Best spots to for coarse fishing in the Auckland/Waikato Region.

Less than 50% of the rivers in the Auckland/Waikato region are covered by esplanade reserves (the “Queens Chain”). But notwithstanding the presence or absence of an esplanade reserve, anglers are dependent upon landowner goodwill to fully enjoy angling opportunities.

Accordingly make sure you take the time to extend to landowners the common courtesies that you would expect:

  • Ask their permission before you cross their land.  

Auckland Region

Tomarata Dune Lakes

Located about 20km northeast of Wellsford and approximately 2km from the east coast are two dune lakes that provide good rudd and tench fishing.  Lake Tomarata is the most accessible with vehicle access to the lakeshore.  Access to Spectacle Lake is more difficult, with less fishable water.  Both lakes are heavily used by water-skiers.

Lake Kareta

A large shallow lake containing rudd, perch, tench, goldfish and koi.  Grass carp are present in Kareta to control weed beds and we ask that any grass carp hooked is released. Lake Kereta is located at the end of Wilson Road, via South Head Road, in the Woodhill Forest on the South Kaipara Heads.  Please check the Walking Access site for public land before you go to the lake.

Lake Waimanu

A 22 hectare lake situated just inland from Bethells Beach. Access is physically difficult requiring a long walk (1.5 km) across consolidated sand dunes.  A good rudd fishery.

Lake Pupuke

This lake in North Shore City contains a wide diversity of coarse fish with especially good numbers of tench and rudd.  Pupuke has a reputation as a night fishery, generally fishing best after dark.  The adjoining Smale’s Quarry Lake is also a popular fishery and can be reached at the end of Taharoto Rd, Takapuna.  Public access is available to a number of sites around the lake margin.

Mangatawhiri River

This river and it’s side streams sometimes support good numbers of koi carp, but it is too channelised to hold many fish.  Access from SH1 south of Mercer.

Whangamarino River

This is a highly recommended river fishery with good numbers of rudd, koi carp, goldfish, and catfish. From SH1, turn off at the Meremere Power Station into Island Block Road, then travel for about 2km to the Whangamarino Bridge. Fish & Game land is signposted but not accessible from April to the end of duck shooting season, otherwise landowner permission is essential. Access can also be obtained from the “humpback bridge” on Falls Road (turn right at the end of Island Block Road).

Select map for larger view.


Waikato/Thames Valley Region

Te Onetea Stream

This stream connects the Waikato River with Lake Waikare and is a popular fishing location but action can be patchy depending on flow.  Rudd, goldfish, catfish and koi are present.  Access from Te Onetea Road, about 1km south of Rangiriri on SH1. A marginal reserve alongside the Te Onetea Road provides access to the stream, and there is also a stretch on public land worth fishing between SH1 and the Waikato River, otherwise landowner permission is required.

Lower Waikato lakes

There are many lakes in the lower Waikato catchment that hold coarse fish, including three large shallow lakes – Whangape, Waahi and Waikare. All hold huge numbers of rudd, goldfish, catfish, and koi carp.  Generally, these lakes are very dirty and most fishing occurs at the lake outlets.

Hikutaia Cut

The Hikutaia Cut is a large man-made pond that is connected to the lower Waihou River. This fishery holds tench, rudd, goldfish, and the occasional koi carp. Access is from Captain Cook Road, via SH2 (Auckland-Paeroa).

Waihi Lake

A large pond holding tench and rudd in Waihi Township.  Waihi Lake is located just before the Ohinemuri River next to SH2 (Waihi-Tauranga).

Lake Hakanoa

A popular fishery with easy access provided by a lakeside domain.  Lake Hakanoa holds all coarse fish species including high numbers of rudd and some large goldfish and koi carp. Hakanoa is located on the eastern side of Huntly Township.

Mangawara Stream

Popular stream but with limited public access so landowner permission is required. Access is from Taupiri on SH1, turn into Gordonton Road (Hamilton bypass) and then into Orini Road. Rudd, catfish, goldfish, and koi carp are abundant.

Lake Kainui (Lake D)

Lake Kainui is regarded as the best coarse fishery of the eight small lakes between Ngaruawahia and Hamilton. Access is from Lake Road, via River Road – which runs parallel to the eastern bank of the Waikato River between Hamilton and Ngaruawahia. A reserve beside a row of poplars gives foot access to Lake Kainui, otherwise private access via adjoining landowners. 

Lake Rotorua (Hamilton Lake)

Lake Rotoroa in the center of Hamilton City is a popular coarse fishery with good numbers of perch, goldfish, and catfish. Rudd numbers have declined in recent years but are expected to recover. Large tench are also present. Access is good with an extensive reserve along the lake margin.

Turtle Lake

A popular coarse fishery for junior anglers located in the Hamilton Botanical Gardens. Holds good numbers of perch, rudd, and large goldfish.  When fishing, make sure you keep off the gardens and be aware of other park users as park staff have previously attempted to close the lake due to a perceived risk to pedestrians.

Lake Te Ko Utu (Cambridge Lake)

Lake Te Ko Utu in the Cambridge Lake Domain is a great spot to catch small perch with ample access and plenty.  The Cambridge domain is an ideal spot to take kids due the access and abundance of small perch.

Waikato River

The Waikato River from the Karapiro Dam to the sea contains high numbers of rudd, catfish and koi carp.  There are many access points and some favored locations are the back-channels near Hoods Landing; the Les Batkin Reserve at Tuakau; the western shore either side of the Mercer Bridge, along the Huntly back road, Taupiri, and Hamilton City.

Lake Ngaroto

Popular coarse fishery near Te Awamutu with good vehicle access and an extensive area of fishable water. Rudd, goldfish, and catfish are abundant.

Lakes Arapuni and Karapiro

Both are large hydro-lakes on the Waikato River with high populations of rudd, trout, and the occasional large goldfish. Weed can make fishing difficult, nevertheless both lakes are increasingly popular with junior anglers. Lake Arapuni has several good access points including Bulmer Road, Jones Landing Road and Arohena Campsite.  Lake Karapiro has drive up access at  the Little Waipa Domain, Pokaiwhenua parking area, Waipa Reserve, Moana Roa Reserve, Keeley Reserve and Waipuke Park

Lake Huiputea

This is a large pond in Otorohanga Township with access from the heavy vehicle bypass. Lake Huiputea holds rudd and is excellent water for junior anglers.

Select map for larger view.

Map Waikato