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Updated 4 October 2018 2:01pm

Hunters are welcome in much of the Akatarawa Forest to help control deer, goats and pigs which harm native plants and wildlife.

Often rugged and isolated, the Akatarawa Forest covers the hill country between Upper Hutt and the Käpiti Coast. The forest contains a mix of native bush and pine plantations. An extensive network of old logging roads provides access to and within the designated hunting area. Deer can be found throughout the Akatarawa Forest, mostly in heavy bush. Lower numbers of goats and pigs occur at low altitudes in more open country.

Deer are found throughout Akatarawa Forest, mostly in heavy bush. Declining numbers of goats and pigs occur at low altitudes in more open country.

Hunting is permitted:

  • In designated areas of the native forest, as shown on the map to the side
  • At least 200m away from roads, tracks and boundaries with private land in the designated hunting area
  • During daylight hours only. Absolutely no spotlighting

Always obtain permission from landowners if you intend to cross private land.


A permit is required to hunt in the Akatarawa Forest designated hunting area. You must show your permit if asked by a Wellington Regional Council authorised officer. Permits are free of charge and valid for six months. Permits are also issued for use in the Hutt Water Collection Area, Kaitoke Regional Park and Pakuratahi Forest designated areas.

You will need to supply your firearms licence number. Only centre fire rifles of calibre .222 Remington or larger may be used for hunting, or crossbows and bows with a minimum drawing factor of 18kg (40lb). Shotguns, air rifles and rimfire rifles are not permitted.

Apply on our website, by phone or in person at the Wellington Regional Council’s Upper Hutt office.

Loaded firearms are forbidden outside the designated hunting area.


Hunting with dogs

Hunting dogs must be registered and the details lodged with the Greater Wellington Regional Council when applying for your permit. You may take up to three dogs per permit holder into the parks. Please report any lost hunting dogs to the Wellington Regional Council’s Upper Hutt office as soon as possible.


Pest Management

Parts of this area will have regular biodiversity monitoring and pest plant/animal control operations taking place. Please do not interfere with any markers, plot pegs, monitoring devices, baits, carcasses traps or bait stations. Adhere to any warning signs posted.

Seeds and fragments of weeds can easily be carried on or within clothing, equipment, vehicles and in the fur of dogs. As a result they can be unintentionally deposited into the catchment where they could grow into infestations that negatively impact the valuable native forest ecosystem.

To reduce the risk of this happening, please search for and remove all seeds and plant fragments from clothing, equipment, vehicles and dog fur before entering the catchment.


Important information

  • An extensive network of bulldozed and foot tracks provides access to and within the designated hunting area. Many of the logging roads were formed over 60 years ago and may be overgrown. Many parts of the forest are rugged and isolated.
  • A 1:50,000 topomap with details of the hunting zones is available to download on the right of this screen.
  • Mountain biking is a popular activity throughout the area. Keep a lookout for bikers.
  • Camping is allowed in some parts of the forest. Contact the park ranger to check whether your planned site is suitable as some parts of the forest may be affected by windthrow or flooding.
  • Report  lost dogs to the Upper Hutt office as soon as possible on your return.