Fly-fishing in the North Island Itinerary

7 DAYS

690 km

Highlights

  • All year round fishing
  • Famous Tongariro River
  • Big rainbow trout

Proximity

CAR-FREE TRAVEL OPTIONS

The Central Plateau in New Zealand's North Island is legendary for its big rainbow trout. Some of the best fishing spots are to be found off the beaten track. Visit the famous Tongariro River, epic Lake Taupo and lively Rotorua on this week-long fly-fishing itinerary.

The Central Plateau is known for its mild weather meaning this itinerary can be completed at any time of the year. 

Day 1: Spend the day in Auckland

Auckland
Auckland Harbour, Auckland

By Auckland Tourism

Auckland

AUCKLAND

Vibrant city style and stunning natural landscapes

Highlights

  • Explore Auckland Harbour by kayak
  • Climb Rangitoto volcanic cone
  • Indulge in a little inner-city culture

TOP EXPERIENCES IN AUCKLAND

Discover a combination of metropolitan delights and natural landscapes.

Read more

Fly into Auckland, New Zealand's biggest city. Take some time to explore - stroll through the CBD and head towards the Viaduct Harbour and Wynyard Quarter beside the ocean. Auckland has some exquisite food and wine. For a fine dining experience, try one of the eateries on Federal Street right beside the easy to spot Sky Tower.

Auckland is also home to great museums and galleries. The Maritime Museum at the Viaduct offers harbour cruises aboard its fully restored heritage scow.

Day 2: Auckland to Lake Taupo

Lake Taupo
Trout fishing, Lake Taupo

By Gareth Eyres

Lake Taupo

TAUPO

Explore Australasia's largest lake

Highlights

  • Exceptional trout fishing
  • Hukafalls jet boat
  • Relax in natural hot pools

Proximity

  • By car: 3 h 30 min | 275 km via SH1
  • By bus: 5 h 10 min | by Intercity or Mana

Spend the first half of the day travelling from Auckland to Lake Taupo through the rolling green hills and lush farmlands made famous by The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies. As you near Taupo, you'll have the opportunity to visit Huka Falls where the mighty Waikato River squeezes through a shallow ravine of hard volcanic rock. The result is 220,000 litres of water blasting over the falls every second.

Spend the afternoon exploring Lake Taupo, with a gentle stroll along the lakeside, a fishing trip or if you're in the mood for some golf, there are a number of top golf courses nearby. Try Wairakei or the Kinloch Club.

Day 3 - 4: Taupo to Turangi

Lake Taupo
Trout fishing, Lake Taupo

By Destination Great Lake Taupo

Highlights

  • Famous Tongariro River
  • White-water rafting
  • Cycle the Tongariro River Trail

Proximity

  • By car: 45 min | 50 km via SH1
  • By bus: 45 min | by Intercity or Mana

TURANGI

On the banks of the Tongariro River and famous for its rainbow trout.

Read more

The next two days are all about the fishing. If you want to book a guided fishing experience, Taupo has plenty of expert guides from which to choose. A helicopter tour is an excellent way to reach remote backcountry rivers.

Many anglers choose to base themselves in nearby Turangi, beside the world famous Tongariro River. This area has famous fishing spots in almost every direction, including ‘The Delta’, ‘The Hole’, ‘Little Big O’ and ‘Tailrace’ (believed to contain the world’s fattest trout).

For non-fishers, there are numerous activities on offer such as rafting the Tongariro River, cycling the River Trail or relaxing with high tea at the Chateau Tongariro Hotel.

Day 5 - 6: Fly-fishing in Rotorua

Rotorua
Fly fishing, Rotorua

By David Lambroughton

Rotorua

ROTORUA

Mud pools, adventure and unique Maori culture

Highlights

  • Rainbow trout & tiger trout
  • Hot pools and geothermal attractions
  • Maori cultural experiences

Proximity

  • By car: 1 h 45 min | 131 km via SH1 & SH5
  • By bus: 1 h 55 min | by Intercity or Mana

Today you'll travel on to Rotorua, where you'll find a centre of geothermal activity packed with beautiful lakes and rivers perfect for fishing. Set aside the day for fishing. There are 13 fishable lakes in the Rotorua region and all of these offer exceptional opportunities to catch big Rainbow Trout and Tiger Trout. Go alone or work with one of the region's expert guides.

Non-fishers may want to check out the region's many geothermal attractions or visit one of the Maori villages for a unique cultural experience.

Day 7: Return to Auckland via Hobbiton

Hamilton - Waikato
Hobbiton, Hamilton - Waikato

By Fraser Clements

Highlights

  • Hobbiton Movie Set
  • Explore Auckland's eatery precincts
  • Museums and art galleries

Proximity

  • By car: 3 hr 15 min | 246 km via SH5, Sh27 & SH1
  • By bus: 3 h 40 min | by Intercity or Mana

HOBBITON IN 360

Go behind the scenes of New Zealand's real Middle‑earth film set.

See more

Depart the land of geothermal activity and head for Auckland via Matamata. As you pass through Matamata, visit Hobbiton and experience the Hobbiton Movie Set. It's not to be missed!

End your journey in scenic Auckland, City of Sails. Take a sunset kayaking trip to Rangitoto or just relax with a delicious meal at the Viaduct, Wynyard Quarter or Britomart. 

Driving in New Zealand

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

View the route below

You may also be interested in...

Fly-Fishing →

Recommended Trips →

Travel to NZ →

Visas & Immigration →