Hi there bushcraft people,

My name is Gudni and I'm from Iceland and I need some good advice from you.
I'm coming to New Zealand on September the 7th. and plan on disappearing in to the wild for 60 days on my own. This has been a dream for a few years and now is the time to act.(You can read the story in the ,,new to this site" introduction forum) 

I will rely on collecting food from nature so i need advice on good locations where I can:
A: Fish, hunt and find edible plants(will almost only rely on what i find to eat)
B: Enjoy NZ great scenery and nature
C: Be far from everything(man made that is, even though a rundown hut is of course fine) and everyone 

I plan on hunting with a bow instead of a gun and from what I've learned from looking around on the internet I don't need a special bow hunting license, only hunting and fishing license. Is that correct?

I will find a book on edible plants while in Auckland, what one book would be your choice?

Is there any special gear you would recommend for a journey like this? Is machete the best way to go if I'm travelling through areas where no one has been through for a long time? 

What is the best shop to buy good knives? I would also like to buy a handmade knife from a local, any preferences on a good knife maker?

These are all the questions I have for now, I guess I will learn a lot along the way and I like to solve the problems as they come instead of out thinking everything.

Also if someone is up for a cup of coffee in Auckland before I head on in to the wild for a talk that would be nice. I will stay there for a couple of days while i gather provisions and gear.


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Anyone here that can tell me about Te Urewera National Park? 
Is it too dense to travel and hunt? 
Are there many people there during spring time?

Any part of it you know of that would meet my criteria better than others? 

What I need basically (as stated in OP)is a place with 
1:a clear river or lake that I can drink from and has fish in it and I'm allowed to fish from September to November 
2: deer/pigs or any other small to mid sized animals to hunt(If I get one a week that would suffice) 
3: plants/berrys that are edible(expect there to be few berrys this early in the spring)
4: low chance of being around other people


Hi Gudni, good luck on your adventures, I recommend getting a book called "A field guide to the native edible plants of New Zealand" by Andrew Crowe. Unless you are an experienced bow hunter I would stick to trapping possums and fishing, most water ways hold fish and eels, you will need a licence and bear in mind you can only use artificial baits! Personally I would stick to a folding saw and a good knife, the easiest way to travel through the bush is using either the main walking tracks,animal tracks or water courses. Please bear in mind our National Parks are big places I would advise you get some maps and decide on a plan of action and tell some one where your going and when your coming back, honest it's no joke. Anyway hope this is of some help and some of the other members will add to it.

Hi Gudni,

I replied to your other thread and I agree you should get some maps of the area and study them along with hiring a locator beacon, bringing a good GPS and compass. The NZ outdoors are unforgiving and the weather can change in an instant. You will need to be prepared for all extremes of weather with good quality gear that is tested in a similar environment to NZ. Good luck!

Indeed, i'm studying the possibilities now and plan on purchasing PLB and to bring GPS, compass and the good old map. I've been testing my gear here in Iceland and plan on doing further testing. We seem to have similar weather conditions here in Iceland from what I've learned so I know how unforgiving it can be. We also have a lot of tourists needing help and dying in our highlands due to lack of gear and knowledge. 
Thanks for your replies!

Thanks for the Advice Neil,
I'm not experienced bow hunter and i don't expect to hunt much with it. I am practicing hard and if I'm not happy with my aim I will not try to hunt with it. I have been shooting birds and reindeer for years and I don't take shots if I think it will not kill the animal. Didn't know about the artificial bait, whats up with that? 

I concur with Neil Clarke regarding purchasing  "A field guide to the native edible plants of New Zealand" by Andrew Crowe. I have this book also and it's very resourceful.

I have spent sometime in Te Urewera (On Maori land, not Crown Owned/Claimed), if you're seriously considering staying within the National Park, you'd want to make sure you don't cross the boundary's, and go on to the Maori land, they would not appreciate it.

I use a modified machete (cut off about 100mm off end) and a folding saw myself.

I set my cousin up in the Tararua's for three months, he lived on possum back steaks (stewed, fried, smoked, kebab'd ...you name it), goat meat (smoke first, then stew, add onion, curry powder and gravy sachet if possible) and wild vegetation i.e Watercress, PikoPiko (edible fern shoot) and some berries. It would pay to take some basic foods with you (at least to start with) e.g instant noodles or similar, canned fish (tuna or salmon) and some rice ...until you get the hang of things.

Also please make contact with someone over here, and try to keep them in the loop as to where you are situated (in the bush), and update them often, either via cellphone (you'll need to climb for reception), satellite phone or invest in a P.L.B (Personal Locator Beacon) ...New Zealand bush can be very unforgiving!

Please do not pollute the waterways whilst you're in the bush, invest in a solar shower (around $10.00 from the Warehouse) they are light and compact ....hang it in a tree at lease 50 meter's away from river/stream.

Also, please go to the toilet at least 50 - 100m away from rivers/streams, dig a hole (temporary cover at night) then cover complete once hole is 3/4 full.

Have a safe stay, please research you're route and resources thoroughly.

Take care, and all the very best.

Hi Gudni

Two great shops for knives and other Bush Craft gear in Auckland are Top Gear and Blade Master.

www.top-gear.co.nz  www.blademaster.co.nz

I know a custom knife maker (he is a hunting guide I use sometimes). I can get his details for you. He also lives in the Urewera area and may be able to help, although he has only just moved there.

When coming through NZ Customs it may help to tell them you are on a camping and tramping holiday around New Zealand and staying at Back Packer accomodation when you are not camping. Customs often want addresses and an idea of where you will be staying. 60 days in the bush may make them feel uneasy so have some backpacker addresses with you. Customs are pretty good and a lot of people visit NZ on camping holidays.

I live in Auckland so if you like we can friend up on this web site, and we can hook up when you get here. 

Sounds like an awesome time mate. Have a good one. Dave

Hi Dave, 
it would be great to get details about this knife maker. I would like to have a custom knife made by hand for the everyday stuff. 
Good point on customs. I'll have an address ready for customs. I've already booked in Auckland for the first couple of days and when my plans are clearer I'll book some more to have the information ready.
I'd love to meet up and have a talk in Auckland


Hi Aaron, this book seems to have some good knowledge, I will check that out thanks. We don't have possum here but i'm looking forward to tasting it! Will bring plenty of emergency food while i get the hang of things and for those days i don't catch anything, I think it will mostly be freeze dried to keep it light. Just need to find a good shop in Auckland that sells them. If you have any references please share.
I've been reading up on the best way to not pollute the are i'm staying at, thanks for your tips, they are very helpful.

Just about any outdoors/hunting store will have freeze dried rations. They sell for about $10 to $14 per packet from what I have seen. Instant noodles from the supermarket are light and cheap, about $2.50 for 4 packets. Instant oatmeal packets, pasta and small cans of tuna, chicken, creamed rice pudding all sell for under $2 each. 

You're welcome mate, one more thing to consider, it will pay to find out if the area you're intending to stay in hasn't been 1080'ed (poisoned) in the past 6 months, especially if you're planning on hunting/eating animals and drinking from rivers/streams.

Very good point Aaron, I've been looking on some maps that show where and when they use poison. Also been reading a lot about contamination in rivers and lakes, guess I will have to wait with the swimming exercises.. 


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