New Zealand is regularly identified as one of the most desirable countries in the world to visit and for good reason. Magnificent scenery, temperate climate, friendly people and a multitude of things to do from thrill seeking adventures to simply enjoying a wine tour. In fact, aside from driving on the other side of the road, it has to be the easiest country in the world to tour. There is no wonder visitors go back time after time. Added to this are some amazing hunting opportunities from the mighty red stag and cunning Sika to the Himalayan tahr and European chamois of the Southern Alps. In fact, there are six species of deer available in New Zealand (red, Sika, fallow, Rusa, Sambar, whitetail) as well as elk, tahr, chamois, wild pigs, goats and Arapawa sheep.
The High Adventure Company is fortunate to be able to work with one New Zealand’s premier lodges, Poronui, which is situated in the Central North Island some 30 minutes from Taupo, a location made famous by the lake of the same name and the world famous trout fishery it provides. Poronui is located within the wilderness area of the Kaimanawa mountain range offering access to fantastic hunting and mind -blowing fishing for brown and rainbow trout. The 16,000 acre property supports an outstanding population of trophy deer and to top it off, the world class lodge accommodation ensures that even non-hunters have the time of their lives.
Poronui was the site of the original liberation of Sika deer in New Zealand and remains the focus of the free range population, producing many top class trophies each year. Sika rut in mid to late April when they become particularly vocal and aggressive. There is nothing like the high pitched call of the Sika stag to make the hair stand up on your neck. Stags will come to a call, often crashing in aggressively which makes for exciting hunting! Top trophies are often taken prior to the rut in April, but for sheer adrenaline there is nothing quite like targeting rutting Sika.
A 3,000 acre game estate provides challenging hunting for magnificent red stags, fallow bucks, Rusa stags or Sika stags. The red stags rut in late March to mid April, their deep throated roar booming around the mist shrouded valleys each morning and evening. The fallow bucks follow the Sika rutting in late April and early May. Rusa, on the other hand, are a tropical deer species that does not rut until August. While the other species cast their antlers in September, Rusa hold theirs until the New Year, providing hunters with trophy hunting opportunities every month of the year.
The reputation of Poronui as a premier lodge is largely based upon the world class fishing for brown and rainbow trout available in the high country rivers of the Central North Island. If fly fishing for large (4-10lb) visible trout in crystal clear rivers surrounded by pristine native forest excites you, then you probably need to add on extra days to your hunting trip! The fishing season is from October 1 to June 30 with March, April and May great months for both fishing and hunting.
The fringes of forested areas and high valleys of mixed pasture, scrub and tall beech forest provide ideal habitat for deer. They are also perfect for the spot and stalk technique employed for most hunters.
The topography is rolling rather than steep and a network of excellent tracks provides access to most of the hunting country. As a result, it is possible for hunters of varying degrees of physical fitness to be able to enjoy a successful hunt.
The stags have hard antler and are able to be hunted from mid February though until September, with the peak of the rut from the end of March to mid April for red stags and extending into April for Sika and Fallow.
New Zealand produces magnificent red stags and Poronui is no exception. The country is ideal for stags with trophies exceeding 400 SCI shot most seasons. A range of stags from 300 SCI to over 400 SCI are available on the property. Sika trophies typically have eight points (4*4) with good trophies 26-30 inches in length. Rusa on the other hand have six points (3*3) with trophy specimens reaching lengths from 25 to over 30 inches.
The quality of the hunting is matched by accommodation and service found at each of three accommodation options. Choose the social atmosphere of the lodge with its seven separate chalets, if you enjoy mixing with other hunters. The Blake House provides accommodation of the very highest standard and is booked for a single party, enabling you enjoy the ultimate private retreat. For those seeking more of an outdoor experience, the safari tent camp is situated next to the Mohaka River. The queen size beds, hot showers and flush toilets enable you to enjoy the wilderness in comfort!
American hunters arrive into Auckland International Airport after flying from Los Angeles or San Francisco. Air New Zealand provides direct flights, whereas other options such as Quantas are routed through Australia, adding three hours or more to the journey. From Auckland, the flight to Taupo, where you will be met, is only 35 minutes. It is then a further 35 minute drive to reach Poronui. Flights leaving out of Los Angeles on Saturday evening arrive in New Zealand early Monday morning, with the connecting flight getting them to the lodge by 9.30 a.m. On the way home, remember that you arrive back in the US on the same day that you leave Auckland!
The climate is classed as temperate though it can be hot and dry in the summer and cold if a southerly storm hits in July or August. The weather is usually very settled during the autumn, with daytime temperatures ranging from 50 to 70, though expect cool evenings and a morning frost or two during your stay.
A number of package options are provided as examples of popular Poronui hunts. These can be varied or upgraded or a personalized package developed to suit your particular needs.
Airfare: typical international air averages $1,800 to $2,500. Internal Air New Zealand flights to Taupo averages $150.*
*These averages are subject to change and HAC does not grantee air prices.
License fees: no hunting licenses are required
Firearms permit: a permit to import a firearm is required if you wish to bring your own rifle. This costs NZ$25 and can be obtained when you arrive in Auckland Airport.