You can hunt red and fallow deer in the Pomahaka Conservation Area hunting block.


  • Deer - Fallow
  • Deer - Red

Permit requirements

A permit is required to hunt on public conservation land.

This hunting area is covered by a 'restricted area permit'. Contact the DOC office managing the hunting area.

Seasonal restrictions

Before lighting a fire on public conservation land, check it's alright to light. Extinguish all fires before leaving huts and campsites. How to minimise the risk of fire.

Dog access

Dogs allowed. Keep dog under control at all times.

About this hunting block

Red deer and fallow deer are present.

Hunting is confined to the Pomahaka Conservation Area and is not permitted in the River Reserve sections. In this area summers tend to be mild and winters are cold with frequent frosts.

Moderate rainfall throughout the year is mostly from the southwest and fog is common at any time of year. The higher country is subject to snow during the winter months and some sections may be subjected to avalanche danger.

Rivers in this region can rise rapidly, take care when crossing these. Be prepared.

Roar ballot

DOC has moved to a ballot system over the roar period (four weeks from the third Monday in March to the third Sunday in April) for this block. This was in response to issues encountered in 2021, with too many hunters trying to use the Pomahaka Conservation Area over the same period.

The system is very similar to that used at nearby Leithen Bush and Waikaia Bush, and is administered by the DOC Invercargill Office.

Restricted Permits close on 9 March.

  • Ballot applications close 31 October. 
  • There are two blocks – available for parties for any weekend, or up to three consecutive days during the week, over the period. The boundaries of these blocks are shown on attached map.
  • The cost of an application is $11.50. Note this is a drawn ballot and there is no guarantee of obtaining a block.

Block access and maps

Access for block one is the regular public access up the hill from the Gem Lake cattleyards – use of this access requires the normal courtesy of notifying the Gem Lake manager.

Access for block two is less straightforward and requires following the marginal strip downstream from Junction Hut or following a track through Glenary Station from the Waikaia Bush Road.

Hunters need to know where private land and block boundaries are. They need to respect these boundaries – failure to do so jeopardises future hunting for everyone. Hunting is expressly forbidden on Gem Lake Station, Whitecoomb, Whitecomb and Glenary pastoral leases.

Application form

Download the ballot map and application form (PDF, 119K) or (Word, 61K).

To apply for the ballot, you will need to complete an application form and either post, email or drop it off to the Invercargill office.

If you post your application, you will need to include credit card or debit card details for payment. If you would like to email your application you will need to phone the Invercargill Office to pay, we can not accept credit card or debit card details via email. Alternatively, you can pop into the Invercargill Office and pay by credit card, debit card, eftpos, or cash over the counter.


There are various entry points on gravel road from SH8 to the Pomahaka Conservation Area. From Ettrick the most direct is following Moa Flat road (opposite Turners and Growers warehouses) right onto MacKay Road and finally right onto Aitchenson Runs Road.

The Pomahaka bridge marks the start of the 4.7km 4WD road access to the carpark at the Cattle Yards. The road from the bridge to the carpark with road slumps and two fords is more suited for 4WD vehicles. This road passes through a working farm.

Those using the road need to be mindful of farming operations, and it is recommended people avoid using the road over the lambing/calving period. This lasts from 20 October to 20 November.

Walking and mountain biking access is available from the carpark, follow the marked route up the hill for approximately 2.5 km to the hunting block. This route crosses private land. Respect the landowner's livestock and property:

  • stay on the marked track until you reach the conservation land
  • leave gates as you find them, and
  • use stiles where provided.

Livestock can be unpredictable – keep your distance at all times/go around if necessary. The route is steep, rutted and very slippery in wet conditions.

Map information

NZTopo50 series: CD13 Roxburgh, CD12 Piano Flat

Pomahaka Conservation Area hunting map (JPEG, 4012K)

Pomahaka hunting blocks (one and two) access map (PDF, 3,600K)

Pomahaka hunting block two access map (JPG, 1,340K)


Hunting dogs are permitted in the main conservation area but need permission from Gem Lake Station.

Contact the station to enter via the easement track. Dogs must be dosed against sheep measles and a certificate must be supplied.

How to obtain a sheep measles certificate.


Murihiku / Invercargill Office
Phone:   0800 275 362
Fax:   +64 4 471 1117
Email:   invercargill@doc.govt.nz
Address:   7th Floor
CUE on Don
33 Don Street
Invercargill 9810
Postal Address:   PO Box 743
Invercargill 9840
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