Fiordland Big 3

The idea is simple – adults hunt and catch a deer, a pig and a pest. To win, they have to be the heaviest combined weight. Children catch one possum, one pest and a hare or a rabbit. 

It’s a quintessentially Kiwi competition that is not only about entertainment but also reinforces the importance of keeping pest species in our great outdoors under control to help ensure native species thrive.

Next event date: 30 May - 2 June 2024
Location: Te Anau
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To some it might seem easy, but there’s always plenty of 'one that got away' stories to chew over on the Sunday. There’s even a prize for the best hard luck story.

Hunting begins on the Thursday night of Queen's Birthday weekend and teams can hunt throughout the Fiordland region and also the wider Southland and Otago area to bag the three species. The catch is that teams have to get to the weigh-in before 2pm on the Sunday.

When all the hunting's done, everyone gathers at the Te Anau Rugby Club to marvel at what’s been brought back from the mountains, bush, rivers and lakes around Southland and Otago.

The judges get their tape measures and scales out ready to make the big decisions around winners in a wide range of categories including heaviest Hare/Rabbit, heaviest Possum, overall Kids winner, heaviest Pig, best tusks, heaviest Deer, best antler and best female team. But it's not just about bragging rights - with a prize pool dangling around $20,000, it’s no wonder the Big 3 is a big deal. All proceeds from entries go to local causes.

There's plenty of entertainment alongside the main events, including the show-of-strength pig-carrying competitions and a delightfully wacky possum-slinging competition. Not to mention great food, coffee and drinks.

While you’re enjoying the amazing hospitality of Te Anau, take time to fully explore the rugged and remote Fiordland region, which offers awe-inspiring landscapes and a wide range of recreational activities.

It’s a world-class sightseeing destination and a must-do for anyone exploring New Zealand. 

Milford Sound (Piopiotahi) is the jewel in Fiordland’s crown and has been attracting international visitors to the area for more than 100 years. Another lakeside town, Manapōuri, is the base for discovering Doubtful Sound (Pātea) and also offers plenty of activities and destinations for travellers.

So get your hunt on at the Big 3 - and discover everything majestic Fiordland has to offer.

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