The Karangarua and Copland are the two main branches of the Karangarua, a major river about 20 km south of Fox Glacier. It is a popular destination for red deer and chamois hunting.


  • 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 between December 20 and January 31, and Good Friday and Easter Monday in the Copland Valley.

Dog access

No dogs

About this hunting block


All these valleys are popular destinations for hunting.

The area is part of Westland Tai Poutini National Park and the popular Copland Track and Welcome Flat hot pools are features. The area is mostly hardwood forest with large stands of southern rata, dense alpine scrub at higher altitudes and tussock faces. The landforms are mostly very steep and broken especially on the north facing slopes.


Access to the area is off SH6 at Karangarua.

The track into the Copland starts at the carpark on the north bank. Copland Track to Welcome Flat Hut.

On the south side of the road bridge a short track provides access to the riverbed and a cut track into the Karangarua valley starts 4 km upstream near the junction. It is about 4 hours walk to Cassel Flat Hut and another 8 hours walk to Christmas Flat.

A sidetrack into the Douglas Valley starts at Cassel Flat, crosses the river on a cableway, heads up the Regina then onto a high spur and a high-level route leads into the upper valley and Horace Walker Hut. See guidance on using the cableway under 'Know before you go' below. 


There are helicopter landing sites at Horace Walker Hut and Christmas Flat. Aircraft landings are not permitted anywhere else.


There is no need to cross any pastoral lease or privately owned land to access this area.


NZTopo50 BX14, BX15


There are six public huts in this area.

  • Architect Creek DOC Standard Hut, 2 bunks, pot belly fire, water tank
  • Welcome Flat DOC Serviced Hut, 31 bunks, 1 private 4-person room, 8 campsites, bookings must be made online before leaving.
  • Douglas Rock DOC Standard Hut, 8 bunks, fire box, tank water.
  • Horace Walker DOC Standard Hut, 4 bunks, fire box, creek water nearby.
  • Cassel Flat  DOC Standard Hut, 6 bunks, fire box, tank water.
  • Christmas Flat DOC Standard Hut, 4 beds, fire box, creek water nearby.

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 the Roar is most popular. The areas around Cassel Flat and Ruera confluence 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. Tahr are common in all the main valleys at higher altitude especially around steep bluff areas that can be difficult to hunt.

Popular Tahr hunting areas include the steep faces behind Cassel Flat, Lame Duck Flat, Christmas Flat, Horace Walker, mid and upper Copland and the upper Regina.

Know before you go

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

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

Using the cableway

A cableway is used to cross rivers on this trip. Take time to read the on-site instructions and familiarise yourself with the operation of the cableway before crossing

Use of this cableway carries risks, so follow the operating instructions carefully.

It is recommended that you do not use this cableway unless part of a larger party or carrying a personal locator beacon (PLB).

Never place your hands on main cable, and keep hands, clothing and long hair clear of all wheels.

In the event of an emergency where the carriage becomes stuck, remain where you are and activate your PLB or have your party seek help.


Franz Josef Glacier Base
Phone:   +64 3 752 0796
Fax:   +64 4 471 1117
Email:   westlandnpvc@doc.govt.nz
Address:   13 State Highway 6
Franz Josef Glacier 7856
Postal Address:   PO Box 14
Franz Josef Glacier 7856
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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