• Travel visa

    All non-residents travelling to NZ need a travel visa.
    From October 2019 non-residents travelling to New Zealand will require an Electronic Travel Authority (ETA). Application for an ETA is a simple 10 minute online process. Use this link to access the Immigration NZ ETA information and application web page:
    This brings New Zealand into line with the USA and Canada for travel authority for inbound travellers from partnered Visa Waiver countries (USA & Canada, etc).

  • Hotels to stay before and after the hunt
    We recommend the Novotel Queenstown Lakeside, phone +64 3 442 7750 in Queenstown for your arrival in New Zealand. You can book your stay online.

    (Please be advised that the best rates for the hotel are via the internet. If you are unable to book via the internet, please ask your travel agent to make the booking for you accordingly). This is a nice hotel overlooking the lake and is centrally located in town, within easy walking distance of many shops and restaurants. Expect to pay USD approximately 100-250 per night, depending on the season. An alternative hotel option is the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel which is located near the Queenstown airport and provides a ferry to downtown Queenstown. https://www.hilton.com/en/hotels/zqnaldi-doubletree-queenstown

    The Novotel Lakeside is normally where our hunters stay in Queenstown. The hotel may ask you to give them your firearms so that they can be put in to a secure area. This is normal practice and you should not be offended if they request this at check-in. The taxi cab ride from the airport to the hotel is approx. 10 minutes. If you are arriving in Queenstown the day of your first hunting day, we will meet you at the airport on your arrival. If you are arriving anytime sooner, you will need to take a taxi (approximately 30 NZD) to your hotel.

    And if the above hotels are fully booked, or the rate for your stay is higher than expected, you can also search for a room using Booking.com or TripAdvisor.com.

  • Do I require a firearms and hunting licences?

    You do not need licences, or tags while hunting in New Zealand.


    A visitor firearms licence is required to import any firearms in to New Zealand. The online application is to be completed at least two months in advance of travel – please allow plenty of time for the application to be processed. Hunters are required to declare all firearms to New Zealand Customs on arrival and an approved visitor firearms licence will be issued to you. You will need to have $25 NZD cash to pay for the temporary visitor firearms licence.
    Please contact your airline or view their website to confirm firearms travel regulations. Each airline will have specific requirements.


    Click here to view New Zealand approved firearms list.
    Click here to check eligibility criteria for visitor licence.
    Click here to fill out your online firearms importation application form with New Zealand police.
    Click here for more visitor firearms licence and import permit information.


    Name: Rachel Stewart
    Address: 2429 Switzers Road, RD 5, Gore - 9775, New Zealand
    Firearms storage: Secure gun safe
    NZ firearms license number: T5115831
    Purpose of importation: Hunting vacation

    You will also require an export permit for your trophies. We will arrange this for you. You will however need to organise a broker or a registered taxidermist to get your trophies back into your country. Our expediter/taxidermist will work with yourself and Rachel to get your trophies back home as quickly & safely as possible.

    Duck and fishing licences are required. This can be done online in New Zealand.

  • What is the procedure once I arrive in New Zealand?

    The procedure for all of our hunting is basically the same, only the location will vary. Fly into Auckland International Airport where you will obtain your firearms licence from the airport police in the customs hall before clearing customs. On clearing customs, transfer to the domestic terminal and board your flight to Queenstown in the South Island where one of the Leithen Valley team will be awaiting your arrival. From Queenstown we will take you to our Leithen Valley camp, approximately a two-hour exhilarating car ride (remember we drive on the left-hand side of the road) through very scenic country. On your arrival at the lodge you will meet the rest of the Leithen Valley family and staff, before being shown your rooms. Here you will be able to freshen up, organize your gear and sight your rifle or bow in, ready to begin hunting the next morning.

    At Leithen Valley, red stag, fallow, wapiti, wild goats and Arapawa rams can be hunted. This is our own privately-owned ranch, which is set in 10,000 plus acres. Red deer have been roaming this area since being released in the early 1900s. These deer have been closely managed over the past 30 years, and consequently some fantastic world-class trophies that score well, with plenty of character have been produced.

    There definitely will be some of the best fallow deer in the world to come out of Leithen Valley. A common fault is to shoot good animals too young. At Leithen Valley we try to avoid this, so if they are good at three years you know at six years plus they will be world-class.

    There are many good streams and rivers on Leithen Valley’s doorstep, so fishing while in season (February – April) can be done if time allows. We have great areas for duck hunting (May – August) and small game hunting (rabbits, possums) can be done year round.

    Maungawera Lodge is our chamois camp and tahr base camp. This camp is situated near Lake Wanaka, a small popular tourist town with many attractions. This lodge, along with our Leithen Valley Lodge, are very comfortable, with a great hunting atmosphere and very suitable for the non-hunter.

    Our tahr camps provide 20,000 plus acres of private property. Some of the best tahr hunting in the world is found in this area and we only hunt 100% mature tahr bulls. We took an average of 12 & 13 inch horns. Accommodation at tahr camp is basic, but warm and comfortable.

  • What type of physical shape do I need to be in when I hunt in New Zealand?

    The very best possible, considering your age and physical limitations. This is not to say that you have to be in first-class, top condition. Our guides are well trained and considerate. They will quickly determine your abilities and pace and modify the hunt to suit your ability. All the same – if you can spare the time, some extra activities like walking, biking or gym work before you arrive will pay off. This particularly applies when hunting tahr.

  • What type of boots do I require?

    In New Zealand the ground can be undulating, rocky and wet depending on which area you are hunting. Boots need to be waterproof, have good ankle support with plenty of grip and rubber soles. We recommend Kenetrek boots.
    Please make sure your boots are clean when entering New Zealand, as our border controls are very strict.

  • Do I need gaiters?

    We find gaiters keep your lower leg dry in our long wet grass, as well as protect you from any prickly plants. The ones that open down the front of the leg are the best for ease of use. Kenetrek also makes good gaiters.

  • Do I bring a pack?

    We recommend you bring a backpack to carry binoculars, cameras, drink bottles, etc. while you are out hunting. Some of our tahr and chamois spike camps may require a larger pack. We will let you know if this is the case.

  • How much ammunition should I bring?

    One box should be plenty for a combination hunt as well as sighting your rifle in once you arrive in camp. However, bring an extra box if you are unsure.

  • At what range should I be sighted in?

    Personally, I sight in 3 to 4 inches high at 100 yards. At Leithen Valley for red stag hunting, the average shot is 100 to 200 yards. In the mountains for tahr and chamois you can expect to shoot up to 300 yards.

  • What calibre do you recommend?

    We recommend you bring the calibre that you shoot well. Rifles that are most commonly used are 270, 30.06, 7mm and 300 Magnum. We have a 300 Win Mag and 270 lightweight rifles that can be used if need be.

  • Do I need to bring a sleeping bag and pad?

    No – We supply bags and pads for our client’s use at tahr camp. Our other camps don’t require sleeping bags.

  • Do I require rainwear?

    Yes – Good quality Gortex rainwear is important especially mountain hunting. Should you wish us to order you Swazi raingear, let us know in advance and we can have it here on your arrival.

  • Do we use horses?

    Yes, but only at Leithen Valley if you desire or the terrain is inaccessible to 4WD vehicles.

  • What is the weather like?

    This depends on the area that you hunt. Generally the temperatures are mild, but you should expect rain, especially at Leithen Valley. Snow and wind are more likely for our mountain hunts.

    Weather: https://www.yr.no/place/New_Zealand/

    Leithen Valley – farmstead in the Clutha District, Otago, New Zealand. Wanaka – Queenstown Lakes District, Otago, New Zealand. Tahr Camp – Ben Mcleod Mountain in Timaru District, Canterbury, New Zealand.

    Weather Info

  • Should I bring a spotting scope and binoculars?

    Your guide will have a spotting scope, but certainly bring your binoculars. We recommend you bring the best quality you can afford, as a second set of eyes is always beneficial. It is likely that you will be the first to sight the trophy animal you are after..

  • What happens if I book a hunt, pay a deposit, and then I’m unable to make the hunt?

    A deposit offers guarantees to both parties. Should you need to cancel your hunt we are happy to transfer your deposit to another year (subject to availability) or another hunter that you have found to take your place. In all other circumstances your deposit is forfeited.

  • Is it normal to tip my personal guide and cooks?

    Yes, if your guide and cooks are prepared to go the extra mile and give you a successful and enjoyable hunt, it is worth showing your appreciation. Guiding and cooking is seasonal employment, and as hunters we can’t do without them. Tipping keeps good guides and cooks in the industry.

  • How will my trophies be transported from Leithen Valley to my home?

    We take your trophies to a reputable expediting firm where they will prepare them for export. There are options to get mounted in NZ before export or to be prepared for your local taxidermist back home. The wait for expediting is around 3 months and taxidermy 7 months. This may vary depending on workload and shipping companies at the time. It is important for you to have correct shipping details from your taxidermist (CITES registered) or a brokerage company.