Fly-fishing around Nelson

6 DAYS

235 km

Highlights

  • Large brown trout
  • Exquisite food & wine
  • Abel Tasman National Park

Entfernung

NO CAR-FREE OPTIONS FOR THIS ROUTE

This 6-day fly-fishing itinerary starts and finishes in sunny Nelson at the top of the South Island.

Nelson is famous for its relaxed living and long golden beaches. It's also known as 'trophy brown trout country' so it's a must-see area for anglers. Within an hour's drive, you can access several major rivers awash with large brown trout.

Day 1: Spend the day in Nelson

New Zealand
Fisherman's Island, New Zealand

Von Hamish Jonston

Nelson

NELSON

Long golden beaches and untouched native forests

Highlights

  • Abel Tasman National Park
  • Craft brewery tours
  • Art galleries and craft shops

FLY-FISHING IN NELSON-TASMAN

Known for its mild climate, epic scenery and long winding rivers, Nelson is perfect for fly-fishing.

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The seaside city of Nelson is home to an artistic community of over 300 working artists and a plethora of galleries as well as delicious restaurants, boutique craft breweries and enticing golden-sand beaches. Explore the region's wineries via the Tasman's Great Taste Cycle trail or take the short walk from central Nelson to the Centre of New Zealand.

Beyond the city, you will discover a huge diversity of landscapes and experiences, making it a great place to explore by boat, foot or kayak. Take some time to explore Nelson before heading on to Motueka to begin your fly-fishing holiday.

Day 2: Nelson to Motueka

Nelson
Fishing in the Motueka area, Nelson

Von Stonefly Lodge

Highlights

  • Specialist fishing lodges
  • Two National Parks nearby
  • Lively cafe culture

Entfernung

MOTUEKA

Find activities, tours and accommodation in Motueka.

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Today you will head around the coast to the sunny town of Motueka. Many visitors use this town as a base for their exploration of Abel Tasman National Park; however, it's also a great town for anglers with various specialist lodges available. 

The scenic Motueka River is one of New Zealand's premier brown trout rivers with plenty of resident and sea-run trout, some to trophy size. With a range of water types from long riffles, long glides, boisterous rapids and deep pools, this is a beautiful and challenging river to fish.

Day 3: Take a guided fishing tour

Nelson
Wilderness fly-fishing, Nelson

Von Barry & Cathy Beck

Highlights

  • Motueka River
  • Golden Bay
  • Riwaka Resurgence

Entfernung

  • By bus: Contact the iSITE for fly-fishing day tours

MUST-DO EXPERIENCES IN NELSON

Explore national parks, meet local artists and savour the local wines.

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Several operators offer an excellent guided experience for you to do today. In Motueka itself, Uppacreek Guiding specialises in brown trout sight fishing. Further afield, the experts at Latitude Guiding or Stonefly Lodge provide one to multi-day tours throughout the region. Alternatively, if you're going it alone, read more about Motueka River on Fish and Game's website here

Non-fishers may like to hire a kayak and explore Abel Tasman National Park or take a sightseeing trip to beautiful Golden Bay.

Day 4 - 5: Motueka to St Arnaud

Nelson
St Arnaud, Nelson

Von Nelson Tasman Tourism

Highlights

  • Alpine landscapes
  • Glacial lakes
  • Nelson Lakes National Park

Entfernung

  • By car: 1 h 24 min | 107 km via Motueka Valley

ST ARNAUD

Find activities, tours and accommodation in St Arnaud.

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Travel to St Arnaud, your base for the next 2 days. From here, you can explore the epic Nelson Lakes National Park, famous for its alpine landscape and blend of rugged peaks, forest and tranquil glacial lakes.

Importantly, there are also plenty of pristine waterways that are perfect for trout fishing. Two of the most popular fishing rivers in the area are Wairau River and Buller River, both boast diverse fishing environments and good trout populations. If you would prefer, several operators nearby offer guided experiences.

Day 5: St Arnaud to Nelson

Nelson
Mapua Wharf, Nelson

Von NelsonNZ

Highlights

  • Art galleries
  • Pioneer Museum
  • World of Wearable Art museum

Entfernung

  • By car: 1 h 16 min | 89 km via SH6

MORE NEW ZEALAND FLY-FISHING

Fly-fishing in New Zealand is fantastic every month of the year.

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Return to Nelson on the final day of this itinerary and take some time to relax and enjoy the easy, sunny town before beginning your next adventure.

Driving in New Zealand

Important things you need to know about driving in New Zealand.

View the route below

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