New Zealand has a lot of amazing hunting and fishing lodges both in the North and South Island of New Zealand. Finding the right one can challenge with so many great options. Here’s a few pointers to help you make that decision.
Where do you want to go and what are looking to hunt or fish for?
There are both rainbow and brown trout in both the North and South Island’s, but the Salmon and the giant canal trout are only in the central South Island. With game species there are are Red Stag, Fallow Buck and Elk on both Islands. But Tahr and Chamois are only in the South Island with the main population of Tahr around Mt Cook/ Mackenzie districts.
How close is the lodge to your hunting or fishing species?
Lodges may advertise the species your interested in hunting or fishing but how close are they to the rivers or game? Some are very central while others you may have to spend time travelling each day or using a helicopter because of accessibility. Would you prefer to have the lodge to yourself or do they take families or groups?
How many clients will be in the lodge at the time you are there?
Depending on what you prefer some of the larger lodges during the busier months can have up to 10 couples in them each night. It`s important to find this out to suit what your interested in.
Quality of lodge
Checking to see if they have all the services you require such as WiFi, cell phone service, laundry, cable tv, proximity to the nearest town or Airport and what is included in your daily rate. Do you prefer your own ensuite?
Who owns the hunting and fishing business and lodge?
Its always good to know who you will be dealing with when you arrive, is it the owner, manager, staff etc. Owners usually have more control over the business and can make decisions typically on the spot that may arise.
Are there options for family and sightseeing?
New Zealand has such an amazing amount of sights and adventures to go on my international clients choose to add these onto the end of their hunting or fishing experience or even during their stay. Some lodges are not set up to take families or are in areas that are more remote. If this is important to you this is something to find out as well as what type of options do you have?
Who will be guiding you?
Typically the larger operations will have many guides they use each season with a higher turn over being seasonal work, where the owner or manager typically does limited guiding.
Are they a registered hunting or fishing lodge or Outfitting businesses?
In New Zealand we have both the Professional hunting and fishing guides associations that have a list of their members and companies. It’s a good idea to stick with a company that is a member which gives you an assurance that they fall under standards set by that organisation. Today there are still many outfitting companies in New Zealand who don’t operate under these guidelines and safety standards and training.