I've been to NZ 6 times since 1999, and have been to the West Coast/Westland each time. My wife and I go to flyfish and enjoy the spectacular landscape, pubs, wineries and friendly hospitality. It's the Garden of Eden. In the past, we've always stayed at high end luxury fishing lodges and other fine establishments, which are tremendous but also in the neighborhood of $500-$600US per night. I would say it's always been worth it, but with the heightened exposure NZ has received in recent years, the influx of tourism causing loss of certain "charms", and global financial meltdown, decided to look at an alternative since I was traveling with an old college teammate this time who had never been to NZ. We spent 3 nights at Caledonian Creek Lodge based on the recommendation of a fishing guide we've used over the years, a great guy who is a West Coast native. Unsure what exactly to expect, I landed in Christchurch and drove directly over the Alps (3 hours) with more than a little trepidation. However upon pulling into the driveway already began to feel good about trusting the rec from our fishing guide. The lodge sits on large acreage, and includes a 9 hole golf course that Trevor the owner manages and maintains. It's modest, but lovely. The property also includes indigenous forest, wildlife, a pond, beautiful landscaping - and Trevor and his wife Gail are in the process of finishing a Kiwi (bird) reserve on the property. Trevor works for the NZ equivalent of our Dept of Wildlife and Conservation and Gail (also from the area) works with NZ government. The lodge itself is spacious, clean and attractive with oustanding, private/quiet rooms with baths; wrap around deck for wine/beer/nibbles; and Trevor and his lovely wife also cook breakfast. While we were there they also provided lunch to take out on the river, and delicious dinner with wine. They're just super people with good hearts and deep local/regional knowledge of things to do in the region, including Greymouth. After leaving Caledonian Creek, we ended up staying at luxury fishing lodges as in the past, and actually wished we had just stayed with Trevor and Gail (and for less than half the price of those place too!). Moving forward Caledonian Creek will definitely be the place for me in Westland assuming their down-home formula doesn't change - which I cannot imagine.
If you're looking for a fishing guide, I suggest Russell Hansen who can be reached at www.icfish.co.nz (or via Trevor). He's likeable, humble and has superb sighting skills for the advanced fisherman - along with great patience for beginners. He taught my wife and always puts us on large fish in beautiful surroundings.
- Also Known As:
- Caledonian Creek Lodge New Zealand/South Island