Red deer can be found throughout the Heaphy at any time of the year however spring hunting on river flats and the Roar is most popular.


  • Deer - Red

Permit requirements

A permit is required to hunt on public conservation land.

This hunting area is covered by an 'open area permit' – get it online or from a DOC office.

Dog access

No dogs

About this hunting block

General information

This is a large area that extends from the road end at Kōhaihai north to Kahurangi Point and includes the Mackay and Gunner Downs. The Heaphy River and track provides easy access into the heart of this area but elsewhere the beech and mixed broadleaf forests are dense and difficult to travel through especially near the coast. Limestone outcrops and coastal cliffs add to access difficulties.


There is good foot access into the area along the Heaphy track that follows the coast for 17 km then travels inland up the Heaphy River and across Mackay Downs. Travel up the Heaphy River past the Lewis is reasonable but involves many river crossings. Access into the lower Gunner River is easy but from Ryans Creek the valley closes in.

The Bellbird Ridge track provides access from the Heaphy river mouth to Gunner Downs, but the track is not maintained and can be difficult to follow in places. Access onto the Iwituaroa Range and along the coast north of Heaphy is difficult.

Helicopter access is from Karamea.


The area is all Kahurangi National Park.


Topo50 maps BP22, BN22, BP23.


The area is a national park and dogs are prohibited.


Backcountry Hut Tickets and Backcountry Hut Passes are not valid for use on the Heaphy Track. Hut spaces need to be booked all year around. Book online


Red deer can be found throughout the area at any time of the year however spring hunting on river flats and the Roar is most popular. The upper Heaphy and Gunner Rivers are popular hunting areas. Deer are often seen along the coastal margins. Chamois and pigs are uncommon. Possums are controlled by DOC every four years.

Note: No hunting within 500 m of Wangapeka and Heaphy tracks from 15 December to 8 February.

Additional information

Hunters are advised to check for current pesticide operations that may be in progress where they intend to hunt. Pesticide summaries are published every four months.

There are stoat trap lines throughout the Heaphy Valley. Please do not disturb these traps.

The use of shotguns, shotgun-rifle combos, .22 calibre and rim-fire firearms is prohibited on public conservation land unless stated otherwise.

Report any goat sightings in the area to DOC. 


Kawatiri / Westport Office
Phone:   0800 275 362
Fax:   +64 4 471 1117
Email:   paparoavc@doc.govt.nz
Address:   Russell Street
Westport 7825
Postal Address:   PO Box 357
Westport 7866
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