Back before winter, I decided to check out Queenstown for a long weekend and do some trout fishing in Lake Wakatipu. Here’s how it unfolded!
Christchurch to Queenstown
Leaving Christchurch for Queenstown on a Friday afternoon is always going to be a slow crawl. It’s usually a bumper to bumper race to get out. It’s amazing the risks some people will go to such as passing on corners, to get just a few spaces ahead.
Quite often there are another 40 cars ahead of them anyway. Regardless of the traffic, I got on the road and headed toward Mount Cook via Geraldine. You can use your CamperMate app to find alternative routes, and if you have time, this is really worth it. The scenery and the driving experience are potentially awesome!
This first leg to Queenstown can be a little too familiar for Christchurch-based people. For travellers, I’m sure it’s just as epic as the rest of New Zealand though!
The giant Salmon in Rakaia is something I use as a landmark reminding me to fill up at the service station. Today it was a good reminder that I was about to go fishing on Lake Wakatipu, one of New Zealand’s most beautiful locations.
Awesome views and places to stop
The entire trip from Christchurch to Queenstown take between 5 and a half to six hours. There are plenty of places to stop and see things, but a few stand out.
Lake Tekapo is one of those. It’s always fantastic to see the brilliant blue of the glacial water against the background of the brown Mackenzie Basin.
And of course, you get to drive past Lake Pukaki and see Aoraki Mount Cook. Maybe I’m just lucky, but usually, whenever I go past this incredible view, I have amazing weather.
Staying safe on the road
The roads are normally pretty manic for the entire journey to Queenstown. The town and the surrounding area is a popular destination for people all over New Zealand. It pays to be very careful and observant the entire trip.
Pay attention to the double yellow lines, as these mean no passing, and try to stay calm!
Queenstown Trout Fishing
Finally, I arrived for my Queenstown Trout Fishing weekend and met up with a friend who’s been fishing on Lake Wakatipu for years. He’s proud to have once caught a trout weighing an amazing 19 pounds.
We launched from the Frankton boat ramp and began trawling along the lake edge, at a depth of around 6 metres.
The thing that I find most exciting about fishing is the anticipation about the size of the fish as you bring it in and the high chance that it could break the line or spit the hook at any moment.
As we cruised past the Frankton end of the lake near the Hilton apartments, there was a tug on the line. I eventually got the decent-sized trout close enough to use the net, and we marinated it for cooking later on.
Lake Wakitipu Fishing Rules
There is no minimum size when you’re fishing on Lake Wakatipu, but it’s nice to be responsible. We were careful to put any really small ones back.
Both trout and salmon live in the lake, and they generally average around 1-2 kg. If you want more information, this NZ Fishing website is pretty good.
We continued our day trawling around, catching the occasional trout, and generally enjoying the time in New Zealand’s adventure playground.
The next day it was time to head home. The traffic back to Christchurch was more or less the same as on Friday. However, everyone seems just a little more relaxed.
That’s what a weekend in Queenstown can do for you! Travel safe!