Our Farm

Our History

The working farm of Deer Park Heights was first fenced for deer in 1966, making it the 2nd legal herd in captivity in New Zealand. The original deer were supplied as fawns from hunters, caught from the wild. Today, 800 hectares of land deer fenced with 850 red deer and 100 angus hereford cows. 

Deer Park Heights originally opened to the public in 1966 and has hosted thousands of visitors over the years. In 1986 the park was closed for the filming of a children’s Walt Disney movie called “The Rescue”, the famous Korean Prison site was located at the eastern summit lookout but has since been removed. In 1977 the park opened to the public again but was closed again in 2009. Deer Park Heights continues to operate as a working deer farm supplying venison to Silver Fern Farms. 

Since 1966

Over the years, Deer Park Heights unique landscape has been was used for many movies including Lord of the Rings, X-Men Origins: Wolverine and Pete’s Dragon! Learn more about our movie locations below.  

Our Farm Today

Deer Park Heights operates as a breeding and finishing farm with deer, sheep and cattle throughout the property. During opening hours, you may see staff moving stock into different blocks with their working dogs and feeding the animals baleage and grain. Please be respectful to the animals and the land to ensure the safety and wellbeing of everyone.

Deer Park Heights is open between daylight hours, all year round. You must pre-book online to receive an access code you enter once you arrive at the toll gate. This 5km drive takes you 500 metres above lake level to the most unique 360° views of Queenstown and the surrounding mountains.

By rattling the sheep nuts you will easily get the animals attention

Along the drive, you will see herds of red deer*, wapiati, fallow deer* and himalayan tahr, just as you would see them in the wild. 500m from the tollgate you will find a coin-operated feeding bin, fill a tin up and take it as you drive through the park. Stop and feed the goats, miniature horses, donkeys as you see them, most animals respond to the rattling of sheep nuts in the tin. 

*Please do not get out of your car to feed the deer as some can be aggressive.

Explore our farm

Our animals


Donkeys are the friendliest of our mammals at Deer Park, they love sheep nuts and a scratch on the head. You may see a family of Donkeys as well as some larger horses which are Mules. The Mules are a mixture of a Miniature horse and Donkey, the perfect mix! Donkeys are known for their intelligence. A donkey will stop and assess a new situation and think about its choices before making a decision on what action to take. These Donkeys are very friendly and will let you feed them by hand.