Reviews

Mar 30 2022

After a two year holiday hiatus, escaping to Owen River Lodge was simply brilliant! Felix, Kylie, Ryan and Jo looked after us so well and treated us like friends rather than guests.

The food was exquisite and beautifully presented - barista coffee in the morning was a god send and dining each night with Felix and Kylie was a delight and a laugh. I am a reasonably proficient fly fisher and my wife a novice and Chris our guide was able to meet both our needs and we both caught fish. I was also lucky enough to have a real back country fishing experience with Chris and it was simply brilliant.

We can highly recommend a stay and fish at Owen River Lodge to relax, enjoy great food and wine, and get out on a river fishing for big brown trout! We hope to get back soon.

Wayne & Cheryl: Cambridge, New Zealand : TripAdvisor

Mar 21 2022

Felix, Kylie, Ryan and Chris did a fantastic job looking after us. Lodge is in a perfect spot, great accommodation, food to die for and excellent fishing with Chris.

Highly recommended to those who are expert or, like us, beginner fly fishers for brown trout. Picturesque scenery and nice people.

Stu: Auckland New Zealand: TripAdvisor

Dec 21 2021

Owen River was a welcome break from Covid at the end of 2021.

My previous experience’ on the water’, was three days, so l was looking forward to fishing in the Upper South Island.
Felix is a relaxed host with a good sense of humour. Kylie has a calm demeanor and her previous experience as a teacher showed, during a casting lesson on the day we arrived.

We enjoyed drinks and nibbles at the bar, then Chef Ryan cooked up beautiful evening meals. Using the Lodge’s equipment made things easy. Felix has quality Fly Fishing gear, that was clean and well maintained.

Paul was my Guide for both days. His 32 years experience showed. We hooked 13 fish and landed 8 on the first day. The browns were more illusive the second day, but managed to land a couple good sized, after losing a few.
I appreciated Paul’s systematic approach to catching fish. His techniques worked, the results above can be attributed to him.

The best take out from the stay was that I left a better Fly Fisherman than when I arrived. The scenery superb and fun was had. We loved falling asleep to and waking up to the sound of Owen River.
One of Life’s great experiences.

Peter & Leanne : Auckland New Zealand: TripAdvisor

Nov 23 2021

We had the pleasure to attend the first “learn to fly fish” weekend at Owen River Lodge - what a brilliant thing to do. Kylie is a qualified fly casting instructor and has the patience of a saint!

Her skills will have you catching trout in no time - I can attest to that; I was an absolute beginner and I landed a nice 5 pounder!! Felix and Kylie are wonderful hosts and the accommodation, food and outdoor environment are top notch and suited us extremely well. From the moment we arrived until we left, we were so well taken care of, we barely had to think for ourselves!

We were teamed up with Adam who showed us some amazing fishing spots, was generous with his knowledge and provided us with lifelong tips and tricks. This is definitely an experience that we intend to repeat.

Joanna & Sam : Hastings New Zealand : TripAdvisor

Oct 27 2021

Wow what an experience after 50 years of dreaming about it I finally got to experience a luxury fishing lodge and was not disappointed.

Felix and Kylie make fantastic hosts relaxed but attentive, Ryan the chef made such amazing meals over all four days and Stefano my guide with skill and MUCH PATIENCE put me onto multiple fish on multiple rivers over three days of fishing and I managed to catch 1 rainbow and two brown trout the smallest being 4.5 lb. These are the first fish I have ever caught fly fishing in my life.

I’m definitely going back.

Nicky: Golden Bay NZ : Google Review

Oct 5 2021

The Owen River Lodge advertises itself as “New Zealand’s finest luxury fishing lodge” and lives up to its promise in spades.

Felix and Kylie are gracious and superb hosts. The lodge and the accommodations are luxurious and very clean. In the kitchen, Ryan is a creative master with an eye for detail; even the packed lunches were excellent.

We were guided by Stefano who worked extremely diligently on our behalf to put us onto several fish each day; the hardest choice was which river to fish - there are over a couple of dozen to choose from within an hour and a half drive from the lodge.

The first fish (4.5 lbs) was caught on the second cast on opening day; all fish caught over the the three days were larger than this. I even caught one on a dry fly on opening day (this has never happened to me before). Stefano attended closely to our safety at all times.

All in all a well-deserved 5 out 5 score; I’ll be back!

James: Ruby Bay NZ TripaAdvisor

Apr 29 2021

My wife and I spent three wonderful nights at ORL and could not have been happier.

The weather was challenging, but that’s fishing, and on the day we had with our guide Stefano, we hooked 6 great fish.

Felix, Kylie and Indy, together with their fantastic chefs Ryan and Jo make you feel at home the moment you arrive.

We look forward to our next visit to chase some dry fly action in December.

Tony & Jay Auckland NZ : TripAdvisor

Apr 23 2021

My partner and I had the absolute pleasure of staying at Owen River Lodge in April of this year (2021). What can I say. The lodge itself is a fantastic country style lodge with fabulous rooms. The main house and dining area is comfortable, Felix & his partner are the most welcoming and friendly couple and will provide everything you could possibly need for a few days of fly fishing.

The food is outstanding and the guides are just out of this world. We had the pleasure of being guided by Adam, how he spots the fish is just beyond me, we are keen fishermen/women and just can’t believe how amazing these guides are. With something like 39 rivers within a 90 minute drive, you can’t go wrong here!! EPIC stay!

What I love the most about this lodge is that the guests all dine together, served by world class chefs, you really get a great understanding of the local area, the lodge and the local fishing are and it’s great to chat to the other guests!
Truly awesome stay! I would highly recommend it.

Eve & Sam Auckland NZ : Google

Apr 9 2021

Just spent 4 lovely nights at ORL. Beautiful informal surroundings with great views. The dinners were exceptional thanks to Jo and Ryan. Felix & Kylie made us very welcome and comfortable.

Paul guided David to some great fishing spots resulting in a 6lb brown trout & 2 huge salmon, 13 and 17lb. Thanks Kylie for letting me arrange flowers & foliage from your gorgeous garden.

Catherine & David Auckland NZ : TripAdvisor

Feb 15 2021

My husband was looking for a place to go to stay for a few days that provided him with a great place to fish but would suit myself (who doesn’t fish). He spotted Owen River Lodge (who was running a Kiwi Special Rates) 2 nights/1 day guided fishing. On very short notice(around 9pm, Saturday night of Waitangi weekend) he contacted the Lodge and Felix (owner) couldn’t have been more helpful and was able to accommodate for us to come next day.

Owen River Lodge is situated in the most lovely setting on the edge of the Owen River. Great views of the river from the Lodge itself and the rooms.
When we arrived in the afternoon, it was lovely and hot and Felix suggested there was a good swimming hole to go in to cool off - was awesome.
I can’t say enough how wonderful the service, food (provided by Ryan, their on-site chef), and how lovely the room was. The room was spotless, bed super comfy.

My husband’s fishing day arrived and the guide assigned was great. He had a marvellous experience, catching fish, getting tips on his casting techniques when he asked for advice from Adam (guide).
Our whole stay was relaxing, food awesome, hospitality provided by Felix and Kylie couldn’t have been more welcoming.
Would recommend this place without a doubt and will look forward to returning in the near future.

Helen & Brian New Zealand : TripAdvisor

Feb 9 2021

Just had an amazing couple of days at Owen River Lodge…superb hospitality & generosity from Felix & Kylie. Delicious cuisine by chef Ryan & all in a beautiful remote country setting. And then there’s the fishing!!….just brilliant & that’s why it’s known as NZ’s finest fishing lodge. Special thanks to ORL fishing guide, Stefano for a fantastic day fishing.

Tony & Suzanne Auckland NZ : Google

Jan 6 2021

Wow, what an amazing stay we had at Owen River Lodge! Felix and Kylie are fantastic hosts, nothing is too much trouble and Ryan’s cuisine is divine!

I would definitely spend 3 nights here even if I wasn’t fishing. The location is idyllic - river, farm, native bush, flower gardens. There is also plenty to do aside from fishing - walks, swimming in the water hole, soaking in the jacuzzi, having a relaxing massage and reading books on the porch. St Arnaud and stunning Lake Rotoiti are also nearby.

Our fishing guide, Chris, was super helpful and knowledgeable. The fish on this occasion were very spooky, but Chris’ expertise got us onto some good size browns and we had several shots (including a good hook up!) at some nice trout in beautiful surroundings.

Thank you Felix and team for a wonderful escape. We would love to stay again.

Kate & Steve Auckland NZ : TripAdvisor

Mar 16 2020

The very best !
We just concluded our sixth visit to Owen River Lodge over the course of the last few years. On our last two trips to New Zealand we have stayed at ORL on two separate occasions during our trip - once early in our visit to the South Island and once at the end of our trip, for stays of five nights each time.

There is a reason for that: there is nothing to compare with it. Felix’ motto is “Fly fishing at its very best.” That is true, thanks to the incredible fishery and the wonderful guides who make that happen. But it is really the very best of everything: food, location, camaraderie and conversation at the dinner table, rooms and amenities. As my wife, who does not fish, says: “it is our home away from home in New Zealand.” Thank you Felix, Kylie, Ryan, Jo, Cassandra, the wonderful housekeeping staff and all who help make ORL truly exceptional.

Jim & Nancy Chicago USA : TripAdvisor

Mar 14 2020

Absolutely FABULOUS!

There are simply not enough superlatives to describe our 6-night, 4-day fishing stay at Owen River Lodge (ORL)! Felix, Kylie and each one of their accomplished and friendly team of wonderful guides, chefs and housekeepers delivered services that were far, far above and beyond our wildest expectations. Tucked away in a beautiful valley along the Owen River, the view from the covered porch of our incredibly well-appointed “cabin” was as perfect as everything we experienced at ORL.

From the moment we arrived, Felix and Kylie made us feel as comfortable as family. And Ryan, Jo and Cassandra fed us like royalty! Every meal was delicious and beautifully presented. Our cabin was always impeccably cleaned and restocked by the lovely ladies who were eager to accommodate our tiniest request. Chris, our fishing guide, was terrific! Even though we have each been fly-fishing for almost 40 years all over the USA, we learned SO MUCH from Chris about fishing for wary brown trout in New Zealand. He took us to some of the most beautiful rivers we’ve ever seen and fished. And, we sincerely appreciated his tireless hunt for “happy” (AKA “feeding”) fish that we could (sometimes, LOL!) catch. Thanks to Chris, and ORL’s extraordinary quality gear loaner program (which includes absolutely EVERYTHING a fly-fisher needs) we left with memories that will stay with us for the rest of our lives . . . at least until we return to ORL, which we fully intend to do - as soon as possible!

Fred & Cindy USA : TripAdvisor

Mar 8 2020

Great hosts in a great part of the world

elix, Kylie and Indy were great hosts for our four night stay at the lodge and have put together a fantastic team. The lodge is as pristine as the surrounds.

Peter our guide knew the region backwards and I swear had telescopes for eyes. When we could get ourselves together to put the fly where he pointed we hit gold! At the end of the day fishing, all the punters and guides got to share stories and banter ... it was a great atmosphere.

This atmosphere was of course well lubricated by some great local beer and wine with the lovely Cassandra always on the ball for top ups!

Jo and Ryan in the kitchen had us well fed and ready for bed each night (post me over some of those lamb cutlets!). Lucky I wasn’t wearing a belt.

As enthusiastic amateurs my mate and I were sorted with top notch loan gear and put on to some great fish. The small nature of the lodge means you get to meet everyone and get lots of tips. At least half of the other guests were return punters (which I think says a lot about the place) and were a wealth of knowledge too.

Hot tips from my visit would be 1. avoid light blue clothes which the insects seem to love, 2. Don’t forget your glove, 3.. If in doubt, Strike!

See you guys again soon!

Dean & Nick Australia : TripAdvisor

Awards & acknowledgements

Owen River Lodge NZ: “Fly fishing at its very best”

Ph: +64 3 523 9075 Address: Owen Valley East Road, Murchison, Nelson, South Island, New Zealand

Email: stay@owenriverlodge.co.nz