Where to Hunt Game Birds

Hunting in Central South Island Public Lands

Many of Central South Island’s larger riverbeds and lakes are public lands. Irrespective of this, it is important to advise the adjoining landowner when you wish to hunt these areas. That common courtesy often results in the farmer providing useful information and better access.

Balloted Stands

Depending on water levels the council has between 9 and 13 stands available for hunting the opening weekend on wetlands it owns or manages. These are balloted annually and invitations to apply are advertised in local papers and the Fish & Game Website in late February or early March. Ballot applications close in March, the exact date is advertised annually.

Northern Regional Boundary

The Rakaia River bed is not within the Central South Island Fish & Game (CSIFG) Region. The northern boundary of the region adjacent to the Rakaia River extends along Acton Road, Rakaia Barrhill Methven Road and Rakaia River Road.

Rangitata Diversion Race

Hunting along the Rangitata Diversion Race is possible but only with the express permission of RDR Management Ltd (ph 03 3080828) and the adjoining landowners.

Lake Wainono and Wainono Wetlands

Lake Wainono is near the township of Waimate and some 35 km south of Timaru. Adjacent to the coastal shingle beach barrier, the lake at its normal water level (1.0 m above sea level) covers about 350 hectares. The beach barrier, lake, and surrounding wetlands provide habitat for some 57 different bird species, many resident and others migratory.

Lake Wainono is a ‘’Conservation Area’’ managed by the Department of Conservation (DoC). Hunting is permitted and a permit to carry a firearm is required. This can be obtained free of charge from the DoC Raukapuka Field Centre in Geraldine.

Adjacent to Lake Wainono is Wainono Wetlands area which is owned and managed by Fish & Game. 6 to 9 hunting stands are balloted each year depending on water levels in Wainono Wetland. There is no ballot system for Lake Wainono and many of the existing stands are reserved to traditional hunters. Other than possibly during opening weekend there is still plenty of opportunity for visiting hunters.

Access to the lake and wetland is:
  • North side – via Hook Beach Road and then a 4WD track along the beach
  • Middle – via Wainono Lake Road; a track opposite Waimate turnoff on S.H. #1
  • South side – via Foleys Road and then Poindestres Road over the Dead Arm bridge to the beach and then a walking track along the beach past Maori Lake and the Wainono wetlands.

All Day Bay Lagoon

This small coastal lagoon, 11 ha in area, is located 15 km south of Oamaru on the Kakanui-Waianakarua coastal road. The area was purchased by CSIFG in 1989. Planting of vegetation and the construction of a low level weir to maintain a stable water level has secured the lake as a wetland habitat for both waterfowl and wading birds. The lagoon and its birdlife are readily observed from the road. Visits from the occasional White Heron or Royal Spoonbill are not uncommon which add to the scenic attraction of the area. All Day Bay Lagoon is also protected by a QE II National Trust Open Space Covenant. Three hunting stands are balloted annually by CSIFG.

Devils Bridge Wetland

Owned by the Meikle family, this 15 ha lake and associated wetland is situated on Devils Bridge Road some 6 km north west from Oamaru.

By agreement between the owner and CSIFG, the area is managed by the Devils Bridge Management Committee.

Three stands are balloted each year by CSIFG. Should you wish to hunt at the wetland other than opening weekend, then contact Aaron Meikle to arrange access (Ph 0274 989 703 or email meikle@gmail.com)

Mid Summer Duck Season

In February 2005 a 2-weekend summer duck hunting season was trialled on condition that it was to be monitored to ensure there was no adverse impact on the traditional May duck season opening before it was to be considered for more permanent application. The season is now well established and is likely to continue into the future. Please check you regulation guide each season to ensure you know the exact season dates, areas open to hunting and species that can be hunted.

On or near public land

When hunting on or near public land be aware of two relevant sections of the Arms Act 1983. Section 45 states “Every person commits an offence who, except for some lawful, proper, and sufficient purpose carries; or is in possession of…any firearm.” and “…the burden of proving the existence of some lawful, proper, and sufficient purpose shall lie on the defendant.”

Section 48 states “Every person commits an offence ….who, without reasonable cause, discharges a firearm …in or near (a) a dwelling house;

or (b) a public place, - so as to endanger property or to endanger, annoy, or frighten, any person.

The message is clear – be careful and considerate around other people and their property.

Game Bird Hunting on Conservation Land in the Ahuriri Valley

To hunt game birds on public conservation land in the Ahuriri Valley (Ben Avon Scenic Reserve, Quailburn and Birchwood Ponds, Ahuriri Conservation Park) a DOC hunting permit is required in addition to a valid Fish and Game New Zealand Game Bird Licence. A hunting permit can be acquired from the DOC office in Twizel. For permit details and area maps click here

Chukar Hunting

Chukar hunting is by permit only. Permits are available on request from the Fish and Game office in Temuka, phone 03 6158400.


Central South Island Hunting Spots