How to book hunting blocks on Rakiura/Stewart Island
IntroductionHow to book restricted hunting blocks and apply for hunting permits on Rakiura/Stewart Island.
There are 35 restricted hunting blocks on Rakiura/Stewart Island. You can only hunt on a restricted hunting block if you have booked it and been issued a hunting permit.
Restricted hunting block rules:
- A hunting block cannot be booked more than 12 months in advance.
- Only one hunting party is allowed per block, limited to 12 people and 10 rifles.
- If you want to hunt two blocks at once you need at least 6 hunters on both blocks – these can be the same 6 hunters.
- A hunting party needs to pay an administration fee for each block as well as all relevant hut fees.
- It is your responsibility to make sure you have a valid firearms licence when you go hunting.
Find a restricted hunting block
Find a restricted hunting block:
Check block availability
You can book for a maximum of 10 days at one block. A hunting block can be booked within 12 months of the start dates if available.
However, we don’t take bookings more than 12 months in advance. A booking is granted to the first correctly completed booking request that is received by us after midnight, one year in advance of the start date.
For example, a booking starting 1 December 2022 will open to requests from 12 am 1 December 2021. Booking requests between parties can come down to milliseconds.
Check availability on our hunting block calendars before sending a request: check hunting block availability.
Request to book a restricted hunting block
Make a request when you:
- have chosen a hunting block, and
- have found an unbooked time period for that hunting block.
We will contact you via email to let you know if your booking was not successful or provisionally successful.
If you have a successful provisional booking
Pay the administration fee
There is a non-refundable $30 administration fee due per block booking. We must receive this payment within 21 days of the provisional booking being made. Note: deadlines differ for bookings made less than two months in advance.
The dates of a provisional booking may not be modified within two weeks of the request being allocated, in fairness to other hunters.
If plans change, bookings can be cancelled before the non-refundable administration fee is paid (without any additional cost and you can re-apply for new dates).
Confirm documentation and pay hut fees
After the administration fee has been paid, we will email your confirmation documents to complete.
You will need to return the completed form with details of the hunters, their firearms licence numbers as well as non-hunters, along with details of transport to/from the block. The form needs to be returned two months before the booking start date. Failure to do this will result in cancellation of the booking.
Hut fees must also be finalised two months prior to your trip, after you have returned the party details. Relevant fees will depend on what type of hut is on the block you have booked. Information will be provided via email communication, unless you have requested otherwise.
Return a signed copy of your restricted hunting permit
You will be issued a restricted hunting permit approximately one month before your trip. Permits are final. Any changes to a permit once issued will incur an additional $30 non-refundable administration fee if the permit needs to be re-issued.
You will need to return a copy of your signed permit before going onto your hunting block. You are also required to take a signed copy with you to the block.
This is the final step to complete the application process
Further hunting information for Rakiura/Stewart Island
Hut and campsite fees for hunting blocks
Blocks with hunters huts – managed by the Rakiura Hunter Camp Trust
These blocks require a $30 per person payment including non-hunters per block for the length of your stay – whether you use the hut or not. For example, if one hunter is booked for the block, the hut fee is $30 if you stay one night or if you stay 9 nights
The Trust does not provide refunds on hut fees in any circumstances.
Blocks with DOC huts and campsites
DOC backcountry huts that are located on hunting blocks operate on a first-come first-serve basis. No hunting party may take up more than half of the bunks – any extra hunters must camp outside.
DOC standard hut fees apply. You can pay with:
- a Backcountry Hut Pass – how to buy and use the Pass, or
- Backcountry Hut Tickets - buy from the Rakiura National Park Visitor Centre or backcountry hut ticket retailers.
Great Walks huts and campsites
Great Walks huts and campsites (eg facilities at Māori Beach campsite, Port William Hut and Campsite, North Arm Hut and Campsite) need to be booked through our Great Walks booking system.
The booking system only allows you to book two nights at a time so you will need to make multiple bookings if you stay more than two nights. Contact the Rakiura National Park Visitor Centre if you need help with this.
Blocks that are camping only
There is no fee required.
Transport to Rakiura/Stewart Island hunting blocks
Hunting blocks can be accessed by sea or air. You need to organise your own transport to and from the block.
For information about ferries, charter boats or water taxis, visit the Stewart Island website. We highly recommend booking the island accommodation and transportation after you have a provisional booking but before you pay the administration fee.
Fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters may land on beaches below the mean high tide mark. Also, permitted helicopters may land at Long Harry, East Ruggedy, Mason Homestead and Big Hellfire Hut. Discuss options with the transport providers.
- Hunt responsibly.
- No hunting 100 m either side of the huts and tracks, including Rakiura Track, North West Circuit and Southern Circuit.
- Respect Rakiura/Stewart Island’s special natural character. Take care not to damage wildlife or vegetation when you go hunting. Hunters are not allowed to cut live trees or mark trails. Only dead firewood or fallen branches are allowed to be collected for firewood.
- Fires are not permitted, other than in the potbelly stoves at the hut.
- Freezers, chainsaws, low-calibre rifles, shotguns and dogs, are not permitted.
- All rubbish must be removed. Huts and campsites are to be left clean and tidy, do not leave any items behind.
- All animal carcasses must be buried away from the huts, campsites, and tracks.
- Be aware at any time, there may be other people in your block. They have the right to access public land. This could include trampers, kayakers, DOC field staff, possum hunters and many others. If you are using tramping huts, respect other hut users.
- Mountain Safety Council - big game hunting advice
- NZ Deerstalkers Association (NZDA)
- Bow hunting rules
Hunters who have a restricted block booking and want to use a .22 rifle to do pest animal control, eg for cats and possums, will need to apply for a separate .22 permit.
The applicant must provide a signed testimonial from a police officer or executive member of any recognised hunting club (NZDA, etc) to which they may belong, written on letterhead paper. It should confirm that the applicant is known to them and can be trusted to act in a responsible manner.
Send the testimonial document to Rakiura Visitor Centre with your restricted hunting block permit number. The application will take a minimum of five working days. We will notify you of the application outcome.
Possum trapping permit
Setting up leghold or kill traps for possum trapping within Rakiura National Park requires a separate possum trapping permit.
Apply for a permit by contacting the Rakiura National Park Visitor Centre with your restricted hunting block permit number. The application will take a minimum of five working days. We will notify you of the application outcome.
Other hunting areas on Rakiura/Stewart Island
Open hunting area
There is one open hunting area on Rakiura/Stewart Island. You need an open area hunting permit.
Hunting on Māori land
If you want to hunt on Māori Land, contact the Rakiura Māori Lands Trust:
If you have any other questions, contact the Rakiura National Park Visitor Centre.