Hunting and shooting

Hunters have been using the Waimakariri rivertwo men hunting with dog and riflesbed and berm for over 150 years but as the number of visitors increases, we need to manage the park carefully. We want all users catered for without conflict of interest or damage to the environment and essential land and river control infrastructure.

Environment Canterbury recognises game bird hunting as a legitimate form of recreation so we work with Fish & Game NZ (North Canterbury Region) to ensure continued hunter access. 

Please check notices and events for the latest information.

Target shooting with all types of firearms is prohibited within the Waimakariri River Regional Park. People who wish to shoot could try one of the shooting clubs that lease land at McLeans Island.


Important hunting and shooting information

Criteria and rules
  • Only gamebird hunting is permitted at the Waimakariri River Regional Park, including the riverbed.
  • Target shooting with all types of firearm is prohibited.
  • The hunting of small game such as rabbits and possums by the general public is prohibited.
  • Gamebird hunting must only happen in the designated areas.
  • Only shotguns may be used.
  • A valid Fish and Game licence must be held.
  • Fish and Game regulations and the Gamebird Hunting Code of Practice must be adhered to.
Gamebird hunting areas

The following conditions apply to game bird hunting at the Waimakariri River Regional Park and have been developed in conjunction with Fish & Game NZ (North Canterbury Branch).


  • Northbank - Upstream of the Eyre Diversion
  • Southbank - Upstream of Thompsons Road


  • Kaiapoi Island - Poynter Nature Reserve, Monopolis Pond (restricted hours dawn to 9 am)
  • Templars Island- restricted hours dawn to noon
  • Northbank (Kaiapoi confluence to Kairaki) - restricted hours dawn to noon
  • Styx Rivermouth and saltmarsh - restricted hours dawn to noon, 4pm to dusk


  • Kaiapoi Island - Wrights Cut, Days Run Trailbike Area
  • Baynons Brake
  • Dixons Bay
  • Groyne 0
  • Kainga Beach
  • McLeans Island - Between Harewood Crossbank and Weedons Ross Road
  • The Willows
Pheasant release project
Environment Canterbury and Fish & Game NZ (North Canterbury) initiated a pheasant release programme in the Waimakariri Regional Park in 2009.
The project is ongoing. If you wish to assist with this project, please contact the Park Rangers.