The lower South Island area is one of the best locations in the world for fly fishing. Experience diverse landscapes a short distance apart.
Queenstown is a major hub for visiting fly fishermen. From here, the greatest variety of water and landscapes in the entire country are only a short drive away. To the north west is Wanaka, gateway to Mt Aspiring and the Makarora River Valley - enticing anglers from all over the world with its bright blue water. To the north east lies the fishing mecca of Ōmarama, home to the famed Ahuriri River.
Many anglers choose to head south from Queenstown, where they quickly encounter the Matura River drainage that picks up its smaller tributaries and eventually leads to the town of Gore, known as the Brown Trout Capital of the World. The Matura’s fame is well deserved with its consistent mayfly and caddis hatches, along with its gentle gradient and easy wading. To the west is the town of Te Anau, and Milford and Doubtful Sounds, where lots of rain turns into lots of rivers, including the Eglington, Oreti, and the Mararoa. The Mararoa drains from the picturesque South Mavora Lake, one of the best still water fisheries in New Zealand and a good place to go to rest tired river legs.
Book a guided experience
Guides in the Queenstown, Wanaka, Southland or Fiordland regions can help bring your fly fishing experience to life. They'll take you to the best waters and help with any advice you need.
Explore recommended fishing lodges in the Lower South Island