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Stewart Island / Rakiura Hunting Information (Source: Department of Conservation)
Whitetail deer may be found in moderate numbers all over Stewart Island but coastal habitats are more favoured.
Red deer are found in moderate numbers in the northwest sector of Stewart Island, from Mason Bay to Smoky Beach, and occasionally in other areas
Huts and hut tickets
Some of the hunting blocks have specific ‘hunter camps’. A levy of $20 per person per hunting trip (payable when booking is confirmed) is charged to help maintain these camps. Tent camping is free except at Maori Beach, Port William and Sawdust Bay, where you will require a Great Walks camp pass.
All other back-country huts on Stewart Island are on tramping circuits. These are standard huts with running water and toilets, requiring the purchase of one hut ticket per night. The exceptions are Port William and North Arm huts, which require Great Walks hut passes. Hunters are discouraged from using these tramper facilities.
However, if hunters do intend to stay in standard huts or at Great Walks camp sites, they will need to forward payment when confirming hunting block bookings (payment does not guarantee a hut bed for the night). Hunting permits will only be sent on receipt of hut fees.
Please respect the special natural character of Stewart Island. Take care not to damage wildlife or vegetation through firewood gathering or marking trails. Chainsaws, low calibre rifles, shotguns and dogs are not permitted. Please leave huts and campsites clean and tidy, remove rubbish (to be taken off the island) and bury animal carcasses. Be considerate of other recreational users.
Personal locator beacons can be hired from the Department of Conservation PO Box 3, Stewart Island, Ph (03) 219 0002, Fax (03) 219 0003, email
Tell someone where you are going and when you will be back.
• a compass
• minimum first aid kit
• emergency blanket
• cigarette lighter
• piece of old car inner tube on hunting belt for fire starter
Remember - the weather can change rapidly.
Observe the firearms safety code.
Stewart Island offers excellent hunting of Virginian Whitetail deer, released originally in the early 1900s. Having the only readily accessible herd of Whitetail deer in the southern hemisphere, the Island is a popular destination for deer hunters.
There are 35 hunting blocks and an Open Hunting Zone in the Stewart Island/Rakiura National Park and 12 blocks in the Rakiura Maori Land area.
Permits are required for all hunting and must be applied for in advance from the Department of Conservation (DOC), or the Rakiura Maori Land Trust. The DOC blocks can be booked up to 1 year ahead and are limited to one party of 12, for up to ten days. This ensures exclusive access to the permitted area for the reserved period. The Open Zone is a shared area and may be permitted for up to 90 days.
Some of the hunting blocks have specific hunter camps with huts built in conjunction with DOC, by the Rakiura Hunter Camp Trust. All other backcountry huts on Stewart Island are tramping facilities which may be shared by hunters. All hut tickets can be purchased through DOC when you book a hunting block.
Contact the Department of Conservation, PO Box 3, Stewart Island. Phone (03) 219 0002, fax (03) 219 0003 or
for a detailed information sheet.
Rakiura Maori Land Trust www.rmlt.co.nz/hunting or
Rakiura Hunter Camp Trust www.southlanddeerstalkers.org.nz or