautiful Motueka Valley region. Here at the gateway to the Abel Tasman and Kauhurangi National Parks, another luxury fishing getaway awaits you at beautiful Stonefly Lodge. Situated on 150 acres of private forest it's an idyllic introduction to New Zealand's South Island.
Tonight you can feast on local meats, seafood and home-grown produce fresh from the Lodge garden, and soak up the serenity of your secluded valley hideaway.
Approximate Distance: 47 km | 29 miles Total Driving Time: 40 Min
Accommodation: Motueka - 3 Nights
Stonefly Lodge Fly Fishing (day 1 of 2)
Thanks to the wide choice of rivers available from Stonefly Lodge, your guided fly fishing experience can be tailored for gentle-flowing easy access rivers or more adventurous backcountry streams requiring accurate casting.
Average catch size for the region's wild brown trout is approx. 4lb-5lb, while catches of 8lb and above are quite common. Who knows, that 10lb trophy trout may only be a cast away!
Those who aren't fishing can enjoy some downtime wandering through the gorgeous Lodge grounds, feeding the resident alpacas or picking fresh fruits and veggies for the kitchen. Or take advantage of the stunning National Parks nearby for rafting, horseriding and guided hikes or cycling adventures.
Stonefly Lodge Fly Fishing (day 2 of 2)
Wake up once more to Motueka River views from your private balcony. and get ready for a second day of stalking and sight-casting to big wild brown trout with Stonefly's knowledgeable guides.
With rivers from many different catchment systems to choose from, you’re blessed with unbelievable flexibility. Your guides will advise on the most appropriate fly fishing destination according to flow rates at the particular time of year.
Legendary rivers like the Motueka, Wangapeka and Baton are accessible within minutes on foot or by 4WD. Within an hour you could be at Nelson Lakes National Park trying your luck on the Travers or Waiau River.
You’re in New Zealand’s sunshine capital so the days are nice and long: plenty of time to give those wily brown trout a run for their money.
South to Owen River Lodge
Driving South to the Nelson Lakes region, your next destination - Owen River Lodge - lies in the centre of the best sighted brown trout fishery in the world.
Over 29 rivers and streams are accessible within a 90-minute drive, affording you an enormous choice and variety of rivers, streams and lakes to fish. The region offers huge variety, from small intimate waterways like the Owen River, to iconic freestone rivers such as the Wairau.
If you have seen New Zealand’s rivers described as “gin clear”, now you'll get to see the proof. You'll be stalking those 7lb or 8lb wild brown trout in water so clear that it looks 12 inches deep when it’s up to your waist.
Approximate Distance: 100 km | 62 miles Total Driving Time: 1 Hour
Accommodation: Near Murchison - 3 Nights
Stalking the Wild Brown Trout (Day 1 of 2)
Over 29 rivers and streams are accessible within a 90-minute drive of Owen River Lodge: this affords you an enormous choice of rivers, streams and lakes to fish. The region offers huge variety, from intimate waterways like the nearby Owen River, to the iconic freestone waters of the Wairau.
The Owen River Lodge fishing guides are among the most experienced in the country, and are all members of the New Zealand Professional Fishing Guides Association. They'll make sure your two days here are full of action, excitement and plenty of fun.
Non-fishing party members are welcomed at Owen Lodge, and the team will ensure they have a sensational stay. If they can bear to leave the mountain views from the outdoor jacuzzi spa, there are beautiful swimming holes by the river (one of the Lodge's dogs will probably invite themselves along!), rafting and kayaking, golf, hiking and adventure activities galore.
Stalking the Wild Brown Trout (Day 2 of 2)
The rivers around Murchison / Nelson Lakes have huge reputations: anglers travel from all over the world to fish the waters of D’Urville, the Sabine, the Wairau, the Karamea, the Hope and the Boyle. With so many outstanding choices, you’ll find a stretch of river all to yourselves even in the busier seasons.
If you have seen New Zealand’s rivers described as “gin clear”, now you'll understand why. You'll stalk 7lb or 8lb wild brown trout in water so clear it looks 12 inches deep when it’s up to your waist. It’s easy for you to find your target, but also for your target to see you. It’s a challenge, but it makes success even sweeter!
Round off your day with a sumptuous dinner cooked with ingredients sourced fresh from the Lodge garden. Watch the sunset from the deck and enjoy your last night here: the splendour of Southern Alps beckons tomorrow.
Alpine Splendour: Drive to Lake Wanaka
Today fly to Queenstown and drive across the majestic Crown Range to Wanaka, a tranquil lakeside town with dramatic views of the Southern Alps.
Easily explored on foot, this charming little township is packed with fine food and wine and boutique shopping. A stroll or bike ride around the picturesque shores of Lake Wanaka is a must.
Spectacular walks & hikes, skiing, water sports and boating options are all available here. The mountain backdrop is perfect for a for a skydive or even a flight in a vintage Tiger Moth plane.
The pristine waterways of the region offer some of the best dry fly and sight fishing in the world. Seasoned fisherman relish the opportunity to stalk fish, testing their casting abilities to the limit in this diverse and challenging landscape.
With two full days of fly fishing coming up, you can make the most of this premium fishing location.
Approximate Distance: 47 km | 29 miles Total Driving Time: 40 min
Accommodation: Wanaka - 3 Nights
Premium Fly Fishing in Diverse Waterways (day 1 of 2)
Fly Fishing in the Wanaka Region
For the next two days Wanaka's massive lakes, cascading waterfalls, remote rivers and lush valleys will be your playground.
The options are immense: Lakes Wanaka and Hawea, the mighty Clutha River, the Matukituki, Makarora, Wilkin Rivers and Dingle Burn – waterways well-known in fishing circles as premier fishing locations.
The region is an outstanding “classroom” for improving technique and broadening your skills. Pick up tips from your expert guide, learning to target the local trout with remarkable precision and stay a step ahead of your target in a wide range of settings.
This picturesque alpine town will delight non-anglers too: Wanaka is as much a hub for outdoor adventurers as it is for those who like nothing better than relaxing with a glass of wine by the gorgeous lakefront. You'll want to stay forever.
Premium Fly Fishing in Diverse Waterways (day 2 of 2)
Spend a second day exploring the Wanaka’s region’s freestone rivers, deep pools and spring-fed creeks while drinking in the breathtaking scenery all around you. Talk sight-fishing tactics with your guide who will whisk you away to the best fly fishing locations for the day’s conditions.
For a classic Kiwi experience take a fishing trip out on the lake amid stunning snow-capped mountain scenery and have a go at fishing for trout and salmon at the same time. Sit back and relax while your guide cooks your catch on the BBQ for a taste you'll always remember.
Wanaka to Te Anau: Gateway to Fiordland National Park
Say farewell to Wanaka and journey to the peaceful lakeside township of Te Anau today.
It is known as the gateway to the Fiordland region, a World Heritage area notable for its glacier-carved fiords, phenomenal alpine scenery and lush virgin forests.
It's another area of outstanding natural beauty, and several key Lord of The Rings movie scenes were filmed amid the unspoiled forests and lakes of this region.
Some of the most famous New Zealand Great Walks trails begin nearby, such as the Milford, Routeburn and Kepler Tracks. Immerse yourselves in the gorgeous surroundings: flight-seeing, kayaking, sailing and horse riding are all on offer and are great ways to get up close to nature.
Approximate Distance: 228 kms | 142 miles Total Driving Time: 3 hours 8 mins
Accommodation: Te Anau - 2 Nights
Te Anau: Jetboat Fishing on the Waiau River
Fiordland Jetboat Fishing Expedition
Discover the mighty Waiau River today on a thrilling jetboat fishing expedition through pure wilderness habitat.
Winding along the edge of Fiordland National Park, the Upper Waiau is packed with hard-fighting brown and rainbow trout, ready to take on all challengers.
Soak up the scenery as you drift-fish your way along this immensely wide and powerful river. Bordered by pristine forest, this remote haven is inaccessible by foot and the trout here are in great condition, living relatively undisturbed.
Non-fishing companions will love the experience too, with the chance to stop and walk on the Kepler Track, traverse swing bridges and linger on secluded beaches along the way.
Few people get to access an isolated and untouched paradise like this. As your jetboat speeds homewards towards Te Anau with white water frothing in your wake, you'll be pinching yourselves to check that it wasn't a dream.
Milford Sound Cruise - Queenstown
No visit to New Zealand is complete without a pilgrimage to the "Eighth Natural Wonder of the World": Milford Sound.
Milford Sound Nature Cruise
The Milford Road takes you from Te Anau to Milford Sound on one of the most scenic drives on the planet. A glorious labyrinth of soaring peaks is punctuated by unspoiled rainforest, plunging valleys, azure lakes, waterfalls, and glaciers.
Arriving in Milford, you will board your purpose-built cruise vessel and sail the length of the Sound, dwarfed by towering cliffs and waterfalls all around you. The onboard nature guide will tell you all about the seals, penguins, and dolphins who frequently visit this mesmerising location.
After your cruise, you'll return to Queenstown, the perfect setting for your final night in New Zealand. For a memorable end to your adventure, toast your trip with a glass of award-winning local pinot noir at one of the wonderful eateries overlooking Lake Wakatipu and the Southern Alps.
Approximate Distance: 228 km | 142 miles Total Driving Time: 3 hours 8 mins
Accommodation: Queenstown - 1 Night
Homeward Bound - Bon Voyage!
"Haere rā" Goodbye! and Bon Voyage! Today we say farewell. We take care of your transfer to Queenstown Airport where you will board your onward flight to Auckland, taking with you the magical memories of a truly exceptional New Zealand holiday.
We know you will flyfishing in the North Island and our promise is to make your travels through New Zealand as hassle-free and hospitable as possible - ensuring that today you leave with a memory card full of photos, and huge smiles on your faces when recalling your time in New Zealand! Have a great homeward journey, farewell and hope to see you again soon in Aotearoa, New Zealand.
Before you arrive in NZ...
Practicing your basic casting techniques before arriving in New Zealand will allow you to maximise the many opportunities to catch "the big one". This will help to prevent excessive false casts which could spook your target unnecessarily. New Zealand trout can be very unforgiving of poorly presented flies!
Felt-soled boots are prohibited for use by freshwater anglers in New Zealand. The felt may harbour microscopic waterborne pests, particularly didymo which is a major concern here. MAF Biosecurity New Zealand also requires ALL used freshwater fishing equipment brought into New Zealand to be clean and dry.