Locals will tell you that fishing on Lake Wanaka and nearby Lake Hawea is better than at the more famed Taupo area. You won't want to enter that argument, but chances are good you'll catch fish if you have the right guide. Fishing is year-round.

Hatch Fly Fishing Wanaka. If you've always loved the idea of fly-fishing but wouldn't know where to start, Craig Smith is a superb guide and a really nice bloke who's happy to teach the basics. You can opt to get dropped in to your fishing spot by helicopter or jet boat, and there are even overnight camp outs available. Rates include lunch and all equipment, as well as pick up and drop off. 03/443–8446 or 027/646–9419. From NZ$690 per day; $750 per couple.

Lake Hawea Fishing & Farmstay. Harry Urquhart has trolling excursions for rainbow trout, brown trout, and quinnat salmon on Lake Hawea. He's been doing it for 25 years and knows his stuff. He even offers a money-back guarantee: if you don't catch any fish you don't have to pay. He also has self-contained accommodation. 03/443–1535 or 027/440–3070. $NZ300 for a 2-hr trip or $400 for 4 hrs (for up to 5 people).

Wanaka Fly Fishing. Wanaka Fly Fishing provides instruction, guided trips, and wilderness fishing safaris, including a heli-fishing option. Rates include gear, transport, lunch, flies, and photos. 03/443–7870. NZ$460 half day for 2; $760 full day.

If you're not keen on hiring a guide, you can rent fly-fishing gear and buy your fishing license at Hamills (10 Helwick St.) or Lakeland Adventures in the Log Cabin on Ardmore Street.




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