Do you enjoy the thrill of the chase – the excitement of stalking big game animals? New Zealand is renowned as a hunter’s paradise where some of the best prize trophies in the world can be taken.
The New Zealand Information Network has compiled this summary of Hunting Regions to allow hunting enthusiasts to make the most of their time in the outdoors.
This country was originally a land populated exclusively by birds. Many found their wings were superfluous given the complete absence of predators and land mammals, hence the evolution of the now extinct giant moa and the iconic flightless kiwi.
In the last 200 years, settlers have introduced a Noah’s Ark of small and large game animals as well as a bevy of waterfowl and upland game birds. These introduced species have not merely thrived, but have multiplied to reach pest proportions and become a menace to farming and forestry operations. Control measures are essential to keep these creatures in check and private recreational hunting is positively encouraged. Hunters with a current firearms licence can obtain permits free of charge at Department of Conservation (DOC) centres. There is a network of backcountry huts available for use at nominal charges of $5 to $25 per night.
Most recreational hunting is carried out in the 14 National Parks and 20 Forest Parks, which are mountainous regions demanding a good level of fitness and stamina. The parks have DOC Visitor Centres near the main park entrances.
Overseas visitors should declare their firearms to New Zealand Customs on arrival. Customs will then refer the owner to the airport police for a temporary firearms licence. If you come without a firearm and want to go on a hunting trip, then you will need a professional guide who will obtain the necessary hunting permits.
Fish and Game NZ are responsible for sport fishing (trout and salmon) and for hunting waterfowl and upland game birds. Permits for freshwater fishing and also for game bird hunting can be obtained from most hunting, fishing and sporting goods stores throughout the country. The staff can provide useful information about regulations, access rights and codes of conduct.
If you require guided hunting, the DOC centres and any of the 100 Visitor Information centres throughout the country will have contact details. Guides access the remote backcountry areas by 4WD vehicle, fixed-wing aircraft or helicopter for one day trips or multi-day safaris. Most guided hunting is carried out in safari parks or on private land for a daily fee. The current trend is for hunting on private game ranches at a set price per trophy animal taken.
New Zealand Information Network wishes all visitors the best of luck. Good hunting!