View Full Version : New Zealand Cheap Air Fare

04-05-2005, 08:22 PM
Air New Zealand has justed posted on their Internet site round trip air fare from San Francisco to Auckland in the months of May & June for $702 which includes all fees. This is a killer fare-normally around $1050-$1150 in their winter months.

Bill Kiene semi-retired
04-07-2005, 10:12 AM
Thanks Gordon,

That is prime time for big Rainbow trout on the Tongariro River flowing into Lake Taupo on the North Island of NZ.


Adam Grace with nice Tongariro Rainbow

If you are intersted in planning an inexspensive trip to NZ, you can come in most Saturdays and talk with Joe Shirshac.

04-07-2005, 06:51 PM
Bill: I used to fish the Tongariro River & surrounding area but now concentrate on the 13 lakes around the town of Rotorua which is about a three hour drive from Auckland. Three of the 13 lakes are capable of producing fish in excess of ten pounds-Lake Okitiana, Lake Tarawera and Lake Rotoiti. All night fishing in the dark of the moon using floating lines and lumo smelt flies. A good combo trip would be a week in Turangi(Tongariro area) and a week in the Rotorua area. Prices in country are quite reasonable as almost all motels have a stove, frig, dishes, etc. so you can do all you cooking. A license is about $25 for a non-resident for at least two weeks.
Attached is a 7 pound rainbow taken from Lake Rotoiti. Lake Rotoiti has a few very large brown trout-last year an 18 pound 9 ounce fish was taken.

Bill Kiene semi-retired
04-08-2005, 12:32 AM

I bet you could write and sell a great article on a DIY trip to NZ?

Many want to go but are a little afraid without some good info?

I know it is getting very popular now.

04-08-2005, 07:30 AM
Bill: Here is something that I put together on fishing the Rotorua area:
Ideas for someone going to Rotorua and the surrounding area.

Rotorua, a city of approximately 65,000 people, is located about three hours driving time southeast of the Auckland Airport. Rotorua area is famous for thermal activity and there are a wide variety of tourist activities.

For the person who really wants to catch a double-digit rainbow trout then come to Rotorua in May or June during the dark of the moon. At the height of it glory in 1993 over 250 trout over ten pounds were weighed into O’Keefe’s Fly Shop on Eruera Street in Rotorua and almost all the fish were rainbows. In recent years they will typically weigh in about 25-30 fish over ten pounds and now the bulk of the big fish are browns.
I believe the drop off in the number of big fish is the legalization of jigging in the mid-1990’s, increased fishing pressure, an 8-fish per person daily limit, etc.

The reason for the big fish is a lot of nature and a little bit of hatchery. Wild fish are trapped out of a spawning tributary of Lake Tarawera, and their eggs are raised in a hatchery for about a year. Three years later these fish can weight ten pounds or more. The Tarawera strain of rainbow, actually the Gerrard strain of rainbows which originated from the Kootenay Lake and Lardeau River area of British Columbia, is extremely fast growing and does not spawn until the third or fourth year. The browns are all wild fish and are not found in either Lake Tarawera or Lake Okataina. There are a few browns in Lake Rotoiti and about 10 percent of the total trout in Lake Rotorua are browns.

The main method for catching the big fish is wade fishing at night in one of three lakes: Lake Tarawera, Lake Rotoiti or Lake Okataina. You will use an eight-weight rod, a floating line, a ten-pound tippet and a size eight luminous fly. New Zealand it is legal to fish until midnight and then start again at 5 A.M. I can attest it is quite a thrill to hook a ten-pound fish in total darkness and hear great splashes and the reel singing. Locals catch the bulk of these big fish in the period five days prior to and after a new moon in May or June. These fish return to the beaches where they were liberated to attempt to spawn. In a typical night’s fishing you can expect to hook one to three fish but they are almost always big. You rarely catch a fish in these three lakes that is less than five pounds. The largest fish I am aware of is a 17.5 pound brown taken at Lake Rotorua from Ohau Channel and a 14.25 pound rainbow taken from Lake Rotoiti. My best fish is a ten pound three once rainbow, another ten-pound rainbow and three fish at nine pounds. From a historical perspective a 19 .25 pound rainbow was taken from Lake Tarawera in 1955.

There are 13 lakes within an hour or less drive from Rotorua but only the above lakes grow the big fish. In the other lakes a typical fish would be in the 3-4 pound range. My personal favorite of the other lakes is Lake Okareka, which is about ten minutes from town. I fish the sandy beach at Boye’s Park.

The best source of information is either O’Keefe Fly Shop or Hamill’s Hunting & Fishing just around the corner on Fenton Street.

For diversion during the day I love to fish the Ngongotaha Stream and the Waiteti Stream about five miles outside of Rotorua. These are the principal spawning streams for Lake Rotorua. After decent rains in May and June they can be full of fish. This is all sight fishing with a floating line, an indicator and a heavy and light nymph set up. Typically the fish here are 3-4 pounds and the banks are lined with blackberries so you hook far more fish than you land. Occasionally you will come across a very big brown trout. My largest was 8 pounds although each year double digit browns are caught.

Here are some hot spots on the three lakes that hold the big Gerrard strain fish. First to Lake Rotoiti. The most popular spot is at Ruato Bay. At the eastern end of the lake I like to fish the dump, the transformer and the pipe. A sleeper is to fish the Waiti Stream mouth. On Lake Okataina you can fish the main beach, the first rocky point to your right and in low water years you can walk the mile or so to the Log Pool. The lake is entirely surrounded by native bush and when night fishing here you feel like you are really in the wild. At Lake Tarawera some of the favorite spots are Rangiuru Bay, the Landing and the Te Wairoa Stream mouth. One of the traps where they capture wild trout is located a short distance upstream from the Te Wairoa Stream mouth.

Be sure to purchase the Rotorua Trout Fishing Guide upon arrival. This five-dollar book(US $) has a wealth of information on all of the waters in the Rotorua area.

Of all the tourist attractions make sure you go to Paradise Valley Springs or Rainbow Springs on the western edge of town. You will not believe the size of the wild trout.