Rainbow Station & Nelson NZDA Organised Hunting Access - 23/24/25th September 2022

Nelson NZDA in collaboration with Rainbow Station have organised access for a weekend of hunting on surrounding public land.

When: Access from Friday 23rd September  beginning with a safety briefing at 9am to Sunday 4pm 25th September 2022.

Where: Through Rainbow Station on surrounding public conservation land. Block Map HERE

Once you complete registration your spot will be held for 5 days in which time you need to deposit $25 per person to the Nelson NZDA - details are provided once you complete the registration form. This is non refundable to ensure people don't pullout last minute and leave spots open. There is no additional cost other than food and fuel to get there and will be arranged with your hunting party.

Numbers are limited for safety reasons and are allocated on a first in first served basis.

Open to current financial NZDA members.

You will be responsible for getting yourself there and your own safety while hunting. Nelson NZDA is providing access through Rainbow Station but will facilitate the allocation of hunting areas and formation of hunting parties based on members fitness, experience, equipment and access to a 4WD.

The Branch will form "Hunting Parties" dependent on registrations. Inexperienced individual hunters will be paired with experienced members to support, provide education and further the interest of our great sport.

Some blocks will have public huts but you are expected to provide you're own equipment (including suitable tent, sleeping bag and thermal mattress).

No solo hunters - you will be paired with another hunter for safety reasons.

All firearm laws and NZDA code of ethics to be followed along with signs and instructions from Rainbow Station.

NZDA members follow best practice and care for the environment. Human waste (and only biodegradable wipes) will be buried, ALL rubbish will be taken home with you, any firepits will be inconspicuous and fully extinguished before leaving camp, no stone structures (walls or firepits) will be constructed on grazed flats as these are a hazard to stock and vehicles in long grass and no 4x4 off road.

As access is organised through Rainbow Station farm land, by NZDA Nelson, any misconduct or firearm incidents will bring scrutiny to both organisations and making future access unlikely.

Rainbow Station and Nelson NZDA are not liable in any form and members attend voluntarily at their own risk.

Hunt is road access, weather and snow level dependent.

4x4 required to access Rainbow Station road at this time of year. 

Hunt may be postponed to a subsequent weekend if we must cancel due to weather.


The style of hunting is best described as sub alpine/alpine with animals most likely found between the bush edge 1000-1200m altitude to 1500m depending on snow level. There will be snow of some degree and depending on your location crampons could be essential. This hunt is designed to target late winter stags that should still have hard antler and winter chamois. Stags best found in sunny north facing areas and Chamois bucks could be encountered anywhere including the dark/cold side of the valley. 


Block Map : HERE

Location Difficulty/Distance to access Hunting # of people Public hut
Hellfire Steep climb 6-10kms 2-4  
St Ronans Steep climb, marked route, <5km but very steep 2  
Lees River Gradual upriver walk, 6-10kms 4-6 Yes
Hamilton River Gradual upriver walk, 6-10kms 4-6  
Connors Ck Gradual upriver walk, 6-10kms 2-4  
True left Rainbow R First two creeks, easy walking, 6-10kms 2-4  
Begley Ck Very long walk, experienced hunters only, >10kms 2-4 Yes
Upper Rainbow R Very long walk, easy walking, >10kms 2  
Paske Very long walk, easy walking, >10kms 2-4 Yes
Coldwater Ck Long walk, experienced hunters only, 6-10kms 4-6
Judges  Ck Long walk, experienced hunters only, 6-10kms 4-6