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.

We recognise 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 or like our Facebook page to stay up to date.

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 game bird hunting is permitted (including Canada geese and pigeons) at the Waimakariri River Regional Park, including the riverbed.
  • Target shooting with all types of firearms 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.
  • Please note: you do NOT require a valid Fish and Game licence for hunting Canada geese and pigeons but are required to adhere to open, restricted and prohibited hunting locations. 
  • 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 Rd


  • Kaiapoi Island – Poynters Nature Reserve, restricted hours dawn to 9am
  • Bailes Island picnic area to Haul Road - restricted hours dawn to 9am
  • McIntoshes (Kaiapoi confluence to Kairaki) - restricted hours dawn to 9am
  • Styx river mouth and saltmarsh - restricted hours dawn to 9am, 4pm to dusk


  • Kaiapoi Island – Wrights Cut, Days Run trail bike area
  • Baynons Brake
  • Dixons Bay camping area
  • Te Rauakaaka - upstream from Stewarts Gully
  • Templers Island from the Otukaikino stream through to Bailes Island Picnic Area
  • McLeans Island - Between Haul Road and Weedons Ross Road
  • The Willows