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).
You do not need licences, or tags while hunting in New Zealand.
You will need to purchase a firearms license - at least two months prior to your hunt. To apply for a firearms licence, go to https://www.police.govt.nz/advice/firearms-and-safety/visitor-firearms-licence-and-import-permits.
This is where firearms will be stored: 2429 Switzers Rd, Rd5, Gore 9775, NZ.
Rachel Stewart’s License # T5115831
On arrival in New Zealand (your first point of entry, usually Auckland Airport) you will need to pay NZ$25 for your firearms licence. Please ensure you have the exact amount in cash before leaving your home country in order to avoid missing connecting flights.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
No – We supply bags and pads for our client’s use at tahr camp. Our other camps don’t require sleeping bags.
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.
Yes, but only at Leithen Valley if you desire or the terrain is inaccessible to 4WD vehicles.
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.
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.
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..
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.
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.
If you are flying into the USA through LAX, depending on your circumstances and our weather, we try to get your hides in salt and dried in time for you to take them back home with you. This cannot be done if you are flying into San Francisco. If you have special hide bags, please bring them with you. If your trophies don’t accompany you home, as soon as your trophies are dry we transport them to Wanaka where a reputable expediting firm takes care of export arrangements. It is important for you to have the correct shipping details from your taxidermist (CITES registered) or brokerage company. We will have tags for you. We arrange all the appropriate export forms from here.