Private Hunting in the remote highlands
This backcountry adventure blended with expert coaching on hunting and bush skills is one of the most popular experiences on Bushman Tours. No previous hunting experience is required, and no judgement or stigma is attached to our trips, period. It’s about combining your determination, passion for the outdoors and interest in hunting with a traditional Canterbury station.
- Fully guided hunting tour with all gear, food, transport and accommodation provided.
- Guided by one of the region’s most experienced hunters.
- No stigma or judgement – fantastic for those wanting to head out into private land or learn the profession stressfree.
- A traditional Kiwi tour with good vibes, incredible views and hunts you simply can’t book anywhere else.
Treat yourself to an “off-grid” wild adventure only found here, and one you’ll never forget. Fully guided with all food, accommodation, transport and hunting equipment provided. Just turn up and enjoy!
On this tour, you’ll get in-depth education about life in the outdoors including safety, navigation, weather, game animals, plants, wildlife, and conservation that’s unique to this specific location and station. This includes a QEII covenant of protected land which we’ll stretch our legs through on the first morning.
I’m an experienced and patient Hunting Coach who will cater to your strengths while helping you build confidence in your own capabilities and build on new skills. The challenge to get into the game zone; bush bashing, hill climbing, creek crossings, mud and blood, tears and smiles all contribute to this experience – making the evening’s beers even better.
You’ll adventure into new territory; find yourself closing in on beautiful wild game animals in rugged terrain, amidst impressive mountain scenery and be walked through the steps to a successful hunt. To top it off, this station comes with absolute tranquillity and off-grid set up (including no cell phone or internet access – allowing you to truly disconnect and get away from it all). Our authentic and historic huts (see photos) allow for a good resting place after a hunt too.
Authentic free-range hunts are predominantly for non-trophy red deer meat animals. No previous hunting experience or licenses required, however, medium to high fitness levels are recommended to truly enjoy the experience.
I have walked through a lifetime of backcountry adventures all over New Zealand from multi-day solo hikes, to backpack hunting along mountain ranges. I'm ready to help turn your outdoor challenges into safe, awesome experiences.
My wide range of knowledge on wildlife, plants, conservation, bushcraft, mountain safety and New Zealand's unique history makes for a great chat while walking the trails or relaxing around the campfire. It's been great spending the last few years building Adventures and Tours for families, new hunters and travellers from all around the world.I'm privileged to be looking after Island Hills Station and heading up the conservation efforts on the QEII covenant section of the privately run land. It's a special part of the Hurunui district and it's where we'll spend our time. Looking forward to taking you out!
Hunt on a private station
My experience stretches across all of the South Island and New Zealand. I’ve contributed to publications like The Hunters Journal, tours and conservation work across the country and am well-known for my work on Island Hills station. This trip is about you, and we’ll ensure that after the booking is made and right up until we set out, you’re confident and ready. During the drive to Island Hills Station, we’ll have a great chance to talk through the coming days, where I’ll make sure every moment is perfect for you and the group.
Return transport from Christchurch Airport or the city is available. Basic but wholesome meals, hot drinks and water will keep us energized. Fully serviced private huts with cooking and dining facilities, lighting, hot showers and comfortable bunk-beds with 4WD options straight to the door.
We’ll provide a rifle and ammunition along with firearms safety lessons and target practice to ensure you’re confident and ready for a successful hunting trip.
During the hunts, you will learn about:
- Backcountry navigation,
- Mountain safety,
- Locating and stalking game,
- Making your shot count,
- Field butchery and meat carrying techniques.
Remember, no previous hunting experience and no firearms license is required, just determination and passion for the outdoors.
Island hills station
Island Hills Station is located in the Hurunui District of Canterbury. This station is unique for its setting and its epic mountain ranges (making it not ideal for farming, but perfect for hunting). The history of the station goes back many generations, and the lodges and huts built here have family ties and interesting history attached to them.
After the hour drive from the entrance, you’ll be deep in traditional Canterbury highlands, embracing the views and the smells of the native beech forests that surround the hills and mountains. The 4WD in itself is good fun offering a chance to see some of potential peaks we can get up over the few days.
Depending on what hut you’d like to start at, we can drop off our gear and go for a brief hike through the QEII covenant land. There are multiple lookouts where we can spot a route for the following day. The huts all come with warm showers, BBQ and kitchen area, as well as bunks with pillows and mattress for a good nights rest.
Don’t miss out on this truly one-of-a-kind Adventure.
All tours require the proper gear to ensure you’re having the time of your life, and are well prepared if things go south. It’s the real and rugged New Zealand out there!
750ML Water Bottle
Pack Cover / Liner
Sunscreen & hat
Toiletries & Underwear
Top & Bottom Base layer
Torch & Batteries
Warm hat & gloves (March to October)
Warm hiking layer
Personal First Aid Kit
There are add-on extras for this tour. These are the little things that’ll either make your Adventure easier to organise or more rugged - your choice. You can add these during the booking process.
Red Deer, Wild Pig, Red Stag & Chamois
Starting from $200: Make sure to tick the animal you're looking to bag this tour at checkout. This tour offers you the chance to pay your animal fees now and not worry about it during the hunt. Don't worry, If nothing is caught, you are fully refunded.+ $200 NZD
Film The Hunt
I have professional cameramen on call who have been seen on many hunting shows and contribute to The Hunters Journal Magazine. Leave your lenses at home and enjoy the trip through your own eyes while we capture the moments in a high-definition, 20 to 30-minute film.+ $600 NZD
Backpack trekking and tent “camping out”
If you fancy staying out overnight during the hunt, perhaps on the tops surrounding camp, this can be done and is very much worth it. It allows us to be available to hunt 24 hours a day and not miss any beauties out there.Free
(Quote only) For that extra, once in a lifetime sort of experience, I have contacts who can fly us into the station and leave us right up on the peaks - perfect for Chamois hunting from the get-go. If this sounds like how you want to begin your trip, select it at checkout and we'll send you a separate quote.+ $500 NZD
Q & A
Your Bushman has added a couple of answers to questions other Visitors have asked in the past to help you with your booking plans. Once you book a tour, you'll be in direct contact with your Bushman for more support.
This will be my first time hunting, will that be OK?
This trip is specifically designed for all skill levels and provides you access to a pristine, privately run station. There is no judgement here, just good times. If you've never shot a rifle before, there are few places better than Island Hills to give it a go. It's safe and there is plenty of game for you to try your luck.
Do I need a rifle?
No. I will provide all the necessary gear, ammo and training before the hunt where necessary. When we reach the camp, we will go through all of this and make sure you're properly set up. If you do have your own rifle, you're welcome to bring this, but please let me know in the message function after booking.
Can I bring the kids/family?
I'd be disappointed if you didn't! This is always a good experience for everyone, but if your kids are also new to this, I highly recommend checking out my Parent & Child NZ Bush Experience via my profile. This is a slightly more affordable package for families to connect over a hunt but still brings with it the same, glorious outcome.
Here’s a few answers to the more general questions about the whole journey. You can visit our help and support area for any further information or contact us via the chat function.
What is the refund and cancellation policy?
Bushman Tours sets a standard cancellation policy that can be found via our Terms & Conditions. This is globally set at 48 hours notice. However, Bushmen may add to this depending on the requirements for the Adventure (e.g. - hiring gear and renting equipment on your behalf). The final policy will be located at the bottom of the checkout, or you can reach out to us to check.
What happens if the tour is cancelled due to weather?
In most cases, the Bushman can arrange another day to run your tour, but this also comes down to when you're available if travelling through New Zealand. We recommend ensuring you have insurance for cancellation of any tours. If the Bushman has to cancel due to a health risk, we will call you to arrange another option.
What gear do I need?
Although we have a minimum requirement of gear, you will need the right equipment and gear that is relevant to the Adventure you're booking. This is usually found at the bottom of each tour page, but for our minimum, please visit our FAQs & blog page.
Can I hire gear/equipment?
In some circumstances, your Bushman will have equipment for you to hire. This is available to browse and book through the checkout. We may also have options through our checkout. Although you may be able to borrow gear during the tour, it's important to reserve it now.
What food shall I bring?
Depending on the length, this can vary. Your Bushman will advise on the tour page what is recommended for this particular Adventure, but typically, what we offer at checkout via the add-ons section is what you'll need. Keep it lightweight and nutritious if you buy your own.
Where do I meet my Bushman?
We always try to pick the closest iSite (Visitor Centre) to your Adventure's location. Instructions on precisely where to meet are sent after the booking is made. However, you can also message your Bushman and arrange another location as long as it's close enough to the region.
How much extra is it to add family/friends onto the booking?
If you book and find that more people want to come with you, we can arrange to add them onto the booking (this is dependant on the Bushman's preference to the number of people to take out). The more that book on the original checkout option, the cheaper the fee for each individual - so spread the word before you go to book! Please note, you cannot add or bring extra people 48 hours before the tour starts.
Can I talk to my Bushman before the Adventure?
Absolutely! Once you book, you will be able to login and chat directly to your Bushman through a private, secure chat. Here you can arrange some extras you would like to do, timings for pick up and much more.
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