Fishing is a popular activity within the Waimakariri River Regional Park. Whether it's river run salmon or trout, surfcasting or trying your luck at whitebaiting, anglers can be seen throughout the park from the river mouth at Brooklands up as far as the Waimakariri Gorge.

Please check notices and events for the latest information or like our Facebook page to stay up to date.

Fishing key access

If you want to access the river by vehicle, beyond normal public vehicle access, you can apply for a park gate key. In conjunction with Fish & Game, we have made provision of privileged key access available at strategic points in the park (please refer to the map).

To apply for this park gate key please bring the following in to our Christchurch office or Amberley depot:

  • Your current fishing licence
  • A form of photo ID, e.g. driver licence
  • Your vehicle licence plate number
  • A completed key issue form (available from the Christchurch office (Tuam Street) or Amberley depot)
  • A bond of $30

Gate locks are changed on 1 October each year. You can exchange your existing key for a new one or return your key and get your bond refunded.

Note: We no longer send new season keys via post.

For more information, contact the advisory team on 0800 354 636 or email

GPS locations

We provide the best fishing locations by GPS. Download GPS locations for anglers - Waimakariri River Regional Park.

Wheelchair and blind anglers' fishing access

A wheelchair and blind anglers' fishing access platform is available at McIntoshs. Please get in touch with us for key access at

Breaches of the conditions of issue will result in confiscation of your key or refusal to supply a key for the following season.

Keep an eye out for riverbed birds

While fishing keep an eye out for riverbed birds such as the wrybill (pictured here), black-fronted tern, black-billed gull and banded dotterel.

These birds feed, nest and sleep at ground level.

Recreational users can cause unintentional damage and disturbance to the birds causing nest failure. 

If you see birds sitting on the ground or behaving unusually, please leave the immediate area in case you're in the breeding territory.

It is also important to prevent dogs from chasing or scent-tracing riverbed birds.

Find out more about more about birdlife in braided rivers.