Fishing the Waitaki

New Zealand is a well known fishing Mecca for serious fishers. Not many realise that the beautiful Waitaki offers excellent fishing in ideal conditions.

New Zealand has been a fly-fishing destination for visitors from around the world for many years, and people flock to places like Taupo and Nelson to experience our incredible fishing rivers for themselves. But the popularity of those areas means that the experience is not quite what it used to be, so fishers who prefer to be alone with the river, the fish and the beauty of the surrounding area have begun to seek new areas to explore.

The Waitaki District, stretching from Oamaru on the coast of the South Island along the southern bank of the mighty Waitaki River, has become an emerging fishing destination for those who seek New Zealand fishing the way it used to be. While our district is very large geographically, it is home to slightly more than 23,000 people, so nowhere here is terribly crowded.

Our rivers, fed as they are from the waters of Mt Cook/Aoraki, are crystal-clear and perfect for the trout and salmon that call them home. You can make your way to the hinterlands of the district to fish in areas that likely have never seen a line dropped in those waters, or you can stick closer to the main roads and still be virtually guaranteed that you'll have no distractions to take you away from the experience of being one with the river.

There are of course an ample supply of skilled and knowledgeable guides available to take you to just the right spot, and offer you some tips on making the most of your time on the water. And unlike a lot of other fishing areas, there are plenty of other things to do in the Waitaki if the fish are not biting, or if your travelling companions have other interests.

Perhaps you'd like to sample the award-winning wines of the Waitaki Valley, nicknamed the "Burgundy of the South", visiting some of the tasting rooms in Kurow or Oamaru. Or if you're into landscapes, the stunning nature of our district will give you many hours' or even days' worth of scenery to enjoy. And Oamaru, the main town of the district, has all the culture, art, dining and sporting activities you could possibly want. So if you're thinking of coming to New Zealand to experience our fishing, be sure to think of spending some of your time in the Waitaki!