Auckland/Waikato Duck Factory Hotspots

kaipara harbour
Kaipara Harbour

Manukau Harbour 1
Manukau Harbour

Piggott wetland
Waikato River Delta

Dean P7
Mangatawhiri Wetlands

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Whangamarino Wetland

The Whangamarino is a diverse fertile swamp habitat, ideal for ducks.

Lake waahi
Lake Waahi

522 hectares of open water making it the third largest lake in district.

Lake Kimihia
Lower Waikato River

Waikato river 2
Waikato River

Lake Kainui D
Hamilton Lakes

Waikato river 3
Lake Karapiro

Lake Arapuni
Lake Arapuni

As with Karapiro still water in upper part of lake along with weed beds provide some duck habitat.

Lake Waipapa2
Lake Waipapa

As with Karapiro and Arapuni still waters in upper part of lake along with weed beds provide some duck habitat.

lake rotomanuka aerial
Waipa District Lakes

Hauraki plains
Hauraki Plains and Piako River

The Piako, is a large tidal river running between Firth of Thames and Kopuatai Wetland.

Firth of thames v2
Firth of Thames

An area that hosts literally thousands of ducks.

Waihou river te aroha
Lower Waihou River

Popular hunting area especially around Puriri/Netherton Bends.

Waihou river
Upper Waihou River

Next biggest river in the district after Waikato wherein drift shooting downstream from Okoroire Falls is popular.

King country
King Country Region

Council Land

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Forests Permits

This permit is only available for the upland game bird season (usually start of May until the end of August).

Since waterfowl hunting with shotguns in New Zealand began, the Waikato/Hauraki area had been known as NZ's "Duck Factory".

Those living in the Auckland/Waikato region have ready access to some outstanding waterfowl hunting, - most of it within an hour's drive of Auckland city.

To download the complete "Access to the Action" booklet go to the bottom of this page.

Public Hunting Lands Abound

This guide is intended to point you in the right direction by identifying the major hunting areas on public land, how to find them and get to where the action is.

Major areas of wetland owned by the Crown and Fish & Game are readily open to public access via formed roads, unformed paper roads, walkways and boat ramps.

While this is guide is large, there just is not enough room to list every hot spot. By exploring and asking fellow hunters, whitebaiters, eelers, landowners, sports shop employees and others who get out into the country you will latch onto other possies and build up a comprehensive knowledge of your chosen area. 

Private Land - Ask and You Shall (Often) Receive.

Many hunters get to know local landowners and negotiate their own access to lake edges and the like.

There are many ponds and rivers on private land and a courteous call to the landowner will often get you permission to hunt there.

Sometimes landowners already have enough hunters, or hunt themselves so you may be turned down.  Please respect their decision as you are “hunting’s ambassador” in this situation.  The favourable impression you leave may one day open their door (or visa-versa).  However, it can often be a   worthwhile question to ask "could you suggest who else I might ask locally"?

Some of the best possies have been found by knocking on a few doors and taking the time to talk to the landowners.

Free Hunting Permits

The Department of Conservation, Forestry companies (through Fish & Game), Iwi and territorial authorities may all issue permits to hunt on lands they administer, and you need to check to ensure you have all the correct permits. Most hydro parcels are administered by the crown and you do not require a permit to hunt them but be mindful that some smaller waterbodies may be in private ownership.

DOC Permit
Please select here to request a DoC permit via email.

General Authority Permit

Auckland/Waikato Fish & Game also have 1600 hectares of wetlands available for hunting, many of which have established ponds and maimais.  (See map below - for more information on the locations).

An entry permit, which is free can be obtained from the Fish & Game office either by selecting here to request via email or select here to send a request via website.

Please select here to view information for each wetland.

Forest Permit

Please select here to view more information and request a permit.

Know where You Are Going

An extremely helpful website to use in conjunction with this booklet is the NZ Walking Access Commission online mapping, (WAMS).  There is a set of maps showing hunting and fishing sites, another showing legal access points, and another showing property boundaries and title information. Using this resource can save a lot of time, frustration and petrol as well as suggest many new possibilities.

Council owned land in the Auckland/Waikato Fish & Game Council Region.

1. Waikato Islands 415.6 ha
2. Aka Aka 116.3 ha
3. Piggott Wetland 53.8 ha
4. Mangatawhiri 213.3 ha
5. Whangamarino 739.2 ha
6. Waikare 74.4 ha
7. Waitakere 13.7 ha
8. Te Aroha 25.4 ha
9. Kakahi 14.2 ha




  • Access to the Action
    4.7 MB Adobe Acrobat PDF file