Riverview Lodge is one of the best kiwi fly fishing lodges/experiences you will ever get, with John and Robin Gemmell being the owner/operators for the past 30 years. They run 3-4 professional guides, a chef who prepares gourmet meals, and have four lovely bedrooms with mountain/garden views. John Gemmell is a “book of knowledge and experience” when it comes to fly fishing in his waters, and loves to guide also. Robin is a great hostess, and loves to look after guests in the lodge and the non-angler in the nearby alpine spa village of Hanmer Springs which offers many massage and beauty treatments, shopping and cafe’s. Approximately 40% of their clients each season are repeaters.
Riverview Lodge offers some of the finest sighted dry and weighted nymph fishing in mountains streams, for the large resident brown trout. The region has a variety of rivers from which to choose, from small and intimate, to iconic mountain streams. Riverview Lodge is renowned worldwide for producing consistent catches of New Zealand’s trophy brown trout.
There are approximately 24 different rivers the guides escort you to daily by vehicle, or you can choose to add on a helicopter flight to your package, to fish some more remote areas.
Riverview Lodge is located 80 miles northwest of Christchurch on the eastern side of the mountains, and 5 miles from the alpine spa village of Hanmer Springs. It is situated on a plateau overlooking the Hanmer Springs Basin, the Spenser mountain range, and the confluence of Waiau River, Hanmer and Percival rivers. A stunning location for a lodge, with panoramic, breathtaking and relaxing views. The lodge has four beautiful guest suites, accommodating a maximum of 8 guests.
2020/2021 Reservations & Rates
The cost of the week-long (7 Night/6 Day) Riverview Lodge package is $6,760.00 NZD per person, double occupancy; $9,845.00 NZD per person, single occupancy
• All rates include the New Zealand Government Tax of 15%
• Shorter stays & non-angling rates available.. Call us at 800-669-3474
Inclusions: Lodge package rates include your accommodation, all meals, pre-dinner drinks and canapes (beer, wine), three-course dinners, full-cooked breakfasts, picnic lunch, Wi-Fi, the use of all lodge facilities including laundry and the use of our fly fishing equipment if required, professional guiding with one of our fly fishing guides for each two anglers, and our N.Z. Goods and Service Tax. Also, the transfers into Village of Hanmer Springs and return for non-anglers, if applicable.
Non inclusions: International airfare to New Zealand, domestic flights, airport fees, daily helicopter flights as desired, transfers from Christchurch Airport to the lodge and back (NZ$450 each way – cost can be split between all people in the vehicle), fishing license (can be purchased at the lodge, or by you online prior to your trip – go to https://fishandgame.org.nz), gratuities or items of a personal nature. Prices are subject to change without notice.
The Fly Shop® is not in the insurance business, but we recommend Travel Guard coverage as a service with a desire to see your best interests protected. It is impossible to know when an unfortunate situation (loss of luggage, fly rods, illness in the family, or an accident) may occur. However, such things can and do happen, and this insurance can provide a means of recourse against non-refundable financial losses.
• Travel Insurance Information
Seasons at Riverview Lodge
New Zealand Fishing Seasons:
The seasons in the southern hemisphere are the opposite to those in Europe and North America. Riverview Lodge is located in the heart of the South Island of New Zealand and enjoys a temperate climate.
The functional opening of the fishing season for Riverview Lodge, and the rainbow are just gaining their post-spawn weight back again. There is often dry fly activity, but the emphasis is often with nymphs. The trout are sometimes still in groups, so higher per day catch rates are not unusual. Anglers should expect cool-but-warming air temperatures.
Early Summer (December):
This is considered peak fishing, particularly sight-fishing for numbers of trout – action can be with both nymphs and dries. Possibly the best time if you like the smaller mountain streams, as the water flows are still full, so the fish are not yet especially finicky (by NZ standards). The days are long and warm, and because Americans generally don't like to travel to fish during the holidays, the streams are pretty lightly fished.
Mid-Summer (January, February):
This is the most popular time for fly fishermen to visit New Zealand. The good news is the rivers are low and easy to wade, and the trout are easy to spot in the streams…but the good news also means the fish are warier, and more selective. On smaller rivers – usually meaning the mountain streams - these conditions demand careful stalking and delicate presentations with small dries and nymphs. On larger freestone rivers anglers can expect some great cicada and other terrestrial dry fly fishing.
Late Summer (March, April):
The most calm, dry, and predictable weather of the season, historically. Less fishermen means the trout start getting less fussy again, and both dries and nymphs can produce well. Expect cool-and-getting-colder air temperatures. After a long summer of eating, trout tend to be in superb condition.
Getting to Riverview Lodge
Depart the States for New Zealand:
Direct flights from the California, Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) or San Francisco International Airport (SFO) via Air New Zealand depart in the evening, arriving “two days” later into Auckland on the North Island of New Zealand. Though the flight time from LAX or SFO to Auckland is only 12 to 13 hours, you will cross several time zones and the International Dateline, arriving two days later on the calendar.
Air New Zealand flights will arrive into the Auckland Airport, a super modern international facility, early in the morning. Here you will clear
immigrations (passport control) and customs. This is all very easy, simple and you will immediately know you are in a different land, by the courteous and polite nature of the airport officials.
From Auckland you will take one of several daily domestic flights via Air New Zealand to Christchurch, South Island (approximately 1 hour 15 mins flight).
In Christchurch you can choose to rent a car and drive yourself to the lodge or have the lodge arrange for a driving transfer for you. If the latter, let us know, so we can arrange it with the lodge for you. If this is the case, once you arrive in Christchurch you will be met by a transfer agent, who will be arranged for in advance for you. The driver will leisurely make his way upcountry the approximate 80 miles to the lodge, a 1.5 hour drive in an air-conditioned vehicle, showing you some of the highlights along the way.
Lodging at Riverview Lodge
Riverview Lodge is an intimate, and boutique fly fishing destination lodge accommodating 8 guests in four double occupancy bedrooms with either King or Queen size beds, each with a full and modern private bathroom. The lodge sits on a plateau with stunning views of the Hanmer Springs Valley to the south and rugged Spencer Mountains to the north. This ideal location allows Riverview guides quick and easy access to some the finest trophy brown trout streams in the district.
Riverview lodge is comfortable, cozy and warm with several large lounge areas to relax and enjoy an adult beverage, a stone log fireplace, billiard room, satellite television, laundry facilities, and free Wi Fi. The large outdoor deck, offers spectacular and panoramic views of the farmlands and the river valley below.
Riverview Lodge employs a professional chef that masterfully creates delicious cuisine. Breakfast and dinners are served in the main dining room, while lunches are taken on the fly on the river. If you have any dietary restrictions or special requests, please let us know and the chef will accommodate.
Kiwi hosts, John and Robin Gemmell have owned and operated Riverview Lodge for the past 25 years. Their attention to detail and genuine concern for guests well-being, comfort and overall satisfaction has become legendary in New Zealand. They offer you “A home away from home” - a place to relax and enjoy your holiday vacation in style and comfort.
Fishing at Riverview Lodge
Riverview Lodge offers some of the finest sighted dry and weighted nymph fishing in mountains streams, for the resident Brown trout. The region has a variety of rivers from which to choose, from small intimate to iconic mountain streams. Riverview Lodge is renowned worldwide for producing New Zealand’s trophy brown trout.
There are 24 different rivers on their concession, mostly available by 4x4 vehicle access with a few more remote rivers accessed by helicopter.
What Makes This Destination Special and Unique?
• One of the most relaxed and comfortable fly fishing lodges on the South Island, owners John and Robin Gemmell have spent years cultivating their brand of relaxed luxury, along with a menu of 4-star cuisine. The four guest rooms feature either king or queen beds and modern private bathrooms, so your non-fishing hours are spent in comfort, and you will be amazed at the quality and ingenuity of the lodge’s daily menu.
• Riverview Lodge fishing is built around drive-to fishing, and John and his guides have 24 different rivers on their concession, most available by 4x4 vehicle access with a few more remote rivers accessed by helicopter. You will fish an amazing diversity of water during your stay. Heli fishing can certainly also be arranged, and there are some streams here with huge brown trout that cannot be reached any other way. You will enjoy short drives to big brown trout each day, in some of the most spectacular country on the South Island.
• Riverview Lodge is fine taking guests for less than a full week trip, so if you want to tag a few days fishing to the end of a business or tourist trip, they are an ideal choice.
• The lodge has free loaner gear – waders and shoes, and rods and reels. For those not wanting to pack their own gear all the way to New Zealand, this can be an attractive option, especially as felt shoes are not allowed, and guides there insist clients use special drab-colored fly lines.
• For non-anglers, Riverview Lodge has many options. Robin at Riverview Lodge can arrange an activities program that non-participants can enjoy. While the others in the party are enjoying fishing in the great outdoors, the non-angler can also have an enjoyable day doing whatever appeals.
Day options include:
- A Spa & Beauty packages in Hanmer Springs.
- Lunch & Wine Tastings at our of local vineyard - Marble Point.
- Whale Watching, Dolphins & Seals at lovely seaside town of Kaikoura.
- N.Z. Tranz Alpine Scenic Train thru Southern Alps from East to West of South Island.
- Escorted drive thru the scenic Lewis Pass, with some adventures on the way.