Sika deer are distributed throughout the park with the greatest concentrations in the north and east from the Mohaka river to the Tauranga Taupo river.
Red deer and pigs are also present, but in lower numbers. Red deer are more common in the southern parts of the park, and pigs tend to be concentrated along the edges of the park, particularly where they have access to exotic forestry blocks.
The Park is characterised by its irregular broken nature as the Kaimanawa mountains comprise a number of ranges separated by the headwater valleys of several major rivers. The central and southern areas are the more rugged, made up of steep bush clad valleys, scrubland and alpine grassland. The north and east of the park is more rolling terrain, and almost entirely covered in forest.
The recreational hunting opportunity in the park is of national importance. The Kaimanawa/Ahimanawa/Kaweka area has the only large wild herd of sika deer in the southern hemisphere. In recognition of the sport-hunting potential of the sika herd, the northern part of the park was gazetted as a recreational hunting area (RHA) in 1982. It is one of the highest-used RHAs in the country.
Access to the RHA is primarily from Clements Mill Road, or the poled route across Poronui Station into the Oamaru Hut.
Access into the rest of the Kaimanawas is primarily from road ends such as Kiko and Kaimanawa Roads.
You will need the following Topo 50 maps:
Tawake Tohunga BJ36
One dog is allowed per hunter with a Kaimanawa Forest Park hunting permit. Hunters wishing to use more than one dog require an additional permit from the Taupo nui-a-Tia Office.
Dogs must be tied up at night. Any dogs that are lost in these areas must be reported to the nearest DOC office immediately.
There are a number of huts in Kaimanawa Forest Park: