Have you got game?
Hunting in New Zealand is a way of getting outdoors surrounded by stunning scenery and helping with the conservation effort in New Zealand. When we pesky humans started migrating to New Zealand, we introduced a whole bunch of species that are a pest to the natural ecological environment, as well as farming and forestry. With no natural predators to these game species in New Zealand, there is a vast amount of game to hunt in New Zealand.Hunting independently in New Zealand needs to be planned well in advance of arrival, as you need a visitor’s firearms license before you can apply for the New Zealand hunting licenses. So the best option for backpackers who want to try a spot of hunting is to go with a qualified New Zealand license holder. This could mean your WWOOFing host, as hunting is a popular sportamong farmers in New Zealand, or it could mean going with a commercial operator for a specialised hunting experience.
How to get into hunting in New Zealand
There are a few ways you can learn how to hunt or enjoy a hunting experience in New Zealand as an overseas visitor.
- Join a local hunting club Once you have settled down in a town or city in New Zealand, look up the local hunting clubs online. Chances are you will meet experienced hunters who can teach you some skills
- Do some WWOOFing If you are here on a working holiday, do some work for accommodation on a farm. Check out WWOOFing profiles that mention hunting and let your WWOOFing hosts know that you are easer to learn. Check out more about WWOOFing at Everything You Need to Know About WWOOFing in New Zealand
- Use a commercial hunting guide Although guided big game hunting is ridiculously expensive, you can find some cheaper options from locals who are more into the conservation side of hunting rather than making a big buck.
Game Species in New Zealand
Here’s a list of the main species that you can hunt in New Zealand.
The best North Island hunting locations
You can find some of the most remote hunting locations in the North Island’s forested Manawatu-Whanganui region. Fallow deer, wild pigs and goats can be hunted with Remote Adventures near Waitotara. Delve further in the Whanganui National Parktohunt pig, deer and goat in the backpacker-style farm stay of Blue Duck Station. Learn more about the area in Manawatu-Wanganui Guide for Backpackers.
The Wairarapa District of Wellington holds three forestparks ideal for hunting: Tararua, Rimutaka and Aorangi. You can hunt on some stunning coastal properties for deer with Wildside Walks.
The best South Island Hunting Locations
Hunt red deer, tahr, chamois, fallow, goats and pigs in the Nelson Lakes National Park. There’s also the opportunity to hunt small game like ducks, black swan, geese, pukeko, pigeons, quail,rabbits, hares and possums. Strike Adventures has guided tours in the area.
There are a few farms in the Canterbury region offering hunting trips, such asKaiwarua Station and Caberfeidh Farms guidingin the aptly-named Hunter Hills. Also tryRata Peaks Station, hunting in theHakatere Conservation Park and Te Kahui Kaupeka Conservation Park for red deer,tahr, goats and rams.
Otago + Southland
The Hawea Conservation Park has an abundance of game. There are local hunting guides to take to you areas of red deer, chamois and tahr.Delve into the Fiordland National Park from Te Anau via jet boat with FishJet for guided fishing and hunting.