The Wairau Lagoons cover about 2000 hectares of saline marsh and mud-flats between the Wairau River mouth and the Vernon Estate to the south.

Besides the obvious main channels in the northern part of the lagoons, and Te Aropipi Channel, which runs along inside the seaward Boulder Bank, few parts of the lagoons exceed a metre in depth.

The mud in some areas can however be very deep and care should be taken in unfamiliar areas.

Access can be gained via the end of Hardings Road, or off Redwood Pass Road (apply to the Blenheim or Richmond office for gate code (via permit only with strict access conditions - apply to Vaughan Lynn for gate code and access rules), or from the Wairau Bar using a boat.

Duck-hunting access is from the Wairau Bar using a boat.

Protected species will also be seen in the lagoons during the open game season. The protected grey teal population in particular is increasing and hunters must take care to positively identify their target.

Fresh water should be taken for gun dogs.

The retention of this new hunting area will depend on the behaviour of hunters and adherence to the following code of conduct;

  • Fixed shooting stands above mean high water springs only.
  • Moored floating stands 200 metres from any other marked stand.
  • No plant material likely to drop viable seed to be used for maimai cover.
  • No disturbance to archaeological sites, artefacts or native plants.
  • No litter including spent cartridges.
  • Wheeled vehicles restricted to formed roads.
  • All boats restricted to five knots.

No dogs other than trained retrievers during the open game season.

A permit is required to hunt this area which is now issued through the Richmond Fish & Game office, on behalf of DOC Renwick. 

Apply for A Wairau Lagoons Hunting Permit

Note: each individual hunter is required to have a permit, so if you’re applying on behalf of other …