Fishing Locations and Access

The Eastern Region runs from Wairoa in the south, across to the Rangitaiki River headwaters and up through Huka Falls and Lake Maraetai on the Waikato River.

The region continues along the Kaimai ranges to finally reach its northernmost point at the top of Tauranga Harbour. The region offers a huge range of fishing opportunities.

Te Urewera National Park, in the east of the region, provides spectacular wilderness fishing in both lakes and rivers. Lake Waikaremoana has exceptional summer fisheries for brown trout along the shoreline and rainbow trout for boat anglers. Spawning runs in the autumn also provide opportunities for fly fishing in the later part of the season. World renowned wilderness fishing can be experienced in rivers such as the Ruakituri and neighbouring Waiau River, which has one of the highest catch rates of these mountain rivers.

The Bay of Plenty has a large number of spectacular river fisheries from the Waioeka River in the east, through the Rangitaiki, Tarawera and Kaituna catchments to the Ngamuwahine River in the west. These rivers have excellent fly and spin fishing only a few hours drive apart. Lakes such as Aniwhenua also provide excellent family fishing experiences and great shoreline angling.

The Rotorua lakes are the region's central feature providing a diverse range of experiences. With 13 fishable lakes in the district, and four different trout species, there are a range of boat and shoreline fishing opportunities, enough to interest any angler. Both shoreline fly and spin fishing can be very successful, and boat fishing over the summer provides action and fun for all the family.

Lake Rotorua has one of the highest catch rates in New Zealand, with excellent boat and winter stream fishing for rainbows, while some monster browns entice those looking for larger fish. Lake Okareka also keeps anglers busy with high numbers of good quality trout catchable throughout the year. The trophy lakes - Tarawera, Otakaina and Rotoiti - regularly produce fish weighing over 5kg. Anglers wanting to get away from the crowds should find lakes Rotoma and Rotoehu to their liking. Lakes Rotomahana and Tikitapu also have their own special charm and local devotees, while Lake Rerewhakaaitu attracts shore-based anglers with good numbers of quality fish. The opportunity to catch tiger trout at Lake Rotoma, and brook char in Tikitapu, are an added bonus. Smaller lakes such as Okaro, Ngahewa and Ngapouri with secluded bays and rising trout attract the more adventurous who want to get off the beaten track.

Eastern Forest Access – hunting and fishing

Rotorua is surrounded by several privately owned plantation forests and good seasonal fishing and hunting is available. All forest access requires visitors to be permitted.

Kaingaroa Forest

The Kaingaroa forest south of Rotorua is home to excellent trout fishing in the Rangataiki river system.

The forest also has some of the region’s best upland game bird hunting.

A detailed fishing brochure on the Rangataiki River system can be found here

Additional access information here

The forest is generally open between May and September when the fire risk is low.

Permits are required to enter the forest and these are available through First Security, 23 Monokia Street, Rotorua Ph 07-347 0297, or by visiting   

An info map can be downloaded here.

Rotoehu Forest
The Rotoehu forest provides excellent upland game bird hunting during the season.

Access permits are via First Security above. 

An info map can be found here.

Waimangu Forest 
Waimangu for access provides access to Lake Rotomahana. Access permits are via First Security above. 

Access & Signage Programme:

An intensive signage and tracking programme has been undertaken in conjunction with the angler access information brochures we have produced, to profile fishing areas throughout the region. Angler tracks have been created on more popular waterways like the Ngongotaha Stream and in the Rangitaiki catchment. We urge anglers to keep an eye out for our access signs throughout the region to take advantage of the great number of special areas that are available.


Eastern Fishing Spots