When Do You Need a Licence?

Visitors from overseas planning more than a brief fishing trip, must buy a Non-Resident Licence (NRL). This gives you the freedom to fish anywhere in the country (except the Lake Taupo region) as often as you like. Not only is it your passport to the best trout fishing on the planet, but it funds our efforts to keep it that way, now and into the future. (For more details, click here.)

Buying a whole season NRL also allows you apply for access to New Zealand’s superb back country fisheries. Once you’ve bought the NRL, you simply apply for what we call a back country licence or a controlled fishery licence – endorsement on your licence – at no extra cost.


How much does a non-resident licence cost?

Non-resident anglers pay $165 for their licence that remains valid from October to September. Or if you’d prefer to just Fish Away for a few hours or one to two days, a One Day Licence costs only $20 for an adult, and $5 for juniors. Just remember that if you opt for the One Day Licence, you are not eligible to fish the back country fisheries.


Can I buy a licence online before I arrive in New Zealand?

Non-Resident Licences can be purchased online or in person, once you arrive in New Zealand.


Where do I buy a licence?

You can buy your Non-Resident Licence using the button below, by calling the free phone number 0800- 542 362, or if you’ve already arrived in New Zealand, by dropping into a local hunting or fishing store. Remember, your funds go towards protecting the fishery and New Zealand’s fabulous freshwater lakes and rivers, and in particular, the treasured back country fisheries. There is a $5 booking fee for call centre licence applications if you use the 0800 service, which operates during normal working hours. To find out more on the NRL please click here


And a friendly reminder – please remember to buy a licence as any angler found without one or the ‘wrong’ licence is liable to prosecution and a hefty fine.


How Long Does the Licence Take to Arrive?

If you opt to receive a plastic card licence, it can take ten to 15 days to reach an address outside New Zealand. You can arrange for it to be delivered to a New Zealand address if you have the details.

But  your licence is valid from the moment it is purchased. You'll receive an email, a text or be given the paperwork. This means you can find a good spot then go online, pick up the phone or drop into a local store and within minutes you are licenced and free to Fish Away.


  •   I want to buy a Non-Resident Licence (NRL) now – click here.
  •  Tell me more about Non-Resident Licences – click here.
  •  I want to buy a one day licence – click here.