If you’re looking to catch a trophy-sized trout or sea-run salmon, the abundant West Coast lakes and rivers provide perfect conditions for anglers of all levels.
30 min, 40 km
One of the world’s most scenic rail journeys, the TranzAlpine weaves its way to the West Coast through alpine passes, across rushing rivers with stunning valley views.
Disembark at Greymouth and pick up your rental car, or book a guided fishing tour at Greymouth i-site. Make your way to Moana, the small settlement on the shores of Lake Brunner, a brown trout mecca and lovely lakeside spot to spend a couple of days.
1 hr 12 min, 87 km
Head south to the West Coast’s coolest little town of Hokitika. Grab an early lunch en route at Kumara’s Theatre Royal Hotel, a fully restored miners’ hotel that dates back to Kumara’s rough, tough gold-mining heyday.
A short drive from Hokitika will take you to Lake Mahinapua, tranquil and trout-filled waters that form part of an historic network of coastal wetland waterways. There’s plenty of perch to catch in the lake too, which you can explore with West Coast Scenic Waterways.
35 min, 45 km
Journey on to the small village of Ross, where New Zealand’s largest gold nugget was found in 1909, weighing in at a huge 3.1 kg. You can try your luck gold panning at Ross Goldfields Information Centre, but you’re more likely to pull something heavy out the water further south at forest-lined Lake Ianthe, home to brown trout and Chinook salmon. Stay at the Department of Conservation campsite by the water's edge.
Local tip: consider fishing from a boat as the lake’s shallow margins and dense treeline make shoreline casting challenging.
1 hr, 70 km
Glacier Country offers some of the West Coast’s most spectacular views of the snow-capped Southern Alps, perfectly reflected in Lake Mapourika, just north of Franz Josef township and glacier.
Formed by retreating ice thousands of years ago, it’s the largest lake in the Westland Tai Poutini National Park and a popular fishing spot for brown trout all year round, and Chinook salmon on their seasonal run from the Tasman Sea. For a guaranteed feed, stop in at the Salmon Farm Cafe, where you can enjoy farm-to-plate fresh or smoked salmon.
Book fishing charters on Lake Mapourika with Franz Josef Wilderness Tours.
1 hr 37 mins, 119 km
https://www.wildernesslodge.co.nz/new-zealand/lake-moeraki-wilderness-lodge/Magical Lake Moeraki is at the heart of the remote and vast wilderness known as Te Wāhipounamu South West New Zealand World Heritage Area. When you’re not fishing for Chinook salmon, rainbow or brown trout in the rainforest-lined lake, you can spot some of the world’s rarest species on the nearby deserted beaches, including yellow-eyed penguins and Hector’s dolphins.
Anglers will appreciate the proximity of Wilderness Lodge Lake Moeraki, a luxury eco-destination tucked between the lake and rugged coastline.