There are predominantly red deer in the Park, although a small population of sika are established in the north and south-eastern corners of the Park. Pigs are also present, particularly in the Mt Pihanga, Mt Tihia and Mt Kakaramea areas.
Successful hunter with a nice red stag
The south western slope of Ruapehu from Rangataua to Horopito tend to get the highest attention from hunters, but there are equally good areas from Mt Hauhungatahi to Mangatepopo, and around to Ketetahi which attract less attention. Such areas offer spectacular scenery plus a variety of deer habitat which is a challenge to hunt.
Hunting in the roar can be very productive, although as with the Kaimanawa's the red deer up on the volcanic plateau tend not to be of high trophy potential. They are often heavy bodied animals which are great for the table however. The deer in the Tihia and Kakaramea areas of the park are renowned trophy animals, and are heavily hunted.
Sika are becoming increasingly abundant in areas of the National Park, and in particular the low forest and manuka scub on the north eastern corner of the park. Hunting them in this terrain can be challenging, but also productive if you put the time in to get to know the area.
One of the great attributes to hunting in the National Park is the opportunity to hunt large areas by glassing with binoculars, as the deer often range well above the bush line in spring and summer.
Tongariro National Park offers a wide variety of hunting opportunities, many of which are within easy walking distance of the surrounding highways. State Highways 1, 47, and 4 offer the best access.
You will need the following Topo 50 series maps:
Mt Ruapehu BJ34
Hunting dogs are not permitted into Tongariro National Park, except under an exception granted to dogs belonging to members of a local hunting club. This exception is for the control of pigs in the northern part of the park, and is subject to strict conditions.
There are 9 backcountry huts in Tongariro National Park. Mangatepopo, Oturere and Waihohonu are Great Walk huts which require advance reservations in peak season.