Gear list and additional information on hunting in New Zealand

Here is some additional information on how to prepare for your New Zealand hunting experience and the gear you need.

Firearms License

If you hold a current equivalent license to possess a firearm in your country and you want to use a firearm in New Zealand, you require a visitor's firearms license. You should apply for this online at least four months before your visit to New Zealand.

For more information, visit the links below from the Firearms Safety Authority.


One of the most challenging parts of authentic hunting in New Zealand is getting around in our mountainous country. For the visiting hunter I cannot recommend enough the importance of undergoing some form of fitness program. Not only to enable you to be able to get to where we need to be make the shot, but also so you are able to enjoy your hunting experience that much more.

Expect a river crossing to be part of the hunting experience

River Crossings

Most of the places I hunt are in one of the South Island's eastern river catchment systems. To get around it while hunting, it is often necessary to cross the river, sometimes several times during the day. These rivers are generally low during winter due to things freezing higher up the mountain. Occasionally, they are prone to flood, which can significantly influence the hunt outcome. Many of my clients have never crossed a river before, and for them, this is part of their adventure. Luckily, having hunted in this country for nearly thirty years, I am very experienced in river crossing techniques.

Clothing for high-country hunts

These days there are a lot of good quality high-tech products available on sale in hunting stores all around the world. When deciding what to bring with you break it down into 3 layers. Your base layer which is closest to your skin should be clothing specially designed to draw the moisture away from your body ‘wicking’ and reduce post- exercise chill. Such products are mircofleece, polypropylene or under armour. The middle layer should be made of clothing such as fleece designed to trap a layer of air around your body to retain body heat. The mid layer of fleece works on the same principle as a wet suit does for a diver. The outer layer should be both wind and waterproof. The new Gore-Tex material used in hunting jackets and pants not only keeps water out but is also able to allow some body moisture to escape as well. It can do this because a water vapour molecule is smaller in size than water drops such as in the form of rain. Please don’t turn up in jeans and non-water proof gear. Having good gear will not only keep you warm but also make your trip far more pleasant. All your clothing needs to be both light weight and non-restrictive when climbing. If you are unsure contact either myself or a hunting retailer for advice.

Gear list

Binoculars are a very important item for hunting in the South Island high country. Myself I prefer using10 power Binoculars

Your gear list should also include

  • A good quality wet weather jacket
  • Good quality tramping boots
  • 4 pairs of thick socks
  • 1 jacket fleece or similar material
  • 3 Polar fleece shirts and 2 pair fleece long pants (1 to hunt in the other for camp)
  • Shorts are better for wearing during river crossing I use them but it’s optional
  • Thermal underwear /Base layer clothing
  • 2 or 3 pair of gloves(spares are important if you get them wet)
  • 1 warm hat
  • Small travel towel
  • Light weight sleeping bag for cold conditions must be 10 degrees below or better
  • Hunting knife
  • Rifle and ammo (at least 40 rounds) cleaning equipment
  • Camera
  • Hunting pack (preferably at least 90 litre capacity) and day bag
  • Headlamp torch and spare batteries