North Island Fishing & Lodging

Auckland

Auckland, known as the City of Sails, has a multi-cultural population of more than a million people. Auckland is New Zealand's biggest and brightest, an urban cityscape set off by expansive parklands and surrounded by water. There are more boats per capita here in the commercial capital of New Zealand than any other city in the world. You can take ferry trips, cruises, sailboat jaunts or catamaran excursions to many of the 40 islands of the Hauraki Gulf.

I had started with another travel agent, but many questions and problems arose.  With very little time, 4 days left before my flight out, I relieved my other travel agent and was fortunate to find Angler's Passport.  Within 48 hours, Mary had confirmed my motorcycle, set an itinerary and booked great B&B accommodations.  My New Zealand trip was saved by Mary Smiley.  Mary's knowledge and experiences of New Zealand will assure you of a great stay with the Kiwis!
Jerry Williamson

Auckland has developed a reputation for fresh, innovative cuisine, and wonderful cafes and restaurants can be found in the interesting inner-city suburbs of Ponsonby and Parnell which are also filled with great boutiques and charming shops. These areas are just a stones-throw away from downtown. This is the area of Auckland where we put the majority of our clients, since it is so easy to walk to everything.

Bay of Islands

Northland and the Bay of Islands, includes all of the country on the North Island north of Auckland. This is the northern-most region of New Zealand; therefore, it is very sub-tropical as far as climate goes. It is a place of great historical significance, and is the place where Maori and Europeans signed the Treaty of Waitangi, joining them as one nation. There are sub-tropical forests featuring giant kauris, which are among the largest trees in the world.

This region is a paradise for fishermen, divers, boaters and hikers, with some of the best big game fishing in the country. With 144 islands to explore, there is never a lack of things to do in the Bay of Islands. Located just a three-hour drive north of Auckland, it is an incredibly scenic and interesting journey. Or, if you can't wait to get there, there are regularly scheduled flights leaving Auckland to Keri Keri all day long. In just 50 minutes you can be in Keri Keri, where most of the citrus groves and kiwi orchards are located.

The Bay of Islands is the sport fishing capital of New Zealand. Whether you are fishing for the massive marlin brought in by the Pacific's warm currents or the all year round yellowtail kingfish and snapper, every trip holds the potential for a world record. Targeted game fish in this area include the largest striped marlin in the world, blue and black marlin, yellowfin tuna, big eye tuna, albacore and skipjack tuna, hammerhead, mako, blue and thresher sharks. The fishing action gets started in mid December with the action picking up around Christmas time, getting stronger as January arrives. In February, the fish begin to spread out along the coast and many of the live aboard boats will stay out in order to go farther from shore and use their time more efficiently. We have day boats as well as live aboard boats to make your fishing experience the best it can be.

Accommodations in the Bay of Islands are anything from deluxe luxury lodges to homestays or B&B's. In both Paihia and Russell, there are world-class accommodations to meet your needs.

We have several captains we work with and one in particular has a purpose built boat for fly fishermen.  With gorgeous views from up on the hillside, you can relax at a lovely B&B in the afternoon after a productive day of fishing and enjoy a cool drink on the deck or patio overlooking the beautiful bay.


Eastern Bay of Plenty

Te Kaha offers extreme beauty in a very remote area of New Zealand’s North Island. Maori people, who are the indigenous people to New Zealand, primarily inhabit Te Kaha. Of Polynesian decent, they comprise about 10% of New Zealand's population, which is now around 4 million total for both islands.

This is a prime area for saltwater fishing for a variety of species of big game and sport fish as well as great table food fish. Species such as kahawai, tarakihi, hapuka, yellowfin tuna, kingfish, snapper are local favorites as well as an abundance of shellfish such as greenlip mussels, crayfish (lobster), paua (abalone), kina (sea urchin) etc. and the list goes on. Needless to say, this is heaven for the seafood lover.

If you would like to participate in a local Maori experience at a spectacular location overlooking the Eastern Bay of Plenty, then the Te Kaha Homestead is the place to go to eat beautiful fresh seafood, do some fishing, relax in the hot tub overlooking the water and experience the ultimate in Kiwi hospitality.

 

East Cape - Gisborne

This beautiful wine region offers some of the finest Chardonnays in all of New Zealand. Boasting the first to see the light each morning, Gisborne is also the first European landing place in New Zealand and is our landing place for people who wish to fish the only river in New Zealand completely protected by law.

The Motu River accessed through the small village of Motu is primarily a sighted dry- fly brown trout fishery located in a high country valley just an hour drive from Gisborne. The area has numerous other rivers to fish for both brown and rainbow trout within close proximity.

The summer weather is usually quite stable with few windy days and no mosquitos or biting sand flies. The remoteness of this location means almost nil tourist traffic and very large trout resulting in double-digit sized fish being caught each year. Meandering through farm tracks for miles and miles, this trophy river is easy to walk and wade with tennis shoes being the footwear of choice.

Frank Murphy the current and longest running President of the New Zealand Professional Guide’s Association and his wife Pam own and run a small personable lodge, aptly named Murphy’s Lodge. Catering to only a small number of guests at a time, the lodge may be small, but the personalities, wines, food and fish are very big.

 

Rotorua

Located in the heart of the North Island, Rotorua is a mere three hour drive from Auckland, with air service from all of New Zealand's main gateway cities. Upon arrival in Rotorua, the power of the earth hits you square between the eyes. Stand upon active volcanoes, peer into massive craters and see boiling mud, crystal lakes that are teeming with trout, soak in a mineral hot pool and enjoy unspoiled native forests that cloak the land. Rotorua possesses a raw beauty and has enchanted visitors from around the world for more than 160 years.

Rotorua has been home to the Te Arawa Maori tribes for more than 600 years. They were New Zealand's very first hosts and share their tradition and culture in many ways. You may choose to visit the Rotorua Art & History Museum, or take in a hangi traditional feast cooked in a pit in the ground. At Tamaki Maori Village, a recreated pre-European village site, there are cultural performances, art displays, a concert and an opportunity to purchase authentic Maori jade and bone carvings and other handmade objects after the hangi.

The contrasting beauty of Rotorua's myriad of crystal clear lakes, is all the more dramatic when you consider that many of them are extinct volcanoes. There are 11 main lakes that along with the numerous rivers and streams offer some terrific trout fishing. There is also the option of flying into the backcountry by helicopter to access waters seldom seen by humans. The fishing can be outstanding and the scenery is truly unbelievable. At Angler's Passport, we have the best and most experienced guides to organize these trips and whether fishing the lakes, rivers or mountain streams, you will have the time of your life.

We have numerous accommodations in this area from luxury lodges to B&B’s and homestay fishing lodges.

 

Taupo

An hour's drive south from Rotorua, Taupo sits on the northern shore of Lake Taupo, New Zealand's largest lake; world famous for its trout fishing and legendary tributary streams, such as the Tongariro River and Waikato. There are dozens of smaller streams and lakes to be found in the area and it is advisable to try to spend at least a few days in this region to take in all the sites and interesting things to see and do. Tongariro National Park is nearby where you can see Mount Ruapehu (9,177 feet), the highest peak on the North Island and a live volcano. In the summer, there are extensive tracks and huts throughout the park, as well as shorter walks, nature trails and historical Maori sites.

For the fisherman, there are many choices and our guides will happily take you out and get you on a stream or lake with some of the biggest rainbow and brown trout you may ever see.

For the more adventurous, a helicopter flight into the backcountry is in order, where you can fish your way back out, floating by raft, with some of the best fishing guides in the country. The Tongariro River, as well as the many other tributary streams flowing into the lake, offers excellent winter fishing for the migrating rainbows returning to the streams to spawn. These fish are from steelhead rainbow stock and were introduced in the late 1800’s from Northern California. The fish start running in May (Autumn) and go all winter until September (spring). Lake Taupo and its tributaries are open for fishing year round.

There are many fine fishing lodges and accommodations in the Taupo area. Huka Lodge, Tongariro Lodge, Poronui Ranch and Lake Taupo Lodge come immediately to mind.

 

Mangaweka; Rangitikei River

Nestled in the scenic hill country of the Rangitikei district you’ll find one of our hidden gems called Mairenui Rural Retreat. This three-house farmstay complex is a favorite place for our clients to stay while fishing the Rangitikei River and it’s tributaries. This beautiful rural location offers not only lovely and comfortable accommodations for our anglers but also gives our other New Zealand travelers a place to experience a working sheep farm and visit with their hosts Sue and David Sweet.

Our guiding on the Rangitikei River, which is one of the few rivers in all of New Zealand where one can float in a raft down the river, is done by Jim Rainey of Green Trout Guiding.  Jim has been fishing in New Zealand for over thirty years and guiding for twelve; trained under the guidance of Jack MacKenzie of the former Rangitikei Anglers.

For a time, guide Jim Rainey, also a local farmer, worked for Jack and has since gone out on his own guiding fishing clients. Jim is an exceptional guide and will give you a day you won’t soon forget on the river.