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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
What a special spot!
We were warmly greeted by Felix and Kylie. This was our friend’s repeat visit and they had been raving about the Lodge for several years. We weren’t disappointed.
Our room was beautiful, the food was outstanding, and the fishing experience was incredible. Kylie was so patient in giving me some casting lessons. We only wish we had more experience with the sport. We look forward to returning with more experience to catch those very sneaky fish. Thank you all for a very fun new experience.
Sunny Summer Sweetness at Owen River Lodge!
My husband and I enjoyed a three night, two day visit recently at ORL. We are repeat visitors and it just….keeps…..getting…..better! Felix, Kylie, Ryan and Cassandra were stellar in their customer service. We enjoyed exceptional meals at Ryan’s hand and Felix & Kylie see to the smallest detail including room amenities and impeccably manicured grounds.
We are casual fly-fishing people and to that end DON’T overlook this place if you are not an expert in fly fishing. There are a multitude of various activities to engage in during your stay and the guides are great at mentoring and helping with technique. Our guide, Gavin, was an affable young man whom we throughly enjoyed. He provided efficient guidance and put us on multiple fish. Bottom line: we’ll be back~ OH….Indie, the resident lab is irresistible and the wine list is impressive!
The Best Keeps Getting Better!
Felix, Kylie and the amazing team at Owen River Lodge (ORL) continue to exceed expectations. I have been visiting the South Island of New Zealand since 1997 and have stayed at ORL several times now. From the first trip, ORL has been unique and outstanding - somehow it keeps getting even nicer! Felix is tireless at making ORL even better, which is no easy task given the high bar he and his team have already set.
The cabins are beautiful and comfortable and continue to look like they are brand new. They are meticulously maintained and luxuriously appointed.
The main lodge had some great but subtle upgrades since my last visit including a spectacular new picture window in the dining room overlooking the river and, during October, snow-capped mountains.
Chef’s Ryan and Jo impress at every meal. Delicious, hearty and healthy food.
At the end of the day, I visit ORL for the fishing and Felix has built (and continues to develop through an innovative training program) an impressive stable of guides. As good a team as I’ve seen in my 20+ years fishing the area. The lodge’s location is ideal and due to the great number of area rivers the diversity of the fishing opportunities feels endless.
Truly an outstanding experience in every way and it’s clear why ORL continues to win so many NZ tourism awards!
Most amazing place!
We were staying at Owen River Lodge in the early spring season, October, and we loved the place! Friendly and inviting staff. Great wines served each evening and with dinner. Which was the best! We were served gourmet meals, breakfast, lunch and dinner! Expertly prepared by friendly chefs and served by either Felix himself, or Kylie. As a fishing lodge owner myself, I learned a lot about how a 5 start lodge operates. Mine is tad casual, in Alaska, but I am definitely taking home some pointers! The cottages were so comfortable and well appointed. The housekeeping staff did a great job.
My husband and his buddy loved the challenging fishing, and the guides were very helpful and patient. And friendly! As the non fishing spouse, I found a lot of time to relax, but also long walks, bike rides and a massage were great ways to entertain myself. I also had a day tour provided and was able to see more of the area, taste some of my favorite wines, and new ones, and had a marvelous lunch. This was booked separately, but a not to miss day for any non fishing guest with Felix and Kylie! I will accompany my husband again on this trip in the future. We love New Zealand and now that we know about ORL, we will be back!