Find out about hunting deer, chamois and thar in the Hokitika-Whitcombe.


  • Chamois
  • Deer - Red
  • 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.

Dog access

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

About this hunting block

General information

The Hokitika and Whitcombe valleys are popular areas for hunters and trampers. The two rivers are linked by a track through Frew Saddle. Toaroha Saddle provides a link to the Mungo and Upper Hokitika Rivers. 

There are gorges in the lower reaches of both valleys but the middle and upper valleys are more accessible with small river flats in places. There is a good track up the Whitcombe Valley. The middle section of the Hokitika River to Bluff Swingbridge is untracked. 

These two moderate-sized catchments have steep forested hillsides, dense alpine scrub near the bush line and tussock tops.

Carry a PLB or radio. Mobile phone coverage is often poor and should not be relied on.


Walking access into the Whitcombe Valley is straightforward but the upper Hokitika/Mungo can only be reached via the Toaroha or Frew Saddle routes. The Whitcombe Track is reached by following signposts from the Hokitika Gorge access road 25 km from Hokitika. A rough vehicle track through cutover bush leads to a locked gate. Permission and a key is required to drive past this point. The rough track ends at the lower cableway (locked) over the Hokitika River and the walking track starts on a low terrace 500m walk along the boulder river bed. This is followed for several kilometres to the Hokitika-Whitcombe junction.

To get to the Whitcombe Track cross the second cableway to Rapid Creek and follow the marked track. It is 3 hours to Rapid Creek and 6 hours to Frews Hut. The track continues up the valley to the Wilkinson River then the Whitcombe Pass.

The true left of the Hokitika and Murray Saddle to Doctors Creek can be reached by crossing the Hokitika Gorge swing bridge and travelling up the true left of the river.

Access into the upper Hokitika or Mungo valleys is via Frew Saddle or Toaroha Saddle. Alternatively use local helicopter services for access.


Vehicle access past the locked gate to the Hokitika-Whitcombe road end requires permission and a key from Don Harcourt phone +64 3 738 0505.

Foot access is allowed.

Do not disturb stock on the private property.


NZTopo50 BU18, BU19, BW18


All conservation land 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 local DOC office. To take dogs across private property you must get permission from the landowner.


There are several standard or basic DOC huts in the area:

Rapid Creek Hut, Serpentine Hut, Frisco Hut, Poet Hut, Mungo Hut, Sir Robert Hut and Bluff Hut in the Hokitika catchment.

Frew Hut, Frews Saddle Bivvy, Price Flat Hut, Price Basin Hut, Wilkinson Hut and Neave Hut in the Whitcombe Valley.


Red deer can be found throughout the area at any time of the year however spring hunting on the Whitcombe River flats and the Roar is most popular. There is some good hunting on the front faces near the road end too.

Chamois are found mainly in alpine areas in reasonable numbers. Thar can be found in Prices Basin and the Wilkinson River. Hares are found throughout. Possums are controlled by TBfree in the lower parts of the valley. Feral pigs and goats are uncommon.

Additional information

Avoid disturbing stock when crossing farmland.


Hokitika Office
Fax:   +64 4 471 1117
Email:   hokitika@doc.govt.nz
Address:   10 Sewell Street
Hokitika 7810
Postal Address:   Private Bag 701
Hokitika 7842
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