Good Hunting!

September 28, 2017

Whether it's for sport, that trophy head, or to put food on the table - hunting is a huge part of the Mackenzie Country here. In this blog you'll find links to permits, areas to hunt and other bits of information that may help you along the way. 

DOC land is public and open for hunting, however you do need to make sure you have a hunting permit. The most common for standard hunting is the Open Area Hunting Permit. This can be found here: 





Here in the Mackenzie we have many good hunting spots. These are a few recommended by the Department of Conservation.


Ahuriri Hunting

This block is part of Ahuriri Conservation Park. A significant amount of beech forest covers the Ahuriri Valley margins, while the tops are exposed rock and scree. Animals present are red deer, tahr and chamois.


Access is via Birchwood Road, off State Highway 8 between Omarama and the Lindis Pass. The road is suitable for all vehicles to the conservation park boundary which is approximately 21 km along Birchwood Road. From here a 4WD is recommended to reach a car park area at the road end.

There are two marked easements for accessing the public land west of  Ben Avon Station. One easement is via a waterfall track under Ben Avon Peak and the other is via Birch Creek. There are also two marked easements through Ben Avon farmland to access the Ahuriri River and the public land on the true left of the Ahuriri River. Hunting is not permitted on the access easements crossing private land.

  • Topo50 BZ14


Dogs are not permitted on Ben Avon Station or on the marked public easements through Ben Avon Station.

Dogs are allowed in the Ahuriri Conservation Park but are required to be under control. They should be kept on a lead at all times while in riverbed areas and wetlands between the months of August and the end of February, to avoid disturbing nesting birdlife.

  • Ahuriri Base Hut

  • Top Dingle Hut

  • Shamrock Hut

  • Hagens Hut

  • Top Hut


Animals present are red deer, tahr and chamois.


Aoraki/Mount Cook Hunting

Recreational hunting for tahr and chamois is permitted all year round in Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park.

Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park is centrally located in the South Island, deep in the heart of the Southern Alps. Its area is 70,000 hectares, about 40% of which is covered in glaciers. The rest is mostly steep mountain ranges with scree slopes, moraine and tussock grasslands.

Godley valley

There is 4WD access to the east side of the Godley valley but you need to cross the Macaulay River. A route is marked past Lilybank Lodge; vehicle use ends at Separation Stream.

Tasman valley

Vehicle use ends at Blue Lakes car park on Tasman Valley Road (4WDs may be able to continue on to Husky Flat). From Blue Lakes it is 2-3 hours walk to Ball Hut.

Another option is to take a boat across Tasman Lake (operates between November and April).This gives access to Tasman faces and Gorilla Stream. Contact Glacier Explorers (external site) phone +64 3 4351641.

Hooker valley

Hooker valley is reached via White Horse Hill car park, Hooker Valley Road. The East Hooker route is recommended for hunting.

Access to the Sealy Range is from White Horse Hill car park.

There is foot access up all major streams off State Highway 80.

Aircraft access

There is helicopter access to both Liebig and Onslow huts. Check that the helicopter operator has the relevant permissions to land at these sites.

Always call in to the Aoraki/Mount Cook Visitor Centre to sign in your intentions and to check the latest weather and avalanche conditions.


Topo50 - BY15, BX15, BX16, BY16, BX17.


Dogs are not permitted within Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park.

  • Godley Hut

  • Ball Hut

  • Liebig Hut

  • Onslow (Steffan) Hut

Pay hut fees at Aoraki/Mount Cook Visitor Centre.


Godley-Macaulay Hunting

This area lies north of Lake Tekapo and between the Godley River and Two Thumb Stream. Tahr and chamois are found here.


There is a designated car park area on Lilybank Road a few hundred metres east of the Macaulay River. There is 4WD access to the Godley-Macaulay hunting area but vehicles need to cross the Macaulay River. After crossing the Macaulay River, a DOC signpost gives directions for either Godley River access or Macaulay River access. The Macaulay River route stays in the riverbed and there is 4WD vehicle access up to Macaulay Hut. Please note that 4WD vehicles are not permitted beyond the hut.

The Godley access route leaves the main Lilybank Lodge access road (just before Lilybank Lodge) and goes past the farm sheds to a track next to the deer paddocks. Follow the markers along the edge of the paddocks to the banks of Station Stream. The route then follows the markers to the main Godley riverbed and 4WD track up the valley. The track passes by Red Stag Hut (NZ Deer Stalkers Association) and vehicle access finishes at Separation Stream. There is walking access from Separation Stream to Godley Hut (New Zealand Alpine Club hut).


Not applicable

  • Topo50 BY17


Dogs are allowed in this area but must be under control. Dogs should be kept on a lead at all times in riverbed areas and wetlands between the months of August and the end of February, because of nesting birdlife. Dogs are not permitted within Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park.

Hut information
  • Macaulay Hut

  • Red Stag Hut














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