General Info

I spend quite a lot of my time answering general questions regarding New Zealand. I'm not going to give you an exhaustive run down on the country. NZ tourist sites will do this. But here's a taster.

The important stuff first:


Yes there are pubs in NZ. The beer is crap, of course, but you can buy it. New Zealand makes some really good wine, but you don't want to go into a pub and ask for a glass of wine, not unless you are over 50 or wearing a skirt (this is NZ remember). They also make some really nice whisky (I think) which is cheap.


There are women in New Zealand. Which is of course a good thing. You can find them in the cities or large towns. Queenstown has many women and is a good place to look for them.

Are you still with me?


There are restaurants in NZ, but most are best avoided.
Actually that is a little unfair; a few a rather good. Although finding something without meat can be a little tricky.


Queenstown is a good party place (so is Auckland apparently). You can spend all your money in Queenstown very quickly (especially if you're not catching many fish and need some leson form of excitement, like sky-diving). Apart from here and Taupo everyone else goes to bed by ten pm sharp.


Grass is particularly popular, especially amongst the older population and members of the parliament (most young Kiwi's prefer alcohol). It's quite accepted in most quarters, although slightly illegal: it grows quite happily on it's own in NZ and the West Coast provides some particularly good crops.

People, weather and other stuff

There are 3.5 million people in NZ. About 50 million sheep. No snakes, crocodiles or bears. NZ is about the size of the UK. They use dollars and cents. Most things are cheaper than Europe (petrol, beer, beef; but interestingly chocolate is far more expensive, and not so tasty). People are very friendly, especially so in the South Island. So just because women come up to you and start a conversation doesn't mean they want sex. Although it doesn't necessarily mean they don't either.

The weather in NZ basically sucks. It's very varied and completely unpredictable. Forecasting must be either very difficult or completely inept, because it's never accurate. Summer usually arrives in early Jan and lasts for a couple of months. It's a bit like southern UK, only a few degrees warmer. And nothing like Australia, in fact even Australia is nothing like Australia.

They drive on the left in NZ, although not very well. Roads are slow (60 mph limit) and more importantly they actually enforce their speed limits - unlike the UK say. Even the main highways are two lane, very little dual carriageway, and what there is they enthusiastically call motorway. They have 'stop' signs, which means that you have to completely stop the car (bounces back from the springs) before you can carry on. I got fined 150 bucks for anticipating a clear stretch, driving well and not stopping. In NZ they have a very peculiar traffic law: when turning left off a main road, you must give way to traffic turning right. Unfortunately many tourists don't know this rule, consequently turning can be an exciting experience. And guess what? They are changing this law. Get some insurance and drive a crappy car; then you have the right of way.

Deer, pigs and goats

Lots of good shooting opportunities in NZ. One third of NZ is managed as Dept of Conservation Land and can be accessed. Most of it can be hunted. You need a permit (free) and a rifle.

Further reading

In order to find out more information regarding fly fishing opportunities in NZ, I would like to recommend a book: 'The South Island Fishing Guide' by John Kent. He also has a North Island book too. And newly out a combined book (which methinks not so good because it recommends various guiding services... must have been a bit of politics going on there).

That's it!

I can't think of any more advice or important info. If you have any questions then please email and I'll do my best to answer them. Hopefully this will enable me to add more info and make this site even more useful.

If you are familiar with rivers and lakes not included in this section then please email me with brief details, a paragraph or two for each and I'll paste them up (like life isn't mysterious enough). I'll credit you for them (if you want). Thanks and I hope to see you around sometime, Paul