Fiordland Lodge, South Island

Fly fishing and ecotourism resort, Fiordland National Park

Fiordland Lodge, South Island

Overview

Fiordland Lodge is set in a UNESCO World Heritage Area near the small town of Te Anau (pronounced tay-arn-now) in extreme southern New Zealand. It is the perfect place to explore the remote, and spectacular, Fiordland National Park, the gem of New Zealand’s South Island. A visit to the area isn’t complete without a day trip to well-know Doubtful Sound or a more intense multi-day trek along the world-famous Milford Track. Anglers will enjoy the almost limitless fly fishing opportunities while non-angling companions will enjoy the close proximity to some of the world’s most spectacular scenery and rich natural history.

The lodge’s idyllic location, overlooking Lake Te Anau and the snowcapped mountain peaks on the other side, exposes guests to the peaceful, yet rugged, nature of the area. The luxurious accommodations and fine cuisine helps sooth the sore muscles and lighten the spirit after a day wading in a nearby river or hiking on an alpine trail.

Fiordland National Park and its nearby attractions are at the top of almost every list of “what to see in New Zealand”. World famous Milford Sound was chosen by TripAdvisor as the number one place to see in their 2008 Travelers’ Choice of World Destinations. Lonely Planet says “Spectacular Fiordland is a raw wilderness area sliced by numerous deeply recessed sounds that reach like crooked fingers into the Tasman Sea.” The Automobile Association of New Zealand ranks Mitre Peak and Milford Sound as the “#1 Must Do for Kiwis” and Hospitality New Zealand awarded Fiordland Lodge the “Best Accommodation” award in 2011. We have visited the area ourselves and agree. A stay at Fiordland Lodge is the perfect way to experience some of the very best that New Zealand has to offer and should be part of anyone’s “down-under” itinerary.

Location
Fiordland Lodge is located near the south end of the South Island, about 2 hours south of the popular tourist center of Queenstown. You can fly into Queenstown from Auckland, the major international gateway. There are also flights to Queenstown from several smaller cities, making it easy to combine a visit to Fiorldand with any of the other fine lodges in New Zealand.

Fiordland National Park and World Heritage Area
The Te Wahipounamu World Heritage area includes Fiordland National Park and the Westland Mount Cook National Parks. The landscape of this area, located in south-west New Zealand, has been shaped by successive glaciations into fjords, rocky coasts, towering cliffs, lakes and waterfalls. Two-thirds of the park is covered with southern beech and podocarps, some of which are over 800 years old. The kea, the only alpine parrot in the world, lives in the park, as does the rare and endangered takahe, a large flightless bird.

 

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Itinerary

Sample Itinerary
5 night, 6 day fishing and ecotourism trip

Day 1: Arrive in Queenstown
If you are flying into Queenstown on the first day of your trip and have requested an airport transfer you will be met by an Orvis Travel representative and transferred directly to the lodge. The trip takes about 2 hours so you should plan on arriving in Queenstown no later than 5:00 PM to arrive at the lodge in time for the regularly scheduled dinner. If you are planning to arrive later, the lodge will prepare a late dinner for you. If you are visiting other destinations in the area, or not planning to fish every day while at the lodge, then it might be a good idea to rent a car. If you do this Orvis Travel will provide you with driving directions from the airport to the lodge. You can check into your room any time after 2:00 PM. When you arrive at Fiordland Lodge you will be met by your hosts and given a tour of the lodge. If you want you can settle into your room and rest, take a stroll or drive into nearby Te Anau to look around and do some shopping. Cocktails are served in the lodge bar beginning at 6:00 PM followed by dinner at around 7:30 PM. Guests are individually sat so there is some flexibility.

Day 2-5: Four Full Days of Fishing and Touring
Tea and coffee are ready beginning at 6:30 AM. A full breakfast menu will be served in the dining room at 7:00 AM. You will meet with your guide around 8:30 AM and after a quick discussion and last minute gear check you will be on your way to the water. If you have opted for heli-fishing, the flights average around 20 minutes. If you are driving expect an average drive time of around 45 minutes. At midday you will take a break from fishing and enjoy a gourmet picnic lunch prepared by your guide. The fishing day usually ends in the late afternoon with a helicopter flight or drive back to the lodge, usually arriving around 5:30 PM.

It isn’t necessary to fish every day to enjoy the Southland Region of New Zealand and we recommend spending some time exploring the other activities the area has to offer. Some non-angling tours should be set up in advance of your visit. However, the majority of activities are self directed or can be set up on very short notice by lodge staff.

Pre-dinner cocktails and a four course dinner will be served each evening.

Day 6: Depart Fiordland Lodge
Although you can catch an early flight out of Queenstown today, most flights depart in the afternoon, allowing for a leisurely morning. Check out time is 10:00 AM. If time will allow, we recommend going to Queenstown and spending some time shopping or enjoying lunch at one of the many small restaurants in this quaint little tourist town before catching your flight. If you have requested a private transfer you will be taken back to the airport in Queenstown in time for your flight home or on to your next destination in New Zealand. Orvis Travel has a network of outstanding lodges in New Zealand and will be happy to recommend your next destination as well as help with the arrangements.

 

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Activities

The Fishing
Fiordland Lodge is owned by fly fishing guide Ron Peacock and his wife Robynne. Ron is the head guide and employs some of the very best guides in the area for his lodge guests. Whether you fish with Ron or one of the other fine guides, you will be impressed by their professionalism and enthusiasm.

The area boasts a tremendous amount of small streams, larger rivers and crystal clear lakes, most of which hold wild trout. There are over 40 uncrowded rivers and streams within an hour and half from the lodge, although drive times are typically only about 30-45 minutes. Browns and rainbows in many of the rivers average 2-3 pounds with larger fish caught almost daily. The guides in this area specialize in sight fishing and pride themselves in helping their guests spot and catch challenging fish. Some rivers provide relatively "easy" fishing, but most of the fishing in the Fiordland region is rewarding precisely because of the challenge presented by big wary trout.

As with most areas of New Zealand, a typical day fishing in this area may see skilled anglers catching 2-3 fish, averaging 4-5 pounds. Each fish will likely present enough challenge to make it interesting and may require a bit of patience and persistence on the anglers part. Trout fishing in New Zealand is often a game of finding the fish and this sometimes calls for some walking. Blind fishing is not common, or productive, in New Zealand and with fish that average much larger than fish in the US, it is sometimes necessary to cover some water in order to find fish. Don’t be surprised if you walk ¼ mile between fish or, if once you find a fish, you only get a few casts to try and entice them to take your fly. It is this challenge that most skilled anglers truly enjoy and what makes fishing in New Zealand truly unique.

Heli-fishing is popular in New Zealand and allows anglers and their guides to reach more remote areas where the larger trout often reside. In New Zealand, unlike the US, larger fish are often found in the headwaters of rivers and streams. The farther upstream you go, usually the bigger the fish get. Since most headwaters are in remote regions with very limited access, heli-fishing is the best bet for getting to the larger fish. It is also the best way to see the spectacular scenery of the area. We encourage anglers to consider at least one day of heli-fishing during your stay at Fiordland Lodge. Arrangements can be made on short notice directly with the lodge staff or your guide.

Non-Fishing Activities

The majority of guests visiting Fiordland Lodge are not there to fish. They are drawn to the area by the diverse activities available in and around Fiordland National Park. From passive sightseeing to adrenalin pumping adventure, there is something for just about everyone. The Te Anau and Fiordland region are often referred to ask the “walking and sight-seeing capital of the world”. In this region alone there are over 300 miles of walking trails built and maintained by the New Zealand Department of Conservation. In addition to walking trails, there is a wide variety of activities available to guests that prefer to see the scenery by helicopter, car, motor coach or small ship.

Guided activities include some of the following:

  • Milford Sound Nature Tour – This day trip departs by bus from Fiordland Lodge every morning. After a scenic drive over the Southern Alps you will board a small ship for a 2 and ½ hour cruise of the sound. Along the way you will likely encounter New Zealand Fur Seals, Fiordland Crested Penguins and other aquatic mammals. If you are visiting on a rainy day you will see literally thousands of waterfalls cascading down the sound’s steep cliffs.

  • Milford Track Trek – Often described as the finest walk in the world, the Milford Track is completed by approximately 14,000 people per year. This is a 4 day walk averaging 5 hours of walking each day. Access is limited and only 90 hikers are allowed to begin the trek each day. You can do the trek on your own with a guide book and a backpack full of supplies. There are Department of Conservation (DOC) huts along the way, providing basic accommodations or you can join a fully guided trip and stay in lodge accommodations with fully catered meals.

  • Doubtful Sound Cruise – A trip to Doubtful Sound begins with a short journey across Lake Manapouri and a coach trip across Wilmot Pass before embarking on a small ship. The cruise on Doubtful Sound is a 2 and ½ hour trip highlighting the spectacular scenery and nature of this majestic Fjord. After the cruise passengers will take the coach to the Underground Power Station at West Arm, an engineering wonder. Guests return to Fiordland Lodge early evening.

  • Guided Hiking – With a wide variety of trails and spectacular scenery, the area is a hiker’s paradise with hikes to match any fitness level. The lodge even offers a “heli-hiking” option for those that want to explore the remote terrain of Fiordland National Park.

  • Birding – The Fiordland area offers the opportunity to observe a wide range of both common and rare birds. The area boasts a unique combination of wetlands, forests and open country. Access is generally by four-wheel drive although some areas are adjacent to highways or hiking trails. The region is home to the world’s only alpine parrot, the Kea.

 

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Lodging

The Lodge
The open architecture of Fiordland Lodge reflects the vastness of the Fiordland National Park. Constructed of striking natural timber,the lodge may remind guests of the authentic upscale lodges found in the Western US. High ceilings, full trunk pillars and a massive river stone fireplace provide a warm spacious environment that is perfect for relaxing after a day on the river or hiking through the forests.

The lodge is only a few miles north of the small town of Te Anau, on the Milford Highway. Although not a remote lodge, the scenery is spectacular, making guests feel like they are in the middle of a vast wilderness, far away from the “real world”. The lodge overlooks Lake Te Anau with the spectacular Murchison Mountains on the opposing side.

The ten luxury guest rooms are all furnished with super king size beds, TV, remote control lighting and well appointed private bathrooms. Each room has a spectacular view of the lake and nearby mountains and is fully contained in the main lodge. There are also two free-standing log cabins available for guests, the perfect arrangement for a small family. The cabins are equally nice and located only a few yards from the main lodge building.

Fiordland Lodge has a fully licensed bar featuring a solid rimu timber bar top, a relaxing spot to enjoy complimentary pre-dinner drinks and conversations. Guests dine at large solid timber tables in the lodge’s dining room, which is complimented by a well stocked wine-cellar.

Food & Wine
You will enjoy fresh, local New Zealand cuisine at the lodge, with an emphasis on locally grown, fresh ingredients. The lodge’s chef and his team offer an interesting and well thought out four course dinner menu nightly, with a variety of options for guests to choose from. The lodge’s wine cellar, located only steps from the dining room, boasts an impressive selection of New Zealand wines. The lodge’s sommelier, or chef are happy to help you select the perfect bottle to enjoy with your dinner.

 

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Pricing & Dates

Pricing and Dates for our Fiordland Lodge New Zealand Vacation Package
Orvis Travel Inclusive Package Rates, per person, based on 2 guests sharing a room and a fly fishing guide.

September 2012 – May 2013 (Closed June 1st – August 31st)
November 2012 – March 2013 (full season)
4 night, 3 day fishing package – $2655
7 night, 6 day fishing package – $4900

September – October 2012 & April – May 2013 (shoulder season)
4 night, 3 day fishing package – $2318
7 night, 6 day fishing package – $4310

Ground transfers from Queenstown, each direction, up to 2 guests - $500
Helicopter transfer from Queenstown, each direction, up to 4 guests - $3000

New Zealand Vacation: Guided trout fishingAll rates are quoted in US dollars, per person, based on double occupancy.

  • Contact Orvis Travel for custom packages, including single occupancy. Any length of stay is possible and fishing packages can be modified to include fewer days of fishing.
  • Fishing rates are based on 2 anglers per guide. If your group consists of 1 angler and 1 non-angler, the fishing package rate applies to both.
  • Helicopter fishing is booked and paid for at the lodge, no advanced notice required. Average cost of a fly-out is about US $1500 - $1700 per day.
  • Rates are subject to change without notice based on international currency fluctuations.

Orvis Travel packages are based on the lodge’s published rates. Any specials or discounts offered by the lodge will be honored when you book with Orvis Travel.

Included:
Ground transfers from/to Queenstown airport (if booked), breakfast and dinners at the lodge, pre-dinner cocktails and accommodations from check-in on arrival day to check-out on departure day, guided fishing (2 anglers per guide), fishing tackle, lunch for anglers on fishing days, guided fishing excursions, local taxes, laundry facilities, wireless Internet or lodge computer access.

Not Included:
Airfare to Queenstown, rental cars, lunches on non-fishing days (box lunches available for purchase) guided non-angling excursions, fishing licenses, alcoholic beverages other than those described, laundry service by lodge staff (available for a small charge), phone calls and items of a personal nature.

 

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Reviews

Overall: 5.0/5 starsShow Rating Distribution 5.0 / 5 based on 2 reviews

5 stars 5-star:
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2 of 2 reviewers would recommend this product to a friend.

  • 5/5 stars 5/5

    Amazing - 11/28/2012
    By: from California

    Just completed several days of fishing with guide and lodge owner Ron Peacock - all I can say is wow!! If a beautiful lodge with incredible views, vegetables and salad from the Lodge garden, jam for your morning toast from the Lodge berry bushes, and gourmet meals isn't enough for you then spending time fishing with Ron will be. Ron has a knowledge of Fiordland that is second to none. He is a consummate gentlemen and a great fisherman - customer service is his ultimate goal. The Lodge staff is incredible as well. Caution: Ron is half mountain goat and will go anywhere for a fish.

  • 5/5 stars 5/5

    A great outdoor honeymoon experience - 1/26/2010
    By: from San Francisco

    We just returned from an amazing trip to New Zealand, which was also our honeymoon. When planning the trip, I told international travel expert Jason Elkins at Orvis that we wanted a top-of-the-line lodge (rooms, food, wine, service), located near prime fishing locations and tourist spots like Doubtful Sound. We would spend two of ten days fishing, and the rest as honyemooners exploring the South Island. Jason recommended Fijordlands Lodge -- and wow did he make the right call. We got the best of all worlds - 1) world class cooking, a great wine list, great all-around service and amazing views from any direction. 2) A central location to all the big tourist sites, and 3) Ron Peacock, lodge owner and 30-year fishing guide who put together two days of fishing that we'll never forget for the rest of our lives. Not only is Ron a great guide, but he is a joy to spend the day with. His enthusiasm is absolutely infectious -- you can tell that there is no place he'd rather be than showing you around the country he grew up in and spotting fish that you'd likely never see otherwise. The first day of fishing came with horrendous storm of 30 knot winds and heavy rains. Because Ron knew the region so well, he picked perhaps the only spring creek in the area that could be fished on a day like that. He spotted dozens of fish and we caught several despite the weather. On the second day, the conditions were sublime, so he put us on the Oreti River -- which is famous for large, picky browns. Again, Ron spotted fish in places I would have never even looked, and that resulted in a 7 and 9 pound brown (among others) caught on dry flies. In short, if you are just headed to New Zealand for fishing, I would recommend Poronui Ranch or other locations near the Murchison area. But if you are looking for a lodge that provides a balance of higher-class food and service, and provides great tourist access, pick Fijordlands Lodge.

Jason Elkins - Orvis Travel

Jason Elkins
Fiordland Lodge Contact
0808 234 3718
00 1 802 362 8790
OrvisTravel@Orvis.com

Jason Elkins did a wonderful job! Absolutely no surprises during the trip; his arrangements were perfect. I cannot envision ever booking through another organization.
- Craig, Friday Harbor, Washington

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