Red deer, chamois, goats and thar can all be found in Franz Josef's Wanganui hunting area.


  • Chamois
  • Deer - Red
  • Goats
  • Tahr

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

Dogs with a DOC permit only. More information below or contact the relevant DOC office.

About this hunting block

General information

The Wanganui is a major river system about 50 km north of Franz Josef. It has three major head branches well up the valley and several smaller side streams. All these valleys are popular destinations for hunting.

The lower valley upstream from the SH6 bridge is a series of river flats and bush terraces that extend upstream to Jones Flat and the Hunter Hut. Above here the main valley closes in and the other branches become impassable gorges.

The area is mostly hardwood forest, dense alpine scrub at higher altitudes and tussock faces. The landforms are mostly very steep and broken especially on the north facing slopes but there are extensive terraces and river flats below the junction at Jones Flat.

Bridge removed: The Lambert River swing bridge has been removed. You will need to cross the river on foot. This is a difficult crossing.


Access to the Wanganui is off SH6. Vehicle access on the north side crosses private land and permission will need to be obtained from the landowner.

The upper parts of the Wanganui are mostly part of the Adams Wilderness Area and helicopter landings are not permitted.


Lower Wanganui vehicle access on the north bank crosses freehold land. Ring Glenis Black +64 3 753 3197. Walking access is permitted.


NZTopo50 BW17, BW18.


All areas are prohibited to dogs except where authorisation has been granted by DOC. People wishing to take a dog into this area should seek authorisation from the DOC office in Franz Josef.


There are two public huts in this area: Hunters Hut at Jones Flat and Smyth Hut. Hut fees apply.


  • Red deer can be found throughout the area at any time of the year however spring hunting on the grass flats and during the Roar is most popular. The areas around Hot Spring Creek and Jones Flat are particularly popular but deer can be found in most places.
  • Chamois are found throughout the area. Open stream beds and slips are a good place to locate chamois.
  • Goats are common in the lower parts of the valley on both sides.
  • Tahr are common in all the upper valleys at higher altitude especially around steep bluff areas that can be difficult to hunt. Popular tahr hunting areas include the steep faces behind Smyth Hut, Devastation Creek and the upper Adams and Lambert valleys. These two latter places can only be accessed by helicopter during the balloted tahr hunting season (see tahr hunting information).
  • Possums are not controlled by DOC in this valley.

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 are 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
Back to top