Auckland/Waikato Trout Fishing

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The following are the main fishing waters. This is not an exhaustive listing. There are many smaller streams which are popular with local fishermen ... there to be “discovered”. Each area has it's own page/pamphlet which you can go to by selecting the link placed on the headings of each area.


Lake Rototoa (Ototoa) 

Located on the South Kaipara Heads, this lake provides excellent perch fishing in very clear water. Unfortunately, the illegal introduction of perch has devastated dwarf Inanga and trout populations that had previously been introduced by Fish & Game. The trout stocking program has been suspended to allow Auckland Council to explore perch removal research.  Access is off Donohue Road which can be reached via South Head Road. 

Lake Whatihua 

A small lake situated beside Kariotahi Road about 1.5km back from Kariotahi Beach. Fishable around the shore with a paper road access to the lake and a marked trail from the gate to the west end of the lake.  Dune lakes in the region are best fish from the fall to spring as summer heat reduces catch rates.  

Parkinson’s Lake 

A very small lake but holds some good sized rainbows. Situated off Whiriwhiri Road. Easily wadeable but weed can be a problem. Both Parkinson’s and Whatihua are stocked annually in May.  

Mangatangi Reservoir 

This large water reservoir holds wild rainbow trout. At present access for anglers is restricted to the dam wall. Angling methods are restricted to artificial lures. 

Lake Pupuke 

In the heart of North Shore City, Quarry Lake on Northcote Road is regularly stocked with rainbow trout and occasionally with brown trout. Lake Pupuke has ample perch and can be fished from Sylvan Park and the end of Northcote Road. 

Wairoa River 

The closest river to Auckland City - offering 15km of fishing water over wadeable shingle bed. Access is off McNicol Road via the Clevedon-Kawakawa Road.  


Waipa River

The Waipa River is largely fished above Otorohanga where there is over 30km of superb fishing water. The river runs parallel to Otewa Road for some 16km to Toa Bridge, the upstream limit for winter fishing. Above Toa Bridge the river is mainly accessible by foot.


Puniu River

The Puniu River is the largest tributary of the Waipa River, flowing through the Pureora Forest and joining the river at Pirongia. The Puniu River offers 20km of fishing water, mostly in the headwaters and middle reaches. Access to the river is from Bayley, Newman and Duncan Roads. The river bed here consists of boulders, gravel and bedrock and is wadeable. 

Mangatutu Stream

A very popular stream, southwest of Te Awamutu, that is heavily fished by local anglers. Access is from the Wharepuhunga Road which runs parallel to the Mangatutu Stream for 5km. The Mangatutu offers idea fly fishing waters with clear banks and a procession of pools and runs. Designated artificial fly fishing from its source to the Lethbridge Road Bridge.

Moakurarua Stream

The Moakurarua Stream has its source in the steep hill country to the west of Otorohanga and flows in a northerly direction to join the Waipa River just south of Pirongia. In the middle and upper reaches the Moakurarua has a clear gravel bottom, mostly wadeable offering good fishing waters. Access is gained off the Otorohanga/Horokiwi or Otorohanga/Kawhia Roads. The lower reaches are deep and sluggish and generally not favoured by anglers.

Ngakoaohia Stream

Rising on Mt Pirongia the Ngakoaohia Stream flows east to join the Waipa River. This small stream consists of pools and runs with a clear gravel bottom which lends itself well to nymph and dryfly fishing. The Ngakoaohia is open to artificial fly only from its source to the Pirongia/Kawhia Road Bridge.

Kaniwhaniwha Stream

A small shingle and boulder stream that runs through bush and farm land down the northern slopes of Mt Pirongia. Access is off the Limeworks Loop Road. The stream is mainly fished with nymph or dryfly during the summer, and is open to artificial fly only.

Mangaokewa Stream

In its upper reaches the Mangaokewa is a very scenic stream flowing through an extensive area of native forest. These waters are best suited for spin fishing and hold good size rainbow and brown trout. Access is off the Mangaokewa Road and from the scenic Mangaokewa Reserve just south of Te Kuiti where a walkway follows the stream for 14km.


Waikato River

The Waikato River holds a huge trout population. Brown trout are abundant throughout the length of the river, while rainbows are plentiful upstream of Hamilton. The best fishing is generally at twilight or after dark. The lower river fishes best during the winter months, while good fishing can be experienced throughout the year in the upper reaches in Hamilton and Cambridge. Beneath the Karapiro Dam is probably the single most popular fishing location in the region.

Lakes Karapiro

This is the trophy fishery of the Auckland/Waikato region with fish of “double figures” not uncommon, especially in the upper reaches. Access to good waters for shore based anglers can be obtained from Horahora Road where the most popular locations are the mouths of the Pokaiwhenua and Little Waipa Streams. Boat ramps are located off SH1, and at the mouth of the Little Waipa Stream.

Lake Arapuni

This is the most popular lake fishery in the Auckland/Waikato region, and is heavily stocked with rainbow trout providing anglers with a relatively high catch rate of good fish. At the southern end of the lake, popular locations for the shore based angler include below the Waipapa Dam, and the mouths of the Tumai and Mangawhio Streams. At the northern end of the lake, access to several beaches can be obtained from Landing Road. Many anglers also fish in the vicinity of the Arapuni Dam. There are five boat ramps located around the lake - the most popular are Jones and Arapuni landings at the Lake’s northern end.

Lake Waipapa

A high catch rate can be expected in this very scenic lake, but trout are generally smaller in size than in Arapuni and Karapiro. There is only one boat ramp located next to Waipapa Road (Te Awamutu-Mangakino). The mouth of the Waipapa River is a most popular for shore based anglers.


Pokaiwhenua Stream

A spring fed stream with its source in the exotic forest beyond Tokoroa, running past Putaruru into Lake Karapiro. The lower reaches, below the waterfall on the Putaruru-Arapuni Road, has a good spawning run of large trout from Lake Karapiro late in the season. Access can be obtained across farmland either via Putaruru-Arapuni Road, SH1, Horahora Road or from Hildreth Road. Above the falls a resident population of brown and rainbows provide good fishing with access available on the Putaruru-Arapuni Road and Waotu Road.

Little Waipa Stream

A large spring fed stream with an abundant trout population. Access is from either Putaruru-Arapuni, Pearson or the Old Taupo Roads. An extensive coverage of aquatic weeds and generally very clear water makes this a challenging stream to fish. Fishing methods are restricted to fly fishing only above the Horahora Road bridge.

Waihou River

The Waihou River arises from a series of large springs near Putaruru and flows across the Hauraki Plains to the Firth of Thames, some 160kms.

Most fishing is carried out in the upper reaches above Okoroire where the Waihou is very clear - classic dry fly waters. In this section of the Waihou, trout numbers are very high, mainly small fish though recent drift dive surveys have seen high numbers of large rainbow trout. Access is obtained from the Tirau/Putaruru Highway and off Whites Road, Putaruru.

Waiomou Stream

An upper tributary of the Waihou with about 20kms of fishable water. This is a popular river with a fairly high catch rate. Three tributaries of the Waiomou - the Omahine, Rapurapu and the Kakahu Streams offer good small stream fly fishing. The Kakahu Stream is artificial fly only.

Access is off the Rapurapu, Omahine and Waiomou Roads reached from either the Hamilton/Tauranga or Hamilton/Rotorua highways.

Waimakariri Stream

The Waimakariri is a large spring fed stream which flows north from the Kaimai Ranges to meet the Waihou River just south of the Okoroire Falls. This river is renowned for its high catch rate of relatively small trout, however, larger trout are present especially in the upper reaches. This stream is especially favored by the young and novice angler. Access is off the Tirau/Rotorua highway and Waimakariri Road.


Marokopa River

The Marokopa is a relatively remote west coast river that is divided into two fisheries by the impressive Marokopa Falls. Below the falls there is about 3km of fishing, probably best suited for spin fishing. Above the falls there is about 10km of productive water. Both rainbow and brown trout are present. Access is from Te Anga Road via Waitomo Caves Road.

Tawarau River

The Tawarau River enters the Marokopa River just below the Marokopa Falls. This river is remote with foot access only to the upper and middle reaches. The scenery is very impressive as the river has boulders, pools and rapids and flows through deep limestone gorges and dense forests. There is a good track alongside the river, and several suitable camping sites for a weekend trip. An upper tributary, the Mangaohae Stream is popular with local anglers.

Mangaotaki River

A tributary of the Mokau River, the Mangaotaki River holds both rainbows and browns. Spin fishing is the most popular method but the upper reaches also holds good fly fishing waters. Access is off the Te Kuiti/New Plymouth highway or off the Upper Mangaotaki Road.

Awakino River

Entering the sea just south of Marokopa, the Awakino River is a picturesque river of rapids, boulders and native bush. Access to the river is excellent with SH3 running beside the lower reaches for 15km. Access to the middle reaches is via Gribbon Road, which runs parallel to the river for 8km. This section of the river above the bridge at Mahoenui is designated fly fishing only. Access to the upper reaches is via a DoC track from the end of Gribbon Road.


Whanganui River

The Whanganui River rises in the Tongariro National Park, flows northward to Taumarunui then southwest to the sea. Between Taumarunui and Kakahi there are numerous good fishing pools, many of which have been signposted by the Ruapehu Fish & Game Club. Access can be gained from Taumarunui, Mahoe (Mahoe Rd), Piriaka, Manunui, and Kakahi. Access to the upper reaches within the Tongariro National Park is via old logging roads from State Highway 47, a good topographical map or local knowledge is required. This is typical back country fishing requiring an above average level of fitness.

Whakapapa River

One of New Zealand’s finest trout fisheries but certainly not for the faint hearted as the Whakapapa alternates between turbulent rapid, deep pools and long boulder runs. Access to the lower and middle reaches can be obtained from the villages of Kakahi and Owhango, south of Taumarunui.  There is a good population of both rainbow and brown trout averaging 1.5kg. In the upper reaches the trout are generally larger but less abundant. Access to the upper reaches can be gained from SH 4 across farmland, or from the access road to the Tongariro Power Scheme intake structure via SH47 (National Park - Turangi).

Ongarue River

A popular river offering many kilometres of excellent fishing water. Mainly fished in its upper reaches above the township of Waimiha. Access is from the Ongarue Stream Road across private farmland. The nearby Maramataha River also holds a good trout population but access is generally more difficult especially in the upper reaches.

Waimiha Stream

A delightful stream offering a succession of long ripples and pools containing a good population of both rainbow and brown trout. The lower and middle reaches offer clear low banks providing relatively easy fishing - a perfect place for the beginner. Permission is required from the farmhouse just north of the Waimiha Road/Ongarue Road turnoff.



Ohinemuri River

The Ohinemuri River rises on the eastern side of the Coromandel Ranges and flows west through the rugged Karangahake Gorge parallel to the Paeroa/Waihi highway. There is excellent fishing throughout the Ohinemuri, especially upstream of Waihi and though the Karangahake Gorge where a variety of fishing water is present. About equal numbers of rainbow and brown trout are present.

Waitawheta River

A boulder stream which flows through forest and farmland catchments before joining the Ohinemuri River. Highly valued by anglers for its scenic beauty and feelings of solitude. Access to the lower reaches is gained by crossing the Ohinemuri River at Karangahake township. The middle and upper reaches by taking the Waitawheta Road near Waikino on the Waihi/Paeroa highway, then either Dickies Flat, Dean or Franklin Roads.

Tairua River

Rises in the Coromandel Range, flows in a northerly direction until it enters tidal water at Tairua. Access is off the Kopu-Hikuai highway or off the Hikuai Valley Road. 

Kauaeranga River

This river flows westward along the Kauaeranga Valley before entering the sea at Thames. It offers over 20kms of good fishing, wadeable over a shingle and boulder bottom. Access is off Kauaeranga Valley Road behind Thames. Restricted to fly fishing only.

Waiwawa River

Rainbow trout are present in all the main rivers and streams that enter Whitianga Harbour. The Waiwawa is probably the best of these waters, a superb small trout river with over 10kms of fishable water. Access is off the Coroglen-Tapu Road.




Auckland/Waikato Fishing Spots