Special Feature: Fallow herds with the North Island’s best trophy potential

The largest lowland forest in the North Island spreads across the Whanganui National Park, straddling the Whanganui River.

The upper reaches of this river – the longest navigable waterway in New Zealand, are cloaked in dense rainforest on razor back ridges and deep valleys largely devoid of man-made tracks. To the west is an endless skyline of bush ridges across the Matemateonga Range and to the east is equally inhospitable bush country plunging into the Mangawhero and Whangehu river catchments.

Red deer are the predominant game species and generally thrive throughout the region. Moderate to high densities occur up the isolated creek heads on tributary rivers, where jet boat and helicopter access is difficult.

Fallow deer range across large areas on either side of the Whanganui River, especially where farmers of a bygone era have been forced to abandon their holdings, which are slowly regenerating into native bush. The mix of bush, manuka scrub, fern and lush grassy swards in these old farm blocks is heaven for the small, elusive fallow, which have the luxury of good grazing land interspersed with ample ground cover.

Wild pigs are quite numerous in the Whanganui River catchment due to its relative isolation. They prefer the marginal lands just like the fallow deer, so a hunter can inadvertently disturb a resting mob while patiently stalking a deer – a double whammy of excitement and surprise.

Goats are present in high numbers along the main river margins and in scattered groups elsewhere. Periodic jet boat hunting culls temporarily restrain the resident herds along the Whanganui riverbanks.

Mallard and grey ducks are quite numerous in the Waimarino area between the Retaruke and Mangawhero rivers, especially on farm ponds. This is a great game bird area renowned for its paradise shelducks and Canada geese. The coastal sand dunes, pine plantations and bush-lined streams support good populations of pheasant and California quail.

Guided fair chase fallow stag, red stag and sambar hunts on private land can be organised in Wanganui. Heli transport is available to remote areas of the Kaimanawas, Kawekas and Ruahines from Wanganui, Taihape and Raetihi.

Hunting Regions: Information on Small Species & Big Game Animals

  • Hunting Fiordland

    Fiordland

    Special Feature: Trophy wapiti in a World Heritage Area - To hunt the high tops, hanging valleys and big basins of Fiordland National Park is a rare privilege.

  • Hunting Nelson

    Nelson

    Special Feature: Red, fallow and chamois trophies in National Parks - This top destination for travellers has wonderful sunshine, golden sand beaches and the most popular national parks in the country.

  • Hunting South Canterbury

    South Canterbury

    Special Feature: Classic alpine hunting for big game species - New Zealand’s most elevated hunting grounds are found in the Mt Cook National Park in South Canterbury.

  • Hunting Wanganui

    Wanganui

    Special Feature: Fallow herds with the North Island’s best trophy potential - The largest lowland forest in the North Island spreads across the Whanganui National Park, straddling the Whanganui River.

  • Hunting Taranaki

    Taranaki

    Special Feature: Trophy hunting on commercial Safari farms - The Taranaki region is defined by the perfect volcanic cone of Mt Taranaki (also known as Mt Egmont) and the lush green rectangular dairy farm blocks at its base.

  • Hunting King Country

    King Country

    Special Feature: The home of wild pig hunting in New Zealand - Lying to the west of Tongariro National Park and centred on Te Kuiti, is a vast region of endless razorback ridges and deep isolated valleys.

  • Hunting Central Otago

    Central Otago

    Special Feature: Outstanding fallow trophies at two locations - The glacial origins of ‘Central’ are obvious when you first view the enormous round-top mountain ranges draped in golden brown tussock grasses.

  • Hunting Manawatu

    Manawatu

    Special Feature: Sambar trophy herd in coastal swampland - The Ruahine and Tararua ranges form a central backbone to the lower North Island region bordering the wide Manawatu Plains.

  • Hunting Volcanic Plateau

    Volcanic Plateau

    Special Feature: Red and sika trophy herds under active volcanoes - Three striking landmarks dominate the Central North Island skyline in the region known as the Volcanic Plateau.

  • Hunting Hawkes Bay

    Hawkes Bay

    Special Feature: Excellent red and sika hunting in Kawekas - The sweeping curve of Hawke’s Bay from Napier to Mahia Peninsula fronts a deep hinterland of golden brown rolling hills and steep-sided mountain ranges.

  • Hunting East Cape

    East Cape

    Special Feature: Trophy class red deer in the Raukumaras - Follow the Pacific Coast Highway beyond the Bay of Plenty and you pass under the precipitous slopes of the Raukumara Range, which conceals hidden valleys where heavy antlered red stags roam.

  • Hunting Bay of Plenty

    Bay of Plenty

    Special Feature: Localised herds of red, fallow, sambar and rusa deer - The broad Bay of Plenty basin embraces a surprising variety of seascapes, landforms, flora and fauna.

  • Hunting Wairarapa

    Wairarapa

    Special Feature: Great deer stalking in a boutique mountain range - Hill country sheep stations measuring thousands of hectares in extent, are spread over the Wairarapa’s rolling downland.

  • Hunting West Coast

    West Coast

    Special Feature: Game animals galore in 400 km of rainforest - The West Coast stands out as ‘deer hunter’s heaven’, with a wild game presence in virtually every patch of bush in a 400 km coastal strip from Karamea to the Cascade River.

  • North Canterbury

    Southland

    Special Feature: Good access to extensive hunting territory - The southernmost region has an incredible variety of terrain and wild game habitat and excellent opportunities to score a trophy.

  • Marlborough

    Marlborough

    Special Feature: Red deer and chamois in a superb alpine setting - This sun-drenched region is synonymous with fine wines, gourmet food and relaxing holidays in the beautiful labyrinth of waterways known as the Marlborough Sounds.

  • North Canterbury

    North Canterbury

    Special Feature: Prime chamois habitat in Southern Alps - South Island’s major city, Christchurch, is a good base for exploring fascinating inland places like Lake Coleridge, Hanmer Springs, Lewis Pass and Lake Sumner.

  • Waikato

    Waikato

    Special Feature: Abundant waterfowl in Waikato/Hauraki wetlands - One hour’s drive south of Auckland brings you to a region of fertile plains that is one of the richest dairying areas in the world.

  • Coromandel

    Coromandel

    Special Feature: Multiple blocks with accessible wild pigs. - The rugged volcanic Coromandel Peninsula is Auckland’s most important summer recreational playground, offering sheltered golden sand beaches and superb boating and fishing.

  • Stewart Island Hunting

    Stewart Island

    Special Feature: Brilliant wilderness hunting for whitetail trophies - Rugged, windswept Stewart Island contains Rakiura National Park, a wilderness renowned for its unspoilt nature and scenic beauty.