Hunt red deer, chamois, hares and rabbits in the Arawhata and the Waipara.


  • Chamois
  • 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

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

About this hunting block


The Arawhata Valley, 30 km south of Haast. It’s a long and wide braided river system with large open and forested flats. The Waipara is a major side river of the Arawhata.

The mainly silver beech forested hillsides merge into tussock at around the 1000 metre contour. Hill travel is variable with some areas having good face and ridge access while in other places have boulder fields and other broken features that make travel difficult. For example, the area between 10 Hour Gorge and Joe Creek on the true left

Above the 10 Hour Gorge there are several large grassed flats.

Haast Tokoeka Kiwi Sanctuary

The true right of the Arawhata River upstream of the Arawhata bridge is part of the Haast Tokoeka Kiwi Sanctuary. Dogs are strictly prohibited from this area.

The boundary runs upstream alongside the Arawhata River to Boulder Point just upstream of Jackass Creek then across the Haast Range to the Waiatoto River as far as the opposite bank of the Te Nahi River mouth. It then follows the Waiatoto River downstream on the true left to the south side of the Waiatoto River Bridge, then follows the Jackson Bay Road south to the Arawhata River bridge.

You can hunt in the sanctuary, but there may be DOC staff or contractors present at any time of the day or night year-round.

Hunting ballots

A hunting ballot system applies to the Arawhata during the roar – March and April.

There are 9 balloted, restricted access, roar blocks in the upper Arawhata and 2 open hunting areas in the lower Arawhata Valley. The balloted blocks are:

  • Block 40A – Tuning Fork
  • Block 40B – Drew Spur
  • Block 32 – Haphazard Spur Waipara
  • Block 22 – Thompson Creek
  • Block 23 – Nightfall Stream
  • Block 24 – Lower Waipara
  • Block 25 – McIntosh Creek
  • Block 26 – McArthur Creek
  • Block 27 – Snowden Creek

More information and how to apply for the roar ballot.


The most common transport into the Arawhata is by jet boat, and helicopter.

Horse travel up the river is also possible. Local operators can be hired for these services. The local DOC office can provide contact details.


Helicopter landings into Mount Aspiring National Park  are only permitted by DOC approved aircraft concessionaires. Mount Aspiring National Park covers most of the True Right of the Arawhata Valley and the upper True Left from McArthur Creek confluence upstream. Helicopter landings during the Roar Ballot periods are only allowed at designated landing sites.

No helicopter landings are allowed in the Olivine Wilderness Area, which is in the upper regions of the 10 Hour Gorge.

Foot and horse

Access to the area is from the Haast-Jacksons Bay road. About 25 minutes’ drive south of Haast you come to the Arawhata Bridge. Access into the lower true right of the Arawhata can be gained from this point. Crossing the Jackson River, a tributary of the Arawhata, is required to access the lower true left.

Jet boat

Jet boat access above the Waipara confluence becomes water dependant as it gets shallow in low flows. It takes about 40 minutes one way to reach the Waipara confluence in a jet boat. 


There is private land on Callery Flat and all other flats below 10 Hour Gorge are leasehold.

Open area permits or roar ballot permits do not entitle the holder to hunt on any area held:

  • under licence
  • lease, or
  • permit.

The occupier’s consent must be obtained. Seek landowners and occupier’s permission before crossing private or lease land.

Contact Haast Visitor Centre for landowners contact details.


Topographical map NZMS 260 series: E37, E38 or NZTop50, BZ10, BZ11, CA10, CA11.                                            


All areas above the 100 metre contour in the valley are part of Mount Aspiring National Park and no dogs are permitted.

Elsewhere all areas are prohibited to dogs except where authorisation has been granted by DOC. Get authorisation from the local DOC Haast Visitor Centre Office.


There are no DOC huts in the Arawhata valley.

Hunting information

Red deer can be found throughout the area at any time of the year however spring/summer hunting on the grass flats and the roar period are most popular.

Flat terraced sections on otherwise sloped faces are good locations to look in this valley and are often good spots for a wallow as are flat spots on ridges.

Red deer in this valley generally have a larger body size than most animals in the Haast region and some very good heads have been taken from the Arawhata over the years.

Know before you go

Check for current pesticide operations that may be in progress where you intend to hunt using the pesticide summary map West Coast pesticide map.

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


Awarua/Haast Visitor Centre
Phone +64 3 750 0809
Email haastvc@doc.govt.nz
Address Haast Junction
Corner SH6 and Jackson Bay Road
Haast 7886
Hours See visitor centre hours
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