The Nelson Lakes area is situated at the northern end of the Southern Alps. There is good red deer and chamois hunting to be had, with pigs and feral goats present in some locations.


It includes the headwaters and some tributaries of the Wairau, Motueka and Buller Rivers.

Some good hunting areas are available ranging from dry mixed beech forest in the east through to the wetter podocarp forests of Kahurangi National Park and the Victoria Forest Park in the west. Vast open tops are significant throughout the area with some good red deer and chamois hunting to be had in these environments. Pigs are present in some areas with heavier concentrations in the lighter cover and bush/farm pasture margins. Feral goats are also present in some locations.

Place overview


  • Hunting

In this section

Find things to do and places to stay Nelson Lakes hunting

About this place

Getting there

The gateway to Nelson Lakes is St Arnaud, a 1-2 hour drive from Nelson or Blenheim.

Public roads provide access to much of the area but remember to seek permission from landowners if need to cross private land.

Know before you go


Extreme weather conditions can be encountered year round and good fitness levels and bush skills are necessary for traversing much of the terrain.

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