A Favorite Among Many North Island Trout Anglers
Steeped in a rich heritage of fly-fishing, Tongariro Lodge has been around for decades and has been a favorite destination among devoted anglers, former presidents, and even royalty. Located alongside the world-renowned Tongariro River, which drains into great Lake Taupo, this traditional fishing lodge is ideally situated in an area that is reputed for its robust rainbow trout fishery. Indeed, the very first rainbow trout introduced to New Zealand were first brought to this region from North American stock in the 1880s and have been thriving ever since. And while Oncorhunchus mykiss is a bit of an icon for this region, the Taupo watershed also boasts strong populations of trophy brown trout as well. Anglers have gravitated towards the central plateau of the North Island for decades to pursue the trophy trout that reside in that area and Tongariro Lodge has always been one of the most popular places for them to kick up their feet at the end of a long—and productive—day of fishing.
Situated on 22 acres along the banks of the famous Tongariro River on the southern end of Great Lake Taupo, Tongariro Lodge offers a range of private accommodation options to its guests. Accommodations are separate from the main lodge; the villas have between one to five bedrooms and spacious living areas, while the chalets offer one bedroom accommodations that are budget-friendly, yet complete with fine facilities and private terraces that offer stunning views to the river and the mountains beyond. Guests can also delight in the more luxurious executive villa, which has 4 bedrooms (each with an ensuite bathroom, expansive deck, and outdoor fireplace). All of the accommodations at Tongariro Lodge are well appointed and designed with the angler in mind. Guests are encouraged to explore the beautiful property on foot, as the river is just a stone’s throw away from their doorsteps and is a beautiful setting to experience at sunset (perhaps to catch the evening hatch)!
The main lodge is resplendent in fishing heritage—every wall is covered with photos of grinning anglers proudly displaying their catches over the years. If you look closely, you might even find photos of former presidents and other celebrities! The atmosphere of the main lodge is everything you would imagine if you were to close your eyes and conjure up what a classic fishing lodge would look like: roaring fires in stone fireplaces, handsome wood floors and finishes, and friendly staff waiting to serve you a glass of New Zealand Pinot Noir—or anything you choose! The lodge has two dining rooms: one is primarily used for breakfast and has magnificent windows that show off the beautiful property in the morning light while the other is considered the dining room and is very warm, intimate and a perfect place to enjoy a four-course meal at the end of a long day of fishing. The staff in the main lodge are incredibly friendly and are there to make sure all of your needs are met and exceeded.
Food and Beverages
Fine wine and fabulous food are two values that Tongariro Lodge holds dear and, as a result, the dining experience at the lodge carries a reputation that speaks for itself. The chef always makes a point to serve the finest foods with a local flair—from Lavender Lamb rump (a guest favorite) to duck foie gras on toast, you will surely leave the lodge with a better understanding of how to dine Kiwi style. Enjoy a hearty breakfast before your day of fishing (with bottomless coffee just how you like it), delight in the gourmet hamper lunches that are provided on the river, and then look forward to a delicious meal served alongside some great fishing stories that evening. Every meal is crafted with creativity and comprised with the most high-quality, fresh ingredients possible. At Tongariro Lodge, no shortcuts are taken when it comes to delivering an impressive dining experience each and every day.
Typical Length of Stay
While Tongariro Lodge is, by nature of its location and its history, a premier fly fishing lodge, there is no shortage of entertainment for the non-angling guest. Indeed, many guests will pay a visit to the lodge with no intention of fishing at all! The mighty Tongariro River offers some of the most exhilarating whitewater rafting in all of New Zealand and this is a very popular activity with the guests. Other fun activities, such as jet boating, helitouring, snow skiing, horseback riding, mountain biking, hunting/wing shooting, and more. The property itself boasts an all-weather tennis court as well as a secluded spa pool while the nearby town of Turangi has a lovely golf course as well as a spa (although if you want to enjoy a massage in the privacy of your chalet or villa, that can be easily arranged). Beyond Turangi but no further than 45 minutes from the lodge, there are four world-class golf courses, including the Wairakei International course, which is rated #2 in New Zealand.
One of the most well-known hikes in New Zealand (considered the best day walk in New Zealand) is the Tongariro Alpine Crossing and this is a must for any guest who is looking for a spectacular hike during their stay. The 20k trail takes you through a dual World Heritage area featuring dramatic volcanic landscapes, emerald-green geothermal pools and lakes, and lots of Maori spiritual landmarks. This hike can be undertaken with a guide from the lodge or on one’s own—either way, it is surely a New Zealand “must do!”
Wi-fi is available in all rooms at no cost.
How To Get There
Air New Zealand offers direct flights to Auckland, New Zealand from Los Angeles International (LAX), San Francisco International Airport (SFO) and Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental (IAH), departing in the evening and arriving two days later in the morning. Though the flight time is only 12 to 14 hours, you will cross the international dateline, which is why you lose one calendar day in transit. From Auckland, you will catch one of the hourly departing regional flights to Taupo. From Taupo, you may either hire a car or have us arrange for a representative to pick you up for a fee. If you choose to hire a car, please bear in mind that New Zealanders drive on the left-hand side of the road. The drive will take you two hours through some utterly breathtaking scenery in the North Island.
Arrival and Departure Details/Times
Note that upon arrival in Auckland, you will need to pass through immigration and customs—a process that is notoriously challenging for anglers traveling with fishing gear and outdoor equipment due to the strict biosecurity regulations in New Zealand. If you would like to bring your own equipment into the country, please let us know so that we can give you the best possible information on how to do so in a way that will not result in the time-consuming fumigation or confiscation of your gear. Once you have cleared this process, you will need to proceed to the domestic terminal either by bus or by walking five minutes along the clearly marked path. Air New Zealand representatives will be standing by to assist you in checking your luggage onwards. Be aware that carry-on restrictions are tighter on regional aircraft, so you may have to check an additional bag (including your fishing rods).
Valid passport, fishing license, and proof of departure from New Zealand (return plane ticket is adequate); If the intention is to stay longer than 3 months, a visa application will need to be completed.
Yellow Dog works directly with and recommends Kanna Travel. They can assist with airline tickets, hotels, transfers and all travel logistics for every destination that we offer. Contact them at 855-739-3139 or [email protected] for more details on airfare ticketing, travel services, and trip insurance.
It’s no secret that the fisheries surrounding Lake Taupo are some of the most robust and healthy fisheries in all of New Zealand. In fact, it was the Tongariro River where the first fingerlings of Sonoma Creek steelhead were released in New Zealand—way back in 1883. Today, the Lake Taupo fishery is incredibly prolific and is thought to hold over one million fish that weigh four pounds on average! The same river that runs alongside Tongariro Lodge is the river that hosts 70% of the annual trout spawning migration! Just the mention of the Tongariro River to any fishing guide in New Zealand will induce a few cases of goosebumps… and for good reason. Early season fishing on this river is truly unparalleled and anglers can expect both high numbers of fish as well as big ones. For this reason, Tongariro Lodge is a great choice for anglers who are new to the sport and interested in being able to say they have caught a trout in New Zealand. While the area is known mostly for the trophy rainbows that call the Central Plateau of the North Island home, brown trout in excess of 10 pounds are caught by lodge guests every year. Make no mistake—this is the place to be if you are looking for both quality and quantity during your fishing holiday in New Zealand.
One of the most appealing aspects of the fisheries in the Taupo region is the flexibility afforded to anglers with over 40 rivers and 3 lakes to choose from on any given day. Tongariro Lodge has special access to many rivers that run through private land, as well as a huge range of rivers that they can access by helicopter for the angler that is looking for an added element of adventure. The well-seasoned team of guides that serve the guests of Tongariro Lodge is sure to make your day on the water both fun and fruitful. One of the neatest aspects of this particular lodge is that fishing is offered throughout the year and is, therefore, something you could take advantage of if you are traveling to New Zealand on a skiing holiday!
Boats and Equipment
Tongariro Lodge offers a very diverse range of fishing experiences to its guests and it has all the right gear to cater to a wide variety of conditions and fishing scenarios. They run all their own rafts, four-wheel drive vehicles, and boats, and have a relationship with a trusted, local helicopter company for when anglers elect to go far into the backcountry to pursue a more unique fishing experience. The lodge offers high-quality fishing gear as part of an angling package, so guests may opt to leave their equipment at home for ease of travel. The Taupo region is one of the few areas in the country of New Zealand where it is possible to utilize a boat. Typically, an experienced rafting guide will row anglers down a river (usually the Tongariro) and stop above the best holes so that anglers can get out and fish the run. This is great for anglers who are concerned about hiking into the backcountry as well as anyone who enjoys the thrill of a fast-paced ride through white water and stunning scenery en route to the best fishing spots on the North Island.
Remember that Yellow Dog’s services are completely free! When you book a trip with Yellow Dog, you never pay more than when you book directly with the lodge or outfitter. All prices listed below are per person, based on double occupancy, and quoted in US dollars. Trips of any length can be arranged, so please call Yellow Dog for details and custom package pricing.
Prices below are listed in NZD:
2 days fishing
3 days fishing
4 days fishing
5 days fishing
6 days fishing
|2-5 Bedroom Villa||NZD$1368PP||NZD$2250PP||NZD$3133PP||NZD$4015PP||NZD$4898PP||NZD$5780PP|
|1 Bedroom Chalet||NZD$1088PP||NZD$1830PP||NZD$2573PP||NZD$3315PP||NZD$4058PP||NZD$4800PP|
These prices are based on a single angler:
|3 Nights 2 days fishing||4 Nights 3 days fishing||5 Nights 4 days fishing||6 Nights 5 days fishing||7 Nights 6 days fishing|
|1 Bedroom Chalet||NZD$1755||NZD$3030||NZD$4305||NZD$5580||NZD$6855||NZD$8130|
- Luxury Accommodation
- All meals
- Guiding services
- Free Wifi
- Complimentary top range waders, boots, rods, reels are available
What’s Not Included:
- International airfare to Auckland and domestic airfare to Taupo
- Round-trip auto transfer from Taupo to the Lodge
- Airport fees
- Fishing licenses