Lodge Reviews

River Haven Lodge enjoys an excellence rating with TripAdvisor.

Read some of our reviews here!

“Brown Trout, Heaven on a Sage Rod!”


When we drove up to River Haven Lodge, the greeting we received from Scott & Leya was equal to an old friends' reunion & we were made to feel very welcome. The Cabin Layout was exceptional & comfortable. The food prepared by Leya, was a gastronomic delight. The next morning, kitted out in thermo long-johns & boots & the vest in place, we headed off to the Mangles River, where, under the expert guidance & perfect Fly positioning, by Scott "The Trout" Murray, I was transformed from a novice, into a Brown Trout Fly Fisherman with my first & largest catch, being a 5 & 3/4 pound Beauty!, followed by 3 more fantastic fish.

I recommend River Haven Lodge to all fishing fanatics who wish to take on the Mighty Brown Trout. Thank you Scott and Leya

Roger & Donna Boswell, Mundoolun, Queensland Australia.


“WONDERFUL!!! Don't miss the opportunity to go!!”


Scott and Leya are excellent hosts, in a wonderfully maintained and quality built world class fishing lodge. My son Zack and I took a week and stayed at River Haven. We were limited by my son's short time away, so our experience although excellent, was too short. Take time to be with River Haven more than a week. You'll be glad you did. Even though this was my son's first fly fishing experience, our guide was able to get him on a fish and was able to experience New Zealand Brown Trout on the fly rod. EXCITING!!

The welcoming feeling, accommodations, atmosphere, meals, professional fishing guide service, and overall experience was simply outstanding for a father-son trip, or for anyone. I highly recommend the River Haven experience to anyone looking for a great fishing experience in as beautiful a landscape and with as friendly hosts as you will find anywhere. I look forward to visiting my friends Scott and Leya again soon.

Bruce Fox, Hamner, Idaho, USA


“The best there is”


I have now fished with Scotty on 8 trips and can only say that he really is the best guide I have ever fished with. The quality of the fishing is out of this world, the food is excellent and the accommodation top notch. I will (and do) go back in a heartbeat as Scotty and Leya have really become friends. Visiting and fishing with them has become way more than just another fishing trip.

Ruhan Neethling, South Africa


“Friendly professionalism and exceptional fishing”


Fishing with Scott is always a joy, because from the moment you first meet him you are fishing with a friend, and because of his uncanny ability to find fish even in difficult conditions. Scott and his team are superb guides, and I learn so much being guided by these experts. Local knowledge is critical to fishing success, especially in New Zealand, and using the New Haven team maximises the fishing experience and gives opportunities to fish pristine water you would never discover otherwise. I have lodged and fished with Scotty for a number of years now, and it is one of the highlights of my fishing calendar because I know I am going to have a wonderful holiday and be challenged with great fishing.

The accommodation at Haven Lodge is excellent and well set up for both fisherman and wives! Leya and Scotty are great hosts, and the food and wine is always very good. Very hard to go past this as a fishing destination in the South Island.

Rob McKegney


“Life is short ... go fishing with Scotty!”


I cannot recommend a better fly fishing guide than Scott Murray. Scotty's ability to locate and spot fish is absolutely amazing. My wife was guided to a brown trout so BIG ... that when you turn the photo sideways ... the trout looks like its holding her! This is that kind of trip that you will find yourself day dreaming about all the time.

Leya and Scotty are wonderful hosts and I'm sure you will enjoy the warm hospitality of the lodge. Life is short ... go fish with Scotty ... you will not regret it!

Joe & Kerry Modder, California, USA


“Guides Critical To NZ Fly Fishing Success”


We have fished all over both islands in New Zealand for over a dozen years and have sent numbers of clients to experience the thrill of stalking trophy trout in their crystalline streams. No where in New Zealand can finer, more patient and experienced, expert guides be found than Scotty Murray and his associates at River Haven. In New Zealand, fishing success is driven more by your guide than any fishery in the world. The “right” guide uses his local knowledge and access to get you on the “right” stretch of water at the best possible time, regardless of conditions. Scotty and his group definitely have the “right” stuff.

The accommodations and ambiance of River Haven’s cabins provide a comfortable and welcoming foundation for a wonderful New Zealand fly fishing experience. The overall experience provided at River Haven by Leya and Scotty Murray is as good as it gets in NZ.

Don Muelrath, Fly Fishing Adventures, California, USA


“Best Trout Fishing & Guiding!!!”


Come to River Haven if you want to catch fish!! This place is perfect and perfectly laid out for genuine fisherman who are interested in fly-fishing for Brown Trout. Scott is one of the best guides you will ever get. He is able to not just see the fish and/or pick where they will be but like any good guide, he works out how good you are and positions you accordingly. A trip with him is like attending a university refresher course in trout fishing.

The accommodation is also excellent. His wife, Leya, runs the accommodation. The food is good, and the service is very good. You learn a lot with Scott and you have a very comfortable time when you are not fishing. I will be going back probably on an annual basis, as long as I can crawl in and out of rivers.

Peter Nolan, Brisbane, Australia


“A real paradise in the south island”


I went to River Haven lodge already two times and everything was perfect. I'm crazy about flyfishing and this lodge is really the place to be for trout bums like me !

When you organize a trip like this from Europe you have to be sure to find the right place to stay and fish, I found there more than just a high quality lodge but friends and I feel now like at home with Leya and Scotty.

The cabins are really comfortable, the guiding just fantastic and the food and wines (and this is important for french like us !) very good.

For fly fishermen a trip of a lifetime waits for you here.

Herle Hammon, Paris, France


“Best brown trout fishing experience”


I have travelled from London to fish with Scott Murray every year for the last 14 years, and quite often twice a year. Scott always finds good fishing even in the most unpromising conditions. He just wants you to catch fish and enjoy yourself. He is great with beginners as well as more experienced anglers.

Scott's guiding team reflect his enthusiasm and skill. Every Lodge claims to have the best guiding team, but I have never experienced better than Riverhaven offers.

Staying at Riverhaven is always a pleasure. The cabins are luxurious, the food great and the welcome from Leya Murray is warm and solicitous. What's not to like?

I have been fortunate to have flyfished in many great destinations in the world, and have settled on brown trout in the Murchison area of New Zealand as the pinnacle of flyfishing experience. I have enjoyed every trip with Scott, catching fish from 2 to 16lbs. It's just great. I am already looking forward to my next trip.

John Part, London




I spent 9 days of best pure trout fishing ever. I have fished in many places around the world but nothing can compare to the entire RIVER HAVEN LODGE experience from the fishing to the food & accommodation . Scotty & Leya Murray run a great show . GO THERE YOU WONT WANT TO LEAVE !!

Oliver Dawber, Johannesburg, South Africa


“Exceptional Experience”


I stayed at River Haven for a few days of fantastic fishing and eating. Scotty has a way of making you feel like you're fishing with an old friend, except that your old friend is going to put you on more big fish than any actual old friend could or would. His guiding skills are without a doubt the best I've ever experienced in 30 some years of fishing.

When you're not on the river, the hospitality is fantastic. The food is excellent, as is the beer selection. The rooms and property were magical.

I can't imagine a more authentic, fulfilling destination for a NZ fishing trip... I will definitely be going back.

Chris A


“An amazing week in New Zealand”


The two of us arrived at River Haven for the second of three weeks in NZ, so we had already been introduced to the fact that the fishing was " tough " due to the fact that there had been no rain in NZ for almost 10 weeks. The fact the the fish had been somewhat scarce and hunkered on the bottom during our prior week of fishing didn't seem to bother Scott Murray at all and we had a fantastic week with 48 to the net - including 1- 7 1/2 and 5- 6 1/2 pound browns. Yes, they were harder to find and yes, we did far more blind casting than we were used to in prior visits and yes, most of the fish were taken on nymphs, but it was a fantastic week. In hindsight, we shouldn't have been surprised since during our first visit to River Haven in 2011, Scott succeeded in finding us fish on our first afternoon following an over night down pour that left the rivers chocolate. Scott's years of cultivating the local farmers whose properties border the various rivers meant we never lacked for a new spot to fish every morning and in the event of a slow couple of hours, Scott would quickly move us to a different spot or a different river.

There are three rooms - all identical - and are among the most comfortable and attractive of any fishing lodge in NZ or the States. Leya's breakfast are perfect and her dinners are 5 star. The lodge is beautifully located off the highway, but easy to find and close to Murchison.

In a nutshell, River haven is our first call when we plan our next trip to NZ.

Jack Billhardt, New Canaan, Connecticut


“Amazing Angling and Private Time”


We spent 4 days at the River Haven Lodge and enjoyed learning to fish with Scotty, very well known for his fly fishing abilities as well as spending quiet time with him and his wife, Leya. This is a quaint and more-than comfortable lodge.

We had the luxury of getting 1-on-1 attention and will surely choose to go back to Scott, Leya and the Lodge for fly fishing in NZ.

Preet & Sanadra, Singapore


“Best Fly Fishing Guide with Great Accommodations”


My wife and I stayed 5 days a River Haven Lodge in March. The accommodations at River Haven where wonderful. The luxury cabins were new, very clean, with all the modern electronic conveniences. They were also, very comfortable and included a full kitchen. We chose to dine with Scotty and Leya for breakfasts and dinners and enjoyed their wonderful company while feasting on gourmet meals. This also gave us a chance to meet other guests and plan out our next day's adventure.

This was our second time fly fishing with Scotty. I must say, he is the best trout fly fishing guide I have ever seen. On one of our day trips, I landed 19 large brown trout!! My wife was a novice at fly fishing and Scotty provided her with lessons on her first day, which was very helpful. She also landed a large trout that day. We have great memories of our stay at River Haven Lodge and plan to return next year.

John & Chris Dayton, LaHabra, California, USA

“Brown Trout Paradise”


I’ll admit it – I’ve developed a serious addiction to stalking and sight-fishing dry flies and nymphs to some of the world’s largest wild brown trout in some of the world’s most beautiful trout streams. That wonderful compulsion is the reason that I leave the trout streams of my home in Colorado during the cold winter months and, like many well-traveled and accomplished fly anglers around the world, repeatedly travel to other side of the globe, to the top of New Zealand’s South Island, to stay at the beautiful River Haven Lodge, near Murchison, owned and operated by Scott Murray and his lovely wife Leya Murray. I’ve stayed at other top-rated, larger and more expensive fly fishing lodges in New Zealand, but the wonderful hospitality and full-service lodging, the amazing backcountry helicopter services, and the best fly fishing guides on the South Island, headed by Scott Murray, all provided at a reasonable price, have convinced me that there is no better place to pursue my New Zealand fly fishing passion than River Haven Lodge.

Beautifully gardened landscapes surround the individual luxury cabins (very comfortable, air-conditioned and fully equipped) and the Main Lodge (with a very well appointed Dining Room and Bar) overlooking the Mangles River. Delicious breakfasts and 3-course dinners, featuring Leya’s homemade bread and locally grown produce, are served family style to allow guests to interact with their hosts and with each other. The evening meal, which includes excellent New Zealand wines, creates a relaxed and comfortable atmosphere for guests from all over the world to share stories of their adventures. Read the full review here...

Doug Monnig, Lakewood, Colorado, USA

“Extraordinary Angling and Dining”


Despite adverse weather conditions, Scott Murray was able to guide our father-daughter fishing duo to successful and rewarding results. He patiently and with good humor taught the basics to a first-time angler and refined the techniques of a more experienced one.

Meanwhile, back at the lodge, Leya played gracious hostess to our non-angler while magically producing gourmet feasts at the same time. The cabins, and especially the beds, were very comfortable. We will definitely return.

Bruce & Helen Bennett, Austin, Texas, USA


“Amazing Fly Fishing Experience with Ultimate Guide”


I was fortunate enough to spend two days at the River Haven Lodge. The fishing absolutely blew me away under the guidance of Scott Murray.He puts you into the right spots, can see fish that I can't and matches your fly to what trout WILL eat.I caught an abundance of fish ranging from 3.5lbs to 6.5lbs.

The hospitality provided at the lodge was great with fantastic meals prepared and the log cabins had everything you need to rest and relax. I will be back!

Patrick Kilday, Melbourne, Australia


“Amazing weekend getaway, so peaceful and relaxing”


What an amazing place to stay. The log cabins are pure luxury and we were made to feel so welcome.
The place had a real magical feel about it.

Pete & Kirsty Russell, Nelson, New Zealand


“Luxury comfort with great style and charm”


Charming and beautiful cabins with great attention to detail and comfort.
Wonderful hosts...lovely countryside and scenery...peace and quiet.


“Fly Fishing with Scott Murray”


Five wonderful days with experienced guide, Scott Murray. Well looked after, with wonderful meals cooked in the lodge. 

Florian Kaiser, Germany