Our decision to go fly-fishing in New Zealand was the easy part. Deciding on where to stay was a lot harder.
After a few months of research, we narrowed our selection down to three lodges in the South Island, and finally made the decision to stay at Owen River Lodge based on a gut feeling. The reviews sounded like the type of experiences we were after, the food reviews were outstanding and we could imagine ourselves in those pictures sitting out on the veranda drinking a nice cold beer after a long day of fishing. We have since stayed at the Lodge twice.
The first day of our (second) trip could have easily ended with the wife in tears. Due to Cyclone Evan, our flight was delayed and as a result we had a 30 hour stay over in Wellington. Having never been to Wellington before, we were flying blind a bit on where to stay and what to do. The missus rang Felix to let him know we had been delayed and to cancel the shuttle bus. Felix range back with a hotel reservation, names of restaurants, and a list of things to do in Wellington the next day. That gut feeling was working out just fine.
The lodge looks like a family home from the road, complete with lush gardens and a white Labrador. The accommodation cottages are separate from the main lodge, which gives you a sense of your own space and privacy and a sensational view of the valley.
The accommodation was perfect for the two of us. Comfortable chairs inside and outside, lots of flying fishing magazines to read before bed time, heated towel racks (luxury!), a big bed and a ‘three bears’ selection of pillows - soft, medium and firm.
The fishing experience is hard to put into words, but at the end of the day it has made us both better fly-fishers. We were fishing at the tail end of a cyclone so the fishing was difficult and the weather challenging. Our guide, Boris, was exceptional. His knowledge of the rivers and years of experience, combined with his great sense of humour made our fishing days memorable and invaluable. Whilst we didn’t catch a lot of fish on the trip, we have applied the lessons learnt and are catching more fish back home.
Believe what you read about the food. After the first night we planned to take photos of the three course dinners. We didn’t take one photo during our entire stay, because the food was so good we couldn’t stop eating it! The other guests provided another layer of enjoyment at dinner. I noticed the seating arrangements change each night, to stimulate new conversations and stories amongst the guests.
Felix and the staff at Owen River Lodge made our holiday effortless. There is only one thing left to say…see you next year Felix!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Owen River Lodge is New Zealand's finest 5 star rated fly fishing lodge. Luxurious, warm and inviting ambiance. Stylish, understated accommodation located right on the Owen River in the South Island of New Zealand. Come and enjoy the stunning food, superb service and outstanding fishing. ... more less