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Central South Island...

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Backcountry New Zealand

Backcountry New Zealand has built an excellent reputation as one of New Zealand's leading trout fishing and outdoor adventure guiding outfitters. 

Their professional fly fishing guides deliver the highest level of service, providing a rewarding outdoor adventure experience personalised to suit each guest.

With its base in the central South Island, Backcountry's guiding services span most of the South Island. If you wish, a full itinerary including accommodation can be developed for you; and hunting or exploring the back country by raft, helicopter, bike or kayak can be incorporated.

Name Backcountry New Zealand Fishing and Hunting Guides
Contact Nigel and Myriam Birt and their outfitting team
Postal address

PO Box 72


Contact details

Phone: +64 (0) 21 644 507
Fax: +64 3 308 2665

Email: mail@backcountry.co.nz

Web: www.backcountry.co.nz


Backcountry New Zealand is based in the resort town of Methven (Mt Hutt village) which is marked on the lower Rakaia River map.

It is 1.5 hrs drive from the city of Christchurch and the Christchurch International Airport.

For a map and driving directions, see the Backcountry New Zealand website.

Fishing waters

With its base in the central South Island, Backcountry's guiding services span most of the South Island, including the:

Fishing options
  • Full-day guided fly-fishing
  • Heli-fishing tour
  • Multi-day tours with hiking and helicopter options
See video

See this and other hunting and fishing video clips from Backcountry New Zealand.

Equipment provided

Backcountry New Zealand provides high quality fishing equipment, 4WD vehicles and modern lightweight waders.

If you wish to bring your own equipment, refer to the Fly Fishing Fact Sheet at the Backcountry New Zealand website.

Guiding services

Backcountry New Zealand provides:

  • Experienced professional guides
  • Tuition and skills development as requried
  • Passenger certified vehicles
  • Passenger certified drivers/guides
  • All specialist equipment
  • Private land access
  • N.Z.P.F.G.A. Guides with relevant qualifications/experience
  • First Aid qualified guides
  • Strict safety management policies
  • Department of Conservation concession
  • Public liability insurance
Your guides

Head guide

Nigel Birt is an Executive Member of the New Zealand Professional Fishing Guides Association and has:

  • Vast knowledge of fly-fishing guiding in New Zealand
  • Worked professionally as a fly-fishing guide and instructor since 1988
  • A degree in Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management, Wilderness EMT, Advanced First Aid
  • Served his apprenticeship at a top New Zealand fishing lodge
  • A great knowledge of New Zealand flora and fauna, geology, and backcountry survival
  • Qualifications and  work experience as an avalanche forecaster as safety manager for several New Zealand ski areas and as a heliski guide for Mt Hutt Helicopters

Guiding team

All Backcountry New Zealand guides have gained invaluable experience and a wealth of knowledge through guiding throughout the South Island. Each guide is a member of the New Zealand Professional Fishing Guides Association.

Photos and profiles of the guides can be found at the Backcountry New Zealand website.

Other activities

Backcountry New Zealand was the winner of the 2004 Ashburton District Tourism Awards Visitor Activity category. As well as fly fishing adventures, its activities include:

Packages and indicative costs
as at 1 October 2010

Backcountry New Zealand Fly Fishing Adventure packages include:

  • Fishing guiding and tuition
  • Airport transfers if included in a package
  • 4WD Transport
  • All accommodation and meals as per the package description
  • Use of fishing equipment as required
  • Streamside lunches
  • Full season fishing licence
  • Access and concessions
  • 15% GST (Goods and Services Tax)

Canterbury day fishing trips

  • NZ$795 for two anglers and one guide
  • Non angling companion - complementary

There for the Taking (7 days / 6 nights)

  • Accommodation in farmstay, motels or cabins
  • NZ$6,450 for 2 anglers and one guide per person
  • NZ$10,450 for one angler and one guide

Central South Island (5 days / 4 nights)

  • Accommodation examples: Beluga Lodge, Ski Time Apartments, Flock Hill, and others
  • NZ$3,700 for 2 anglers and one guide per person
  • NZ$6,150 for one angler and one guide
Springs and Freestone (3 days / 2 nights)
  • Accommodation at Beluga Lodge
  • NZ$2,150 for 2 anglers and one guide per person
  • NZ$3,450 for one angler and one guide

Beluga Intro (2 days / 2 nights)

  • Accommodation Quality Bed & Breakfasts / Lodges
  • NZ$1,550 for 2 anglers and one guide per person
  • NZ$2,450 for one angler and one guide

Grasmere exclusive (2 days / 2 nights)

  • Accommodation Grasmere Exclusive Luxury Lodge
  • NZ$4,100 for 2 anglers and one guide per person
  • NZ$5,000 for one angler and one guide

A detailed itinerary for each package is available in pdf format at the Backcountry New Zealand website.


'... without doubt the best guide I have ever had. I don't recall seeing a single other fisherman in the 4 days we were out. I caught 7 or 8 trout, Browns and Rainbows and missed at least that many others cause I was slow on the hookset or blew the cast. It was overcast 3 of the 4 days and our guide was still seeing the fish well. Even when he pointed them out I did not always see them.Thank you for a great trip.'

Kim Pattee

'... We had such a good holiday in New Zealand and have been telling everyone to go... We all enjoyed your company and help, and it all ran so smoothly; we have many many happy memories of the trip, helped by your photographs. We haven't used a guide before, as you know, but one could get used to this standard of hassle free holiday!'

Romayne & John

'... I have fished with a fair number of guides in and out of the states. Nigel Birt is the best guide I have had the pleasure to fish with. Excellent in all aspects of the guiding experience. Also provided a CD of the pictures of the fish we caught!...'

Robert J. Slezak


Phone or email to make a booking or complete the online request form at the Backcountry New Zealand website if you have an enquiry.


Nigel Birt







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