Only my second time to the lodge and I speak as someone who is absolutely hopeless with a fly rod but just love everything that is fly fishing. I’ve chased Golden’s and tuna on Hervey Bay, Bones in the Cook Islands and Browns in NZ.
For the Fly Fishers, the guides are great humans with wonderful temperament and skill set . They will put you onto fish! The gear Felix provides is first class all Sage rods and reels and Simms G3 waders and boots .
In regards the food. My best comparison is Lizard Island ( probably one of Australia’s top 3 luxury resorts ) . I would say the food at Owen River Lodge is as good if not better than Lizard .
In regards the wines that come inclusive with the tariff they are way way better than Lizard Island and any cruise line ( Silver Seas) that Ive been on. the rooms they are beautiful and clean . Again if i was to compare with Lizard Island ( pre the cyclone and rebuild ) I would say the rooms are an 8 out of 10 comparison.
Beyond that I really love the intimacy with only 6 rooms its a far, far more personable experience than i have experienced anywhere else. Felix was particularly accommodating with my quirky requests like packing a thermos of tea with real milk and a bottle of wine for each days fishing. He even trained me on closing doors ( in joke) .
My wife who is not into fishing flew in and joined us for the last night . She was so impressed that next time she will come in a day earlier and just relax around the lodge.
We just returned to Owen River Lodge for our second visit and again it was a terrific experience.
Felix and his team’s hospitality is first class. Nothing is too much trouble. The rooms are very well appointed and the lodge itself is set up perfectly for guests. The food was exceptional and the wine list very well selected.
For the fly fishermen it is everything you would want and more. All the gear (rods, reels, lines, waders, boots) is top shelf & the guides are experienced pros who put you on fish as well as being great company for a day on the river. The many rivers that are accessible in the area are world class. We are far from experienced fly fishing anglers but again we landed very nice wild brown trout on this trip. I would highly recommend Owen River Lodge and will be coming back for sure.
Owen River Lodge was my first opportunity to visit New Zealand, and the trip was exceptional! The accommodations were fantastic and extremely comfortable. The food was delightful, and I waited each evening with excitement to find out what delicacies were on offer for dinner.
The setting of the lodge is wonderful with “postcard picture” views available from each room. How can I forget the fishing? I can’t!! The brown trout fishing was world class, and my guide worked as hard as all the staff at the lodge to make sure my trip was a successful fishing trip.
Felix and staff pay attention to the details, and go out of their way to ensure that guests of the Owen River Lodge are taken care of. This is what makes Owen River Lodge such an exceptional trip! I thoroughly enjoyed my 6 nights and 5 days fishing, and I certainly plan on being a repeat visitor!!
This is the place - if you have ever dreamed of fly fishing in New Zealand, Owen River Lodge is it! From the moment we arrived, our host Felix made us feel like old friends. Our accommodations were superb, 5 star all the way.
Our chefs, Ryan and Jo, prepared wonderful meals every day. The fishing guides were extremely professional and knowledgable about the areas many rivers. I caught 5 to 8 lb trout every day - I cannot say enough about what a great experience this was!
Owen River Lodge is a perfect blend of true luxury accommodations, surreal surroundings and a home base for the greatest brown trout stalking angling opportunities the planet has to offer. Felix and his superb staff seem to have thought of everything - the spacious, comfortable cabins are wonderful, the fly-fishing gear available to borrow is top-notch and in great condition, the dining is world-class and the lodge environment is very comfortable and full of laughter.
Whether you’re a family looking for a relaxing holiday or a hard-core solo fly-fisherman, Owen River Lodge will meet and exceed your needs. For anglers, Felix has built a stable of outstanding guides who can teach a novice angler or provide the most skilled anglers with any challenge they may desire and the lodge can easily access more than 20 rivers in under a 2 hour drive. I have been visiting and fishing in New Zealand since 1997 and I can truly say I’ve never had a better experience.
We found ORL on the internet when planning a 4 week fishing trip to New Zealand from the UK and were not sure what to expect. The Lodge facilities, Felix’s welcome and the extremely high standard of guiding far exceeded our expectations. The week we had at ORL was the highlight of our whole trip and will be remembered for years to come.
The best day’s fishing was 20 trout averaging 4lbs between the two of us fishing with an extremely energetic and professional guide! Many kilometers of wet wading!!
Having just returned from ORL for my third season of fishing there, I can only reaffirm that this place is fabulous! Felix remains the absolute star, advising on my angling trips before reaching ORL, and entertains and informs when I get there.
The catering and facilities as ever, especially chef Ryan, make the guests feel special and pampered, particularly to soothe the aches and pains after a day out for my unfit frame . The cabins are luxurious, and quiet. The main house provides a great place to interact with fellow guests, and Felix carefully seats people to ensure everyone mixes each day with someone new.
The guides provide superb support for the fishing. The friendly rivalry each day kept me giggling all the way through. After a stellar performance last year, I was able to relax this year, with brown trout up to 6.5 lbs, and a tremendous variety of waters to fish, some new for me and some old favourites. This year my guide treated me to some amazing upstream dryfly, my lifelong passion. A real treat!
As I mentioned previously this is serious fishing. Physically and mentally demanding. There are, however, things to do on rest days, such as walking, horse riding, shopping expeditions etc, for the non-purist (not for me!)
The opportunity to heli-fish again in the back country was amazing. This is real wilderness fishing, but with the certainty of getting back for a superb dinner at the end of the day. What is there not to like?
Have tentatively booked already for next year!!!
Well, its been quite a month of print media attention. Australia’s only national newspaper, The Australian, has published an article about Owen River Lodge and the fishing opportunities.
The January/February edition of the prestigious American magazine Outside have written about the 13 must do adventures in New Zealand and have picked Owen River Lodge as their fishing lodge of choice.
The Marlborough Express have written an article publicizing that applications for the 2016 Casting for Recovery Retreat, which will be again hosted by Owen River Lodge, are now open.
The Nelson mail has listed their “Top 5” luxury escapes in the region, and Owen River Lodge was one of those !
German fly fishing magazine “Fliegen Fischen” review their stay and the fishing at Owen River Lodge
It’s such a treat when literally every aspect of an experience exceeds one’s expectations. Owen River Lodge is that and more.
Proprietor Felix Borenstein offers accommodations, cuisine, décor, and a setting that are richly and deeply satisfying. On top of that there’s The Fishing—why most folks come here. It is, in fact, the stuff of legends. Epic water, outstanding guides, and the fish themselves—gorgeous beasts they are. We are complete devotees after a 5-day visit. Thank you, thank you Felix for enhancing our lives so deliciously!
A truly remarkable experience. After recovering from the jet lag and recapping our trip to NZ, we were in total agreement - that our time at Owen River Lodge was hands down the BEST part of our trip.
Our only regret is not staying at ORL longer! Felix is the most gracious host, Ryan’s cuisine was out of this WORLD (best food in NZ), the accommodations were luxurious and just what we needed after the long days fishing/trekking, Aaron was an outstanding guide and our experience wouldn’t have been the same with out him. He put us in excellent positions to catch plenty of 6 lb and up browns (including a 9 1/2 lb monster). Then you have sweet Keeley dog!! She cannot be overlooked. What a joy to see her sweet face everyday. A huge thank you to Felix, from the bottom of our hearts, for being exactly who you are and for fostering what will go down as one of our most treasured memories. We are already looking at dates for our next visit and can’t wait to see you all again soon!
Fly fishing for huge wild browns at its best !!
My advice to any passionate fly fisherman keen to hunt & catch huge brown trout in superb condition, in crystal clear beautiful rivers flowing through magnificent scenic countryside ... look no further ... treat yourself to at least a week at the Owen River Lodge and endulge yourself in excellent accommodation, fine food and wine and superb service provided by the owner Felix Borenstein and his great staff ...
After you’ve experienced Owen River Lodge, no doubt like me, you will be counting the days to your next trip !! ... It just cannot come quick enough !!