Touring routes

Freshwater fishing

If you're after a chance to fish for wild trout, the lakes of the West Coast are perfect for you. Take a leisurely paced journey through the West Coast, visiting lakes as you make your way down south from Lake Brunner through to Haast. Many of the rivers support trout populations and sea-run salmon turn up in local lakes and rivers from January.

Category
Self-drive
Duration
5 days
Distance
331 mi/544 km
Best time
October - April

Greymouth to Lake Brunner

2 hours 58 mins, 214 km

Disembark the TranzAlpine train at Greymouth and pick up your car hire, or book at Greymouth i-site for your fishing adventure in this brown trout mecca.

Make your way to Lake Brunner that is famous for brown trout, great food and accommodation. You could stay up to two days here, book your accommodation in advance!

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Lake Brunner via Jacksons to Lake Mahinapua

1 hour 12 mins, 86.7 km

Mosey on down through to Hokitika. About 15 minutes south of Hokitika is Lake Mahinapua, rich in history and breathtaking views.

Sports fish in this lake include:

  • Brown trout.
  • Perch.

Venture onto the lake itself with West Coast Scenic Waterways. The lake is rich in bird life as well as mining history.

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Lake Mahinapua to Lake Ianthe

35 mins, 45.0 km

Journey further south down the road where you will come to the small village of Ross, famous for being the spot where New Zealand’s largest ever gold nugget was unearthed - the “Roddy Nugget”, weighing a massive 3.1kg. Learn about the town's heritage and hire a gold pan to try your hand at the Ross Goldfields Information Centre – you might just find your own “Roddy”. Alternatively, head to the river where there is also a public gold fossicking area.

A little further south is Lake Ianthe. Brown Trout and Quinnat Salmon can be found in this lake.

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Lake Ianthe to Lake Mapourika

56 mins, 69.8 km

Journey further into Glacier Country for the next leg of your fishing adventure.

At Lake Mapourika the boat ramp not suitable for large boats.

Sports fish in the lake include:

  • Brown Trout,
  • Quinnat Salmon.

Glacier Country is Whataroa, Okarito, Lake Mapourika, Franz Josef Glacier, Fox Glacier, Lake Matheson and Gillespies Beach

South of Fox Glacier you will find a Salmon Farm and Cafe. It makes for an interesting stop where you can feed the salmon and then taste the product!

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Lake Mapourika to Lake Moeraki

1 hour 37 mins, 119 km

Fish that can be found in this lake:

  • Brown Trout,
  • Quinnat Salmon,
  • Rainbow Trout.

Haast is known as “The Gates of Haast” which is a lost world that's so spectacular and remote UNESCO designated it a "World Heritage" area.

From Haast to Jackson Bay there are empty shingle beaches, dunes, lakes and wetlands, all with the soaring backdrop of the Southern Alps making it an outdoor enthusiast's playground.

Tramping, hunting and if you want speed, jet boating tours with Waiatoto River Safari or Haast River Safari on the local rivers are available. There are a multitude of outstanding award winning short walks too.

There is an abundance of wildlife and tours to view fur seals, Hectors Dolphins and Fiordland Crested Penguins. This is real white-baiting country and fishing is outstanding from Jackson Bay.

We recommend staying here for the night as there is a great variety of accommodation to suit all budgets and tastes!

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