New Zealand duck hunting is a high-quality experience that can provide fun for the entire family. The natural habitat for New Zealand's upland game birds and waterfowl is spectacular. In addition to duck species popularly hunted in the United States are indigenous species that top avid bird hunters' lists, plus unique wingshooting opportunities that probably should.
Endemic duck species prized by collectors include Paradise Shelducks (Tadorna variegate), Pacific Black Ducks (Anas superciliosa), Australian Shovelers (Anas rhynchotis). Mallards and Canada Geese thrive, as do Black Swans (Cygnus atratus), and comprise the bulk of the New Zealand waterfowl hunting bag.
New Zealand waterfowl hunting is characterized by high-quality wingshooting. Waterfowl are plentiful, with daily bags usually exceeding the lawful take in the US, but New Zealand duck hunting is about decoying exoctic species in the most enchanting scenery imaginable. Fifteen to 30 waterfowl are a reasonable expectation, with upland bird, trout fishing or New Zealand big game hunting for red stag, Himalayan Tahr and Chamois other available options.
Duck hunting in New Zealand is from comfortable maimais (duck blinds) on land or water, usually 2 hunters per blind. Baiting is legal, but not always necessary because waterfowl remain unpressured by hunting. Guns may be unplugged. New Zealand duck hunting season runs May through July and coincides with prime hunting for many big game species. You may bring your own shotgun very easily, but Remington 870s, for example, are included in these New Zealand duck hunting packages for those so inclined.
Upland bird hunting in New Zealand rounds out our wingshooting programs perfectly. There's plenty from which to choose, too. Puekekos (Porphyrio melanotus), sometimes called blue pheasants, are native species that dwell along wetland margins and prized by collectors. California quail most common of the introduced upland game birds and are found in both islands in coveys of usually between 10 and 100 birds. Covies of up to 400 having been reported. Other upland bird hunting opportunities include ring-neck pheasants, as well as hunting for the world's largest pheasant - wild peacocks - are hunted over pointers and walk-ups.
Spring turkey hunters will marvel at the abundance of mature gobblers with no hunter competition during the spring months August through December. Merriam's Wild Turkeys are abundant, especially on North Island. The turkeys may be hunted throughout the year, with a generous outfitter-imposed limits of 3 gobblers daily. February through August, during the fall and winter months, effective turkey hunting methods in Kiwi Land consist of still hunting or busting large flocks and calling them back. Spring turkey hunting in New Zealand pairs well with trout fishing.
For the best of all worlds, be sure to look at the New Zealand Hunting Calendar when planning your trip.
Duck Hunting is available early-May through June (North Island) and into July (South Island). Upland game bird hunting season runs concurrently. Turkey and trout available throughought the entire year. During the New Zealand Waterfowl Hunting season, a hunt for trophy Red Stag, Tahr and Chamois may be enjoyed. Please consult the GetDucks.com New Zealand Hunting Calendar to best decide the perfect New Zealand hunting trip.
$700 Daily New Zealand Duck Hunting, includes turkey and upland
bird hunting. Non-hunters $350.
Big Game Hunting Trophy fees:
North Island New Zealand Waterfowl Hunting Packages include: round-trip airport and all local ground transfers (from Palmerston North Regional Airport), accommodations during the hunt, all meals and beverages, fully-guided hunting, firearm supplies (Remington 870 and ammo), trophy care in field, hunting licenses, export permits.
5 Night/4 Day New Zealand Duck Hunting Package $3,650 per hunter with a minimum/maximum of 4 Hunters.
Accompanied Non-hunting/Ladies Package 6 nights/5 days relaxing,
exploring and sightseeing $2,000
South Island New Zealand Hunting Package includes: airport transfers, all accommodations, meals, beer and house wine, and hunting license for hunters, export permits, along with train trips, whale watch charters and spa treatments for non-hunters.
If unable to organize party of 4 let us know, we may have others in the same position that you can join.
Getting There - New Zealand Hunting
US Visitors fly from LA across the Pacific, a 12-hour direct flight to Auckland. From Australia, it's a 3-hour flight across the Tasman Sea.
North Island: Arrive into Auckland International Airport in the North Island, go through Customs. Transfer by domestic air to Palmerston North Regional Airport, about 1 hour flight, where hunters will be met by staff and transfered 2 hours to the coastal ranch.
South Island: Arrive into Auckland International Airport in the North Island, go through Customs and go to Domestic Terminal to catch a flight to Christchurch airport. Hosts await at Christchurch Airport to meet and greet, and provide 1.5 hour transfer to lodge.
What to Bring - New Zealand Bird Hunting Combo
Useful equipment for duck hunting includes chest waders and camouflaged, brown or green colored clothing. Guides have decoys and dogs. For upland hunting stout walking boots and a shooting vest for shells and birds are helpful. A warm hat, thick woolen socks, rain clothes, thermal underwear, binoculars, daypack, camera. Rifle and prefered ammunition, or may be purchased locally. Shotguns may be rented at South Island Lodge. Shotshell ammo is available locally. SEE: WHAT-TO-BRING NEW ZEALAND BIRD HUNT© (PDF)
Gratuities - New Zealand Hunting Trips
Gratuities for lodge and field staff are not included in Argentina duck hunt package cost since tipping, in general, is discretionary. Because clients have repeatedly asked that we provide general guidelines the following is suggested. Generally 10-20% land package cost is appropriate. Your host will accept gratuities when settling your account prior to departure, and will dispense among the staff accordingly.
New Zealand Fly Fishing
New Zealand trout fishing is the stuff from which dream are made. Our South Island outfitter-affiliate delivers extraordinary guided fly fishing for large, wild Brown Trout in crystal clear mountain streams in various locations, all of them great. Trout average 5 pounds but each season some double-digit trout are caught.
Abiding strictly to catch-and-release principles, experienced guides intimately familiar with the local rivers, share their knowledge of all aspects of fly fishing with all anglers, from complete beginners to seasoned veterans. Traveling by vehicle, or helicopter, ensures an exciting day in beautiful remote scenery, and every opportunity to outwit the smart New Zealand Brown Trout. Present a selected nymph or dry fly...wait...there he is!
Species - New Zealand Duck Hunting
New Zealand waterfowl hunting offers some unique species. These include the native Paradise Shelduck, commonly called a parrie, Pacific Black Duck, or Grey duck, New Zealand Shoveler, and the Black Swan which has introduced itself from Australia 1500 miles to the west.
The grey duck favours secluded areas in contrast to the
introduced mallard which is happy to live around humans. Originally
the primary target of duck hunters, the grey duck now comprises
only 20% of the New Zealand duck population of 6 million
New Zealand Shovelers are the least abundant of hunted ducks, but possibly the most attractive. They are certainly the most difficult to locate. They frequent coastal lakes but move a lot making them rather unpredictable.
Paradise Shelducks only occur in New Zealand. They have a 4-foot wingspan which compares with the 3 foot wingspan of a mallard. They can be found in large flocks on pasture to which they have adapted well after the conversion from forest to grassland of much of New Zealand by European settlers from 1840. Paradise Shelducks can provide exceptional shooting over decoys on grass fields or barley stubble. Unusually, the female with white head and bronze breast is more colourful than the black male, but they are both strikingly attractive birds.
The Black Swan may not be hunted in Australia but is a popular gamebird in New Zealand. Large bodies of water where they feed on aquatic vegetation are favoured habitat. Flying swans are spectacular. They are often seen in large groups.
Mallard ducks were introduced from North America in the late 1800's and are widespread. They interbreed with the native grey ducks. They move within New Zealand but do not migrate. They are now our most common duck and a very popular gamebird.
Greater Canada Geese are widepread especially in the South Island with increasing population and distribution in the north. More Info: New Zealand Waterfowl Hunting
Bag Limits - New Zealand Duck Hunting
New Zealand should not be regarded as high-volume shooting like South American destinations. It is best viewed as a place to collect some unique and beautiful waterfowl; to experience quality not quantity. Normally hunters will take home a variety of excellent specimens for mounting. New Zealand waterfowl can be very abundant and limits are generous so normally good to excellent hunting will be enjoyed. Duck limits vary between Fish and Game regions but are typically 10 to 20 birds per day. Limits for Canada Geese and Mallards are considerably more liberal. Pheasant hunting is best in the North Island with daily limits on roosters about 5.
Species - Big Game Hunting in New Zealand
There are 12 species of big game available for hunting in New Zealand: Wapiti (Elk), Red Deer, Sika deer, Rusa Deer, Sambar Deer, Whitetail Deer, Fallow Deer, Himalayan Thar, European Chamois, South Pacific Goat, Wild Pig, and Asiatic Buffalo. All provide good trophies and many species have exceeded the trophy potential of their county of origin.
Red Deer Stags provide the quintessential experience for trophy big game hunting in New Zealand. Red Deer are most popular among guest hunters. Trophy potential is very good. Challenging hunting is available in both free-range and intensively-managed, game ranch settings. Fallow deer, the second most widely-distributed big game animal in New Zealand, are often taken while red stag hunting. In the Southern Alps, Tahr and Chamois challenge hunters in higher elevations, but the effort pays handsomely with trophies that can be hunted at the same time nowhere but in New Zealand. No license fees to hunt big game in New Zealand. More Information: Big Game Hunting in New Zealand
Related Links - New Zealand Hunting and Fishing
About the Area - New Zealand Hunting
New Zealand is an island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses (the North Island and the South Island), and numerous smaller islands. New Zealand is notable for its geographic isolation: it is situated about 2,000 kilometres (1,200 mi) southeast of Australia across the Tasman Sea, and its closest neighbours to the north are New Caledonia, Fiji and Tonga. During its long isolation New Zealand developed a distinctive fauna dominated by birds, a number of which became extinct after the arrival of humans and the mammals they introduced.
The South Island is the largest land mass of New Zealand, and is divided along its length by the Southern Alps. There are 18 peaks over 3,000 metres (9,800 ft) the highest of which is Aoraki/Mount Cook at 3,754 metres (12,316 ft). The top of South Island contains areas of forest in the Kahurangi and other national parks. The south-western corner of South Island is Fiordland, an area of high mountains cut through with steep fjords.
The North Island is less mountainous but is marked by volcanism. The highly active Taupo volcanic zone has formed a large volcanic plateau, the North Island's highest mountain, Mount Ruapehu 2,797 metres (9,177 ft), and a deep caldera filled by Lake Taupo, the country's largest lake. The island's north is a flatter area, once covered by huge kauri trees.
The latitude of New Zealand, from approximately 34 to 47° S, corresponds closely to that of Italy in the Northern Hemisphere. However, its isolation from continental influences and exposure to cold southerly winds and ocean currents give the climate a much milder character. The climate throughout the country is mild and temperate, mainly maritime, with temperatures rarely falling below 0 °C (32 °F) or rising above 30 °C (86 °F) in populated areas.
Of the main cities, Christchurch is the driest, receiving only 640 millimetres (25 in) of rain per year; Auckland, the wettest, receives almost twice that amount. Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch all receive a yearly average in excess of 2000 hours of sunshine.
The first Europeans known to have reached New Zealand were Dutch explorer Abel Janszoon Tasman and his crew in 1642. Indigenous Maori killed four of the crew and no Europeans returned to New Zealand until British explorer James Cook's voyage of 1768-71. Cook reached New Zealand in 1769 and mapped almost the entire coastline. Following Cook, New Zealand was visited by numerous European and North American whaling, sealing and trading ships. They traded European food and goods, especially metal tools and weapons, for Maori timber, food, artefacts and water. On occasion, Europeans traded goods.
Because of its long isolation from the rest of the world and its island biogeography, New Zealand has extraordinary flora and fauna, descended from Gondwanan wildlife or since arriving by flying, swimming or being carried across the sea. About 80% of New Zealand's flora is endemic, including 65 endemic genera. Until the arrival of humans, 80% of the land was forested.
New Zealand's only native mammal is a bat, so European settlers introduced several hunting species specifically for sport. In the absence of natural predators, and as forests were converted to grasslands, these animals flourished. Today, population control is achieved with safe and controlled hunting. Game animals include deer (including red, fallow and sika), chamois, tahr, pigs. First-rate waterfowl and upland game-bird hunting in New Zealand is also available.
Immersed in beautiful New Zealand settings, lodging on North and South islands provides the perfect back-drop for New Zealand hunting trips. Excellent regional foods and wines, personalized service, complement the experience for perfection. Choose one, the other, or a longer stay to include both.
For groups, especially with non hunters along, accommodation will be in the homestead lodge on the Tasman Sea. This is a large-style villa with 5 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, and large lounge with open fire, dining room and kitchen. Sundecks look out onto the attractive gardens and tennis court.
Non-hunters can relax at the homestead or explore the property by 4WD. Coastal seal colonies provide great photo opportunities as do amazing coastal landforms like Honeycomb Rock. Forays to town just hour away includes wine trails, visiting abalone and jade jewelry stores, antique shops, local art galleries and a rare native-bird sanctuary that exhibits the Kiwi and Takahe. During a daytrip by train to the capital city of New Zealand, Te Papa, the New Zealand National Museum can be visited, followed by shopping while wandering along picturesque streets near the harbour.
All meals and beverages are included and prepared on the premises. New Zealand food is noted for its freshness and tasty nature. The menu features wild game along with New Zealand beef and lamb, plus fresh coastal seafood. The Wairarapa Coast has abundant seafood, and is right out of the front door. Paua (abalone) and crayfish (lobster) are local delicacies readily obtainable simply by diving with a snorkel. Moki, blue cod and butterfish are excellent local table fare. An excellent variety of local wine is also provided.
Luxury lodge accommodations in Hanmer Springs, New Zealand. With large gardens and spectacular panoramic views over the Hanmer Basin, this is the place to be to relax in tranquility and privacy.
Nestled on a plateau overlooking the beautiful mountains, rivers and farmland, the unique lodge offers 5 bedrooms, with either King or Queen beds, private bathroom, large lounge and stone log fire, pool room, computer with Wifi for your use, large outdoor decks, lovely gardens and spectacular views. Private-chef offerings include scrumpous cuisine and local delicacies after a fun day. A truly relaxing and tranquil atmosphere ensures that your next New Zealand vacation is enjoyed in style, privacy, and comfort.
Hanmer Springs is one of New Zealand's top tourist destinations. It is situated around famous thermal spa pools where one can sit and soak, or be pampered with a private sauna, massage, facial, manicure or pedicure. For those looking for something more physical there is a beautiful 18-hole golf course, forest trails, horse treks, jet boating, rafting, ATV trails. For the more adventurous New Zealand-originated thrill of bungy jumping. The local Marble Point Winery is open for wine tasting and sales.
Your lodge hostess will arrange an activities program for non-hunter participants. While the others in the party are enjoying the great outdoors, you too can also have an enjoyable day doing whatever appeals. Day options include: a Spa & Beauty package in Hanmer Springs, Lunch & Wine Tour of local vineyards, exploring the beautiful city of Christchurch, whale watching at lovely seaside town of Kaikoura, or TranzAlpine Scenic Train rides through the magnificent Southern Alps.
Paradise Shelducks define the classical New Zealand duck hunting experience, but there are also opportunities for trophy species such as Pacific Black Ducks, Australian Shovelers and Pukekos. As as our photo gallery demostrates, New Zealand hunting conjures dreams of trophy hunting for red stags, fallow deer, tahr, rusa deer and more for very good reason!
View Photo Gallery New Zealand Hunting
"Seeing the paradise ducks decoy so readily was beautiful. There were plenty of ducks, but we had to go find them (i.e. it was a hunt, not a harvest). The challenge of shooting in a gale-force nor'wester was energizing! I enjoyed shooting 5 shells - I had three birds on the ground in one volley (and plenty of misses as well!). I love the landscape around Hanmer and we were very lucky to have sunshine both days.
Our New Zealand host-guide, John, was very easy to be with, clear in his directions, did good calls and had good eyes. He had done his homework about where the ducks were hanging out, though the ducks didn't fully co-operate on day 2. Nevertheless, he found them and we had very good shooting. I liked the blind set-up. It was very clever, and portable, and easy to put up and take down. Swivel buckets would be an improvement on the seating but what we had worked for me.
I loved the apres-hunting wine and hors d'oeuvres, and having my non-hunting friends join us was a bonus. We were very well looked after by Robin and the chefs. Robin was fantastic, just like an old friend. Bruce getting a double on mallards was good! Chasing away the hawks from the kills was memorable. Having lunch delivered to the field was very spiffy. GetDucks.com was fantastic, responded quickly to inquiries and I recommend you for this New Zealand duck hunting trip."
Referenced Hunt: Duck Hunting in New Zealand
Very well pleased with our entire New Zealand turkey hunting experience. Wonderful people along the trip and Adrain was great! Lots of turkeys - Got the peacock! Beautiful place, liked everything about the trip. Ramsey and Anita always answered emails or got right back with us.
Joe and Jan Smith
Referenced Hunt: New Zealand Turkey Hunting
While duck hunting in New Zealand, we greatly enjoyed the accommodations, food, finding birds and the way we were treated by the outfitter. The country side was beautiful. Working birds and meeting new duck hunters in a different country were memorable. I've traveled a lot with alot of other outfitters that keep 9 to 5 hours but an immediate Sunday reply by Ramsey will have me booking all future trips with GetDucks.com. Ramsey is a good man and duck hunter, not another used car salesman. New Zealand was my third hunt at a GetDucks.com destination and I recommend them all.
Karl & Herman Busing
Referenced Hunt: New Zealand Duck Hunt
My New Zealand duck hunt hunt was excellent. They were able to get me on all the different ducks I wanted. I most enjoyed hunting black swans! I was able to get a couple pure Gray ducks. They are a great family. GetDucks.com is easy, one-step outfitting. After reading about Netherlands, I've put that one on my list too. Thanks.
Referenced hunt: New Zealand Duck Hunt (North Island)
Dear Mr. Russell,
I just wanted to take a minute and send a quick note regarding my recent trip to New Zealand for duck hunting. When I originally contacted you regarding the hunt, I had planned to travel a couple weeks later than what the trip dates finally became. With your feedback, we decided to move the trip up, so we could be in New Zealand for opening day of the duck season. So glad we took this advice. Opening day was a tremendous success and the following days were action-packed. Our hosts knew we had come to their country looking for five species and they all worked hard to get us our birds.
Ramsey, I give the New Zealand duck hunting trip my HIGHEST RECOMMENDATION. The hosts are knowledgeable, professional, and eager to please their guests. On opening day, our hosts gave us preferential treatment when it came to assigning hunting blinds (mai-mais). While I felt this was unnecessary, I certainly appreciated the gesture when the birds were flying.
I hope to take my sons to NZ in future, so they can enjoy gunning exotic waterfowl in Kiwi country.
Thank you for your assistance in booking this hunt and exceeding all our expectations in NZ.
Howard from WA, President of Cupped Up Outdoors, makers of The Muskrat Hut Duck & Goose Blind
Referenced hunt: New Zealand Duck Hunting (North Island)