South and North Ōkārito forests are large lowland forests approx. 20 mins north of Franz Josef. Red deer, chamois and rabbits (on the coastal dunes) are present.


  • Chamois
  • Deer - Red
  • Rabbits or hares

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.

Seasonal restrictions

No hunting in Franz Josef valley 20 December to 31 January and between Good Friday and Easter Monday.

Dog access

No dogs

About this hunting block

General information

South and North Ōkārito forests are large lowland podocarp forests approximately 20 minutes north of Franz Josef. The forest understory is typically dense and low-lying areas are usually wet and swampy. Kei kei and supplejack are common along the coastal belt.


South Ōkārito

Main access is generally from Ōkārito township, off the Forks-Ōkārito Road or by boating across Lake Mapourika. Access may also be possible by crossing the Waiho River (difficult) or down the Tartare River but landowner permission may be needed. 

North Ōkārito

Access is generally from The Forks along the Forks-Ōkārito Road. At The Forks an access road heads into North Ōkārito Forest. The main access road is maintained, but other side roads are not. Alternative access is available via boat up Ōkārito Lagoon. The lagoon is tidal, so care is needed to avoid getting stuck by a falling tide. Access to the northern and eastern sides is also possible off Whataroa Flat Road, though landowner permission may be required depending on access point.

These areas are in the National Park so aircraft landings are not permitted.


There is no need to cross any pastoral lease or privately owned land to access this area. But some access points will require landowner permission eg Tartare River, Waiho River. Contact the DOC office for further details.


NZTopo50 BW15, BW16.


Dogs are not permitted in national parks.


There are no public huts in this area.

Hunting information

South Ōkārito: Red deer can be found throughout the area at any time of the year however spring hunting on small grass flats and the Roar is most popular. Good numbers of deer can be found in the Company Creek area and along the coastal belt. Chamois numbers are low but can be encountered on slips throughout. There are rabbits on the coastal dunes. 

North Ōkārito: Red deer can be found throughout the area at any time of the year however spring hunting and the Roar is most popular. Predominately bush hunting, though deer may be found on lagoon deltas.

Additional information

Hunters are advised to check for current pesticide operations that may be in progress where they intend to hunt. Summaries are published on this site every four months.

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


Westland Tai Poutini National Park Visitor Centre
Phone +64 3 752 0360
Email westlandnpvc@doc.govt.nz
Address 69 Cron Street
Franz Josef Glacier 7856
Hours See visitor centre hours
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