Introduction

Introduced mainly for sport and the value of their skins wallaby species in New Zealand include Bennett's, dama, parma, brush-tailed rock and swamp wallabies.

Find out about wallabies

Description

In New Zealand there are two wallaby species (introduced from Australia) available for hunting.

Dama wallaby.
Dama wallaby

Dama wallaby

(Macropus eugenii)

Size: Head and body length reaches 53 cm in males and females 49 cm with tail lengths 38 to 42 cms. Average weights are 5 to 6 kg for males and 4 to 5 kg for females.

Colour: Grey brown upper body, paler grey underside with rufous shoulders. Tail tapering and uniform grey.

Social behaviour: Forms small groups.

Reproduction: Females sexually mature at 12 months old. Most births January/February with young staying in the pouch for 250 days.

Gestation period: 28 days.

Birthing: January/February.

Bennett's or red-necked wallaby, Hunters Hills near Timaru.
Bennett's or red-necked wallaby, Hunters Hills near Timaru

Bennett's wallaby

(Macropus rufogriseus rufogriseus) Often called red-necked wallaby.

Size: The larger of the two species available standing 800 mm tall with a head and body length of 65 cm and tail length of 62 cm. Males can reach 20 kg plus in weight with females reaching 14 kg.

Colour: Greyish brown upper body with pale grey on the chest and belly. Rufous colour on the shoulders, black tipped hind feet and tail.

Social behaviour: Solitary.

Reproduction: Males sexually mature at 21 – 22 months, some earlier, and females 23 – 24 months. Young stay in the pouch for about 274 days.

Gestation period: About 30 days.

Birthing: Peak season February to March.

Nomenclature: Male= buck. Female = doe. Young = joey.

Where to hunt wallabies

In New Zealand, both species of wallaby (Dama and Bennett's) occupy private land as well as public conservation land. For private land, approach the landowner for permission to hunt.

Hunting guides can often offer wallaby hunting opportunities.

Dama wallaby

Dama wallaby are found in the Rotorua area (centred around Lake Tarawera) in the North Island of New Zealand. Dama prefer edge habitats with dense vegetation cover adjacent to grass feeding areas. Contact:

Rotorua Office
Phone:   +64 7 349 7400
Email:   rotorua@doc.govt.nz
Address:   99 Sala Street
Rotorua 3010
Full office details
 

Bennett's wallaby

Found in the South Island of New Zealand, Bennett's wallaby occupy an area centred on the Hunter Hills near Waimate. Like Dama wallaby, Bennett's prefer edge habitats with dense vegetation cover adjacent to grass feeding areas. Contact:

Raukapuka / Geraldine Office
Phone:   +64 3 693 1010
Email:   geraldine@doc.govt.nz
Address:   13 – 15 North Terrace
Geraldine 7930
Full office details
 

Tips for hunting wallabies

Characteristic/behaviour

Hunting response

General

Wallabies are light weighted animals that are often shot at medium to long distances.

A light calibre with a flat trajectory is ideal for wallaby shooting e.g. .222, .243 etc.

Nocturnal and start feeding early to late evening.

Stake out likely feeding areas from early evening through to darkness.

Fast and elusive movement when disturbed.

Rather than trying to stalk in close proximity stake out an area and shoot from observation point at stationary animals.

Wallaby sign includes scratching (digging up plant roots) tracking, browsed grass or shrubs and droppings.

Presence of fresh sign indicator of wallaby nearby and need for extra care.

Wallabies use well defined tracks to access feeding areas.

Identify and stake out tracks.

Dama wallaby

Found in patches of native bush or scrub and pine plantations emerging near dark to feed on adjacent paddocks.

Stake out or hunt bush edges moving very slowly and glassing ahead.

When squatting down the hind legs and gut area are the biggest part.

Aim to shoot in the upper body and thus prevent only wounding an animal.

In winter time, particularly after wet cold weather Dama wallaby can be found during the day sitting in the sun either on small clearings or where breaks in the canopy allows the warming sun to shine onto the forest floor.

During winter after cold wet weather pay particular attention to sunny spots and look for animals either standing still or lying down sunning themselves.

 

Bennett’s wallaby

Found on tussock/pasture hill country with scrub in gullies and faces.

Sit back and observe likely feeding areas. Good pair of binoculars an advantage.

Hunting seasons and ballots

In New Zealand, there is no seasonal restriction to hunting wallabies meaning generally they can be hunted throughout the year. There are however, instances where restrictions apply for specific reasons and periods when hunting is favoured.

Specific restrictions

  • Some areas may be closed during periods of high fire danger.
  • Occasionally an area may be closed on a temporary basis to enable research or other management to be undertaken without being compromised by hunting.

It is important to check for these conditions with the local DOC office:

Favoured hunting periods

  • Spring is a favourable time of the year to hunt wallabies. During spring, wallaby can be seen coming out of the forest to feed on new grass and shrub growth.
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