Hunting and Fishing around Hanmer Springs

If your choice of outdoor recreation has more to do with heading into the bush or to a suitable riverside to pit your wits against rainbow and brown trout, salmon, wild pigs, deer and chamois - then Hanmer is a great spot to use as your base.

The views (of course) are amazing, the skies clear and the bush presents all the challenge you require as you head back to nature.

If New Zealand (or the South Island) is not your home and you prefer a guided hunting or fishing experience, there are plenty of experienced guides based in the village. Just click on the headings on each of the suggestions below to link through to their websites.

Note: licenses are required for fishing and game bird hunting in New Zealand, and firearms users must be licensed. Hunters bringing guns from overseas must comply with Police and Customs regulations.

Anyone carrying firearms over Department of Conservation (DOC) land will need a hunting permit from DOC – this will also give you information about the species you may hunt, and where the allowed hunting blocks are located.

Pig hunters’ dogs are only allowed in certain areas. 

1. Hanmer Adventure Centre

Get a hawks’ eye view flying in a helicopter or fixed-wing light aircraft above the magnificent North Canterbury terrain. The Hanmer Adventure Centre offer charter fixed wing and helicopter flights to anywhere in New Zealand. Hunting, fishing, skiing or sightseeing. Based from Hanmer Springs, they are well placed to fly you to remote hunting and fishing spots and can supply experienced guides and quality equipment (subject to availability).

Just contact their friendly staff and they will discuss your options for flights. 

2. Department of Conservation - Hanmer Forest Park hunting

DOC controls a large hunting area between Hanmer, the Waiau River and the Waiau Faces hunting block. The area between Dillon Stream and Jollies Pass is closed to all hunting. The block has two huts and the terrain is moderate to steep. Pigs, red deer and chamois are present in low to moderate numbers. No permissions are required from landholders to access the block.

DOC advise checking in advance to see if there any pesticide operations in progress where you plan to hunt. Refer to NZ Topo50 maps BT24 and BU24 to plan your hunting trip.

You can obtain your hunting permit online or from a DOC office. The nearest is located in Rangiora.

3. Hanmer Springs Helicopters - hunting and fishing trips

Hanmer Helicopters has an access concession for St James Station - a large tract of DOC land offering a range of wild species including red deer, chamois, wild pigs, Canadian geese, ducks and brown trout. As mentioned above, all hunting on DOC land requires a permit, including St James Station. If you also plan to fish, you require a fishing licence and of course if you are shooting, you need a firearms licence.

Hanmer Helicopters can drop you into the area for self managed hunting trips from 1 day to however long you require. Guides are also available.

4. Hanmer Llama Fishing Tours

For something more than a little different, check out Hanmer Llamas! Yes, right here in NZ you can hire a llama to carry all your camping gear while you trek into the bush or up river valleys to catch the perfect trout! 

All the fishing gear, dry clothing, refreshments or in the case of an overnight or multi day fishing tour are packed and carried by the llamas.  They even pack the camp chairs so you can sit back and enjoy the scenery.  Fish as late into the night as you want to and move camp whenever or wherever you choose.  The llama boys will just stroll along with you, leaving you hands free to focus on the fishing.  

The Llama treks leave fairly early in the morning, so book in for a night with us at Hanmer Springs TOP 10 when you plan your trip. 

5. Inland Hunters Hunting and Fishing Safaris

Professional fishing and hunting guides Jonathan Greensmith and Ian McLennan have plenty of experience and know all the best spots to head for a great day (or several days) of hunting or fly fishing. Local knowledge is indispensable, particularly given New Zealand's fickle weather conditions and often challenging terrain.


The links above should be enough to get you started planning your Hanmer hunting or fishing trip - but don't hesitate to give our reception team a call if you want to book accommodation and get our personal recommendations for a great experience based from Hanmer Springs. We look forward to hearing from you!