Trout Rivers in the Taupo region

New Zealand's central North Island is interlaced with magnificent, clean rivers and streams which can be reached by car, foot and helicopter. Walking and wading up one of these rivers offers outstanding fly fishing with nymph and dry fly. You can expect uncrowded waters, superb sight fishing, peace and tranquillity amid the majestic forests and rolling farmlands of the spectacular North Island volcanic plateau.

Nearly all the central North Island rivers and streams hold good numbers of wild rainbow trout and brown trout. They range from small freestone streams and crystal clear bubbling brooks on spring creeks, to famous trout streams like the Hinemaiaia, Tauranga-Taupo and Waimarino to larger waters such as the Whanganui, Whakapapa and world-famous Tongariro River.

Tongariro River

Big, blue, powerful and full of medium to large trout, fly fishing the Tongariro River near Turangi has won a well-deserved reputation as one of the world's premier fishing experiences. In winter, an estimated 10,000 rainbows and over 1000 browns migrate up it to reach the spawning beds. Its fish are plentiful – but never easy to catch, requiring skill, persistence and a sound knowledge of conditions.

The river is wide and fast-flowing, with long gravel runs, rocky stretches and deep lies. The names of its pools are legendary among fishers worldwide: Major Jones, The Admiral's Pool, The Judge's Pool, The Hydro, Red Hut, Kamahi, The Duchess...

Read the latest Tongariro river fishing report here


The lower Hinemaiaia offers great fly fishing, especially during their rainbow migrations upriver from April to September. The river generally runs very clear and is ideal for nymphing as well as dry and wet fly. Its banks are heavily vegetated but trails give good access. The fish often lie deep and close to the bank, making them a challenge to cast to.

Many men go fishing their entire lives without knowing it is not fish they are after. - Henry David Thoreau


The middle reaches of the 'TT' offer easy access and casting and good fish between March and September for dry, lure and nymph fishers. The trout tend to lie in deep pools, but may be sight-fished. The upper reaches are more rugged and challenging to fish, but also very beautiful.


The upper river rises in the Tongariro National Park and connects with Lake Otamangakau and the Whakapapa river. It runs through beautiful native forest, spectacular gorges and farmland, and is generally clear, easy to fish and contains a good population of trout in the 1-2 kilo class, with some much larger specimens. It requires a Fish&Game licence, rather than a Taupo licence.


The Whakapapa is a large, clear river with turbulent rapids, deep pools and long boulder runs that flows down from Mt Ruapehu. Its upper reaches contain small numbers of trophy fish that must be stalked with care. Here it runs through rugged country which is not advisable for the inexperienced. Lower down it features many kilometres of spectacular and productive wilderness fishing .

Most anglers spend their lives in making rules for trout - and trout spend theirs in breaking them. - George Aston

More rivers of the Taupo/Turangi region here.
Details of local fishing regulations and closures here.