Northland Hunting Locations & Access

The Northland Fish & Game Region offers a variety of hunting opportunities and 10 different game bird species. To hunt on any private lands, hunters must approach the landowners for permission.

To view the boundary between the Northland and Auckland/Waikato Fish & Game regions, please click here to download the map.


Hunters who want to hunt on Fish & Game wetlands or forestry lands, must  apply for a permit which allows them to carry a firearm and use a dog on those properties.

Hunters must contact the Northland Fish & Game Office with their details and pay for their permit (see fees below).

A permit is required for each licenceholder and does not cover a party or group of hunters.

Hunters requiring a permit must provide the following details: 

  • Name, Address and phone number(s)
  • Game bird licence number
  • Firearms Licence number
  • Date of Birth

Hunters requiring a permit to take any dog into a hunting area must provide the following details of the dog(s): 

  • Name of dog or dogs
  • the breed(s)
  • and the tag registration number(s) 

Each permit will be issued a Game Hunter Return Form, which must be returned to our office at the end of the game season. Hunters are required to return these forms as the information is an important tool in future management decisions.

All permits issued are accompanied with a full colour topographical map detailing the areas open to hunting.

The fees associated with hunting in the Hancock Forest Management (NZ) Ltd Forests, Matariki/Rayonier Forests and Northland Forest Managers are to cover all processing fees and colour maps, as well as public liability insurance.

To download permit application, please click here:


To view the access map we have available for the Kaipara area please click on the following link: Kaipara Harbour Hunting Access Guide.

Hunting locations by landowner/administrator, place name & location:

Northland Fish and Game Council: 
  • Jack Bisset Wetland, Whangarei
  • Flaxmill Wetlands, Dargaville
  • Kawakawa Wetlands, Kawakawa
  • Borrow Cut Wetland, Hikurangi
Department of Conservation:

This year, hunters who intend to hunt on Conservation managed lands must contact their local Department of Conservation office in Northland to obtain a permit. The local DOC office details are:

Whangarei Office, 2 Southend Ave, Raumanga, Whangarei (09) 470 3300

Bay of Islands Office, 34 Landing Road, Kerikeri (09) 407 0300

Kauri Coast Office, 150 Colville Road, RD 7, Dargaville (09) 439 345

Kaitaia Office, 25 Matthews Ave, Kaitaia  (09) 408 6014

The following locations are available for game bird hunting:

  • Wairua River Wildlife Management Reserve, Hikurangi
  • Manganui River Wildlife Management Reserve, Waiotira
  • Waitangi Wetlands, Kerikeri
  • Lake Ohia - Ranganu, Tokerau Beach
  • Puwheke Recreation Reserve, Cape Karikari
  • Rotokawau Lakes, Cape Karikari
  • Sweetwater Lakes, Kaitaia
  • Kaimaumau/East Beach, Houhora
  • Lake Taeore, Kaitaia
  • Te Ramanuka, Kaitaia
  • Paxton Point, Kaitaia
  • Ahipara Reserve, Kaitaia
  • Bulrush Lake, Kaitaia
  • Te Paki reserve, Cape Reinga

Please note that the lakes and associated wetlands in the Te Paki Reserve will be closed due to the invasive aquatic weed, Gypsywort.

 Exotic Pine Forests 

Summit Forest New Zealand Ltd

  • (Weekends only) Te Hiku Forest, Kaitaia /Houhora/ Te Kao
Northland Forestry Permit

Includes the following forests: 

  • Hancock Forest Management (NZ) Ltd - Various (60,000 plus hectares) Throughout Northland (Weekends only)
  • Northland Forest Managers Ltd - Various throughout Northland.
  • Matariki/Rayonier Forests - Glenbervie Forest, Whangarei
  • Puhipuhi Forest, Hikurangi
  • Topuni Forest, Wellsford

Permitted and balloted hunting areas or managed properties by New Zealand Fish & Game, Northland Region

Jack Bisset Wetland – Poroti Permit Fee $25.00

Sited 20 minutes drive south-west of central Whangarei, this 50-hectare purpose-built wetland is a haven for waterfowl hunters. The property is owned by Northland Fish & Game and all hunting is via a ballot system. Ballots may be applied for when stands are advertised as vacant. This wetland is open to all licenceholders following the second weekend after opening week, and may be used for the rest of the season. Game available includes mallard, grey, shelduck, black swan, pukeko, pheasant, and California quail. Farmer-approved camping is permitted during the season in a designated area, and access is by vehicle to the wetland's outskirts. There is great after-work hunting during the season for hunters who live nearby. Dogs are permitted.

$19.00 of this permit fee is used to fund a special predator and pest control operation on the property.

Flaxmill Wetland – Dargaville Permit Fee $45.00

Located 15 minutes north-west of Dargaville on Waihue Rd lies a former flax growing operation, dating back to the era when flax was used for making ropes. This extensive property has been returned to something close to a pure swampland state. A total of 56 hectares provides around 40 new hunters with  access to some of the best waterfowl hunting on offer in the Kaipara District Council area. The layout centres on pond sites, which are interconnected to a common flowing waterway. This site abounds with waterfowl as well as native species. Game birds available are mallards, grey and shelduck, and shoveler during the latter part of the season. Black swan, pukeko and the odd pheasant and quail can be found around the fringes. Access to pond sites is on foot from a designated parking area and dogs are permitted.

$39.00 of this permit fee is used to fund a special predator and pest control operation on the property.

Kawakawa Wetland – Kawakawa Permit Fee $6.00

This property has been developed to enhance its waterfowl potential. Major pond site excavation works have provided hunters with eight shooting sites with formed access roads. The area was previously under utilised because of of overgrown vegetation and willow trees. The surrounding countryside and terrain is a haven for waterfowl species, which populate this valley in good numbers. Bordering State Highway 1 near the township of Kawakawa, this property conjures up visions of a duck shooting heaven with its vast array of willow tree formations. The birds tend to drop into the pockets, which make for some exciting shooting during flood conditions. Access is easily achieved with a permit required outside of the normal balloted week. Species taken are mallard, grey, pukeko and the occasional parrie. Dogs are permitted and accommodation is close.

Borrow Cut Wetland – Hikurangi Swamp Permit Fee $6.00

Formerly part of the original Hikurangi swamp, this area is Whangarei District Council-owned but managed under agreement by Northland Fish and Game Council. It is a remnant of the past water course, which was straightened to allow for flood level withdrawal and easement. A property, which offers a fantastic opportunity for junior shooters and adult hunters after the first week of balloted hunting. Species found there include mallard, grey, paradise, pukeko, pheasant, quail and the ever-elusive spoonbill. Birds are usually called as they follow the river and man-made waterways. Dogs are permitted and generally  needed for birds taken over water.

Department of Conservation Hunting Areas

Please contact the DOC offices in Northland to obtain a permit. The following areas are available for game bird hunting:

Waitangi Wetlands – Waitangi

This is a DOC-administered property, which has been developed for the recreational use of licenced hunters. This land is manipulated with the use of a stop bank and weir, to keep it from drying out. The property offers a good refuge for waterfowl. Permits can be obtained by contacting our Northland office. Birds available are mallard, grey, shelduck, swan and pukeko. Dogs are permitted but need to be controlled, as lifestyle blocks border the property. There is road access to the property's  perimeter with some stands being located on an offshore area, which is reached by boat or punt. Accommodation is available in and around the township of Kerikeri.

Sweetwater Lakes – Kaitaia 

This area is a mix of lakes and wetlands just west of Kaitaia, of considerable value to local and visiting hunters. A permit to shoot the lake areas can be obtained by phoning any DOC office in the Northland region. Species available are the usual mallard, grey, paradise, spoonbill and pukeko. Dogs are permitted and accommodation is available in and around Kaitaia.

Lake Ohia - Ranganu

Lake Ohia offer wonderful opportunities for waterfowl and upland game. The permitted areas cover blocks either side of the Karikari Peninsula with plenty of room to explore. A permit is required through any DOC office in the Northland region, and dogs are allowed. There is camping and other  accommodation handy, but it's best to phone around to see if dogs are allowed to stay. Access is by road to the fringes and via East Beach with foot access to the rest of the area.

Puwheke Recreational Reserve – Cape Karikari 

This reserve is situated on the northern side of, and about halfway along Cape Karikari. The area has mostly been shot over for waterfowl but has numbers of upland game including pheasant & quail. The northern side of the property is bordered by the ocean and it's an extremely beautiful coastline. A permit is required through any DOC office in the Northland region, and dogs are allowed. There is camping and other accommodation handy, but it's best to phone to see if dogs are allowed to stay. Access is by road to the fringes with foot access to the rest of the area.

Rotokawau Lakes Conservation Area – Cape Karikari 

This block of Conservation land is located inland from, and in close proximity to Puwheke. Primarily a waterfowl block, this area still has upland game opportunity. Access is by road to the perimeter and then on foot to the interior. Dogs are permitted but hunters need to carefully consider the native bird species present and ensure ensure their dogs are controlled. Accommodation on offer is the same as Puwheke.

Kaimaumau/East Beach Conservation Area

This area of swamp land holds a variety of bird species. Situated on the northern tip of the Rangaunu Harbour just inland from Otiaia point, it is a major breeding area for waterfowl and produces good numbers of birds. Like all conservation areas in and around Kaitaia, hunters need to exercise commonsense where other wildlife is concerned. Perhaps the best thing about all such reserves in the district is how easy it is to travel between them and the variety of hunting habitat. Gun dogs are allowed but they must be well controlled. The narrow land mass makes it easy to visit both coasts, so a bit of seafood gathering is an alternative to game bird hunting. Accommodation is handy but check a holiday guide for suitable places.

Paxton Point – Houhora/Te Kao 

This block is a long strip of sand dune scrub country bordering farmland, heading north on the east coast from Rawarawa Beach camping ground. The area is good for upland game but with limited waterfowl opportunities.

Ahipara – Kaitaia 

This hunting block is primarily an upland game area and offers lots of  opportunity. The area covered by this permit is large and should provide hunters with excellent hunting in scrub and grass terrain.

The block is practically on Kaitaia’s back doorstep and provides for easy, handy hunting for Far North licenceholders. There are streams throughout this area that offer waterfowl hunting.

Te Ramanuka – Houhora

This block is situated on the west coast side of State Highway 1 in sand dune country. It's an excellent place to hunt waterfowl and should please any keen duck hunter when there's water in the shallow basins. Access is relatively easy with accommodation at Houhora. Upland game can be found here. 

Wairua River Wildlife Management Reserve – Hikurangi, North of Whangarei

This hunting block forms part of the remnants of the original well known Hikurangi swamp. The area provides a significant habitat for all swamp wildlife, and has been the mainstay of waterfowl hunting the Whangarei area. Shooting opportunity varies with the presence of flood water but it can produce good results. The  block also has a reasonable number of pheasants and quail. Access is easy and provides hunters with excellent after-work sport given its proximity to Whangarei.

Manganui River Wildlife Management Reserve

This hunting block forms part of the very extensive Manganui River flood plain. The area is a significant wildlife habitat. Shooting opportunity varies depending on flood events, but it can produce excellent results. The area also has a reasonable number of wild pheasants. Legal access is by walking downstream from the bridge which goes over the Manganui River on Waiotira – Mititai Road and into the Reserve. The issued permit is for hunting in the conservation area only and not in the pine forest.

Forestry Blocks

Summit Forest New Zealand Ltd: Te Hiku Forest Permit Fee $50.00

Situated north of Kaitaia, this exotic forest provides about 625sq kilometres of  upland game hunting, but only on weekends due to forestry operations. The main game species are pheasant and quail and there is good vehicle access where specified. A permit is required for entry, which may be obtained from the Fish & Game Office, Rider Sports Kaitaia, or McCoy & Thomas Hunting & Fishing, Kaitaia.

Reasonably priced accommodation is available at several motor camps which cater for dog owners.

Break down of permit fees: 

  • $14.00 - Special predator and pest control operation 
  • $30.00 - Public Liability Insurance
  • $6.00 - Administration Costs 


Northland Forestry Permit - $50

For the 2018 game bird season there will be ONE permit to cover the following forests:

  • Hancock Forest Management (NZ) Ltd.  

Northland Fish & Game is extremely fortunate to have access and permitting control of all eligible Hancock Forest Management (NZ) Ltd forests throughout Northland. Individual forests, which may be hunted, vary season-by-season depending on predator poison control and harvesting activity. Licenceholders have access to many thousands of hectares, and in some cases areas which have not previously had any hunting pressure. An extensive series of access maps provides hunters with good directions and descriptions.

Permits for weekend hunting only are only issued through the Fish & Game Office. The permit fee covers a requirement for each licenceholder to have a $2,000.000 Public Liability insurance and $500,000 Rural Fire insurance before they can enter any of Hancock Forest Management (NZ) Ltd forests. The permit is for the full length of the open game season.

  • Northland Forest Managers Ltd  

Northland Fish & Game have negotiated access and permitting of forests managed by Northland Forest Managers Ltd in the Mangakahia Valley.

Individual forests, which may be hunted, vary season-by-season depending on predator poison control and harvesting activity. Licence holders have access to many thousands of hectares. An extensive series of access maps provides hunters with good directions and descriptions.

Permits are only issued through the Fish & Game Office. Most forests are open weekends and a number are available for hunting seven days a week. The permit fee covers a requirement for each licence holder to have a $2,000 public liability insurance and $500,000 rural fire insurance before they can enter any of Northland Forest Managers Ltd forests. The permit is for the whole game season.

  • Matariki/Rayonier Forests
  • Glenbervie Forest   Whangarei
  • Puhipuhi Forest      Hikurangi
  • Topuni Forest        Wellsford

Permits are only issued through the Fish & Game Northland office. Most forests are open at weekends but some are available seven days a week. The permit fee covers a requirement for each licenceholder to have public liability and fire insurance as noted, before they can enter any of the Matariki/Rayonier Forests. The permit is for the entire game bird season.

Other available hunting opportunities

Waterfowl hunting opportunities are also available at Lakes Omapere and Owhareiti in central Northland. Numerous shelduck, black swan and mallards inhabit these areas. Access to these lakes is across private land and hunters who want to visit these sites, should contact this office to obtain further information on landowners.

All information supplied may be subject to change at the request of the land administrators.


Northland Hunting Spots