Meet rare New Zealand wildlife

Become a forest guardian

Learn about conservation in action

Join the daily talks

Rongo Te Mauri

Open
9am-6.00pm

Pūkaha National Wildlife Centre is an unfenced sanctuary for native wildlife. Our 942-hectare forest is home to wild kōkako and kākā, while inside our aviaries we breed endangered birds for release across Aotearoa New Zealand.

Forest pathway at Pukaha National Wildlife Centre

On your visit you will learn about our conservation work and possibly see birds with their chicks in the aviaries. You may also come across wild birds in the forest such as the titipounamu (rifleman), kārearea (New Zealand falcon) and the kererū (wood pigeon). You may also see advocacy birds like Kahurangi the kōkako.

Refuel in the Kākā Café with some fresh kai overlooking the takahē.
Pūkaha (at Mount Bruce) has been breeding wildlife since the early 1960s and is a partnership between Rangitāne o Wairarapa and the Department of Conservation. We are a non-profit and all proceeds go back into our conservation projects. So rongo te mauri – feel life’s essence!

Opening Hours

Open 364 days a year
(closed Christmas Day)

Winter Hours
May - September
9am - 4.30pm

Summer Hours
October - April
9am - 6pm

Kākā Café
7 days a week from 9am
May - Sep: closes 4.00pm
Oct - Apr: closes 5pm

Comprehensive prices and hours info here.

Entry Prices

Are you a local?
Ask about our Hapori rates!

Free
Pukaha members
Children under 5 years

$7.00
Children 5-14 years

$18.50
Students
Gold Card Holders
(65 and over)

$22.00
Adult Entry

$55.00
Family Pass
2 adults and up to 4 children
(5-14 years)

Comprehensive prices and hours info here.

Campervans / EVs

Campervans 
There is plenty of parking space to accommodate campervans.
View our overnight campervan tours


Electric Vehicles (EVs)
We have two EV trickle charging stations available. There is no cost to use our EV chargers. 

manukura

It is with great sadness we announce the loss of our dear friend Manukura.

After rangers caring for Manukura noticed she was not eating and losing weight in early December 2020 she was swiftly taken to Wildbase Hospital, a specialist wild animal veterinary practice at Massey University in Palmerston North.
Wildbase vets operated to remove an infertile egg that had become stuck and unable to be passed naturally. More surgery was then required to remove her oviduct and most of her left ovary. The surgeries went well but were not enough to save the ailing kiwi whose health continued to deteriorate in the weeks following the operation.
Manukura passed away peacefully at 12.50pm on 27 December 2020 with rangers and veterinary staff present.
She will be sorely missed.

Guided Tours Daily

Get the most out of your visit by booking a tour with one of our expert rangers! Book a 1 Hour Guided Tour for a deeper insight into the forest or for something extra special try a Ranger for a Day experience for an exclusive look at our wildlife and captive breeding programmes. Take a guided Night Walk to our glow worm cave surrounded by the magical sound of wild kiwi.

Guided tour at Pukaha National Wildlife Centre

How to get here

Entrance sign at Pukaha National Wildlife Centre
View of the outside of the Visitor Centre at Pukaha National Wildlife Centre

We’re on State Highway 2 (SH2) in the middle of the lower part of the North Island of Aotearoa New Zealand.

Map showing location of Pukaha National Wildlife Centre

We’re 30kms north of Masterton, Wairarapa and 10km south of Eketahuna, Tararua.

It’s about 2 hours to drive north-east from Wellington, a little longer heading south-west from Napier, or an hour south from Palmerston North.

Snack time! The tieke love the insect scatter rangers provide daily, for food and enrichment! Here is the male finding the biggest grubs to take back to his mate (off screen eating her own bugs!)
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#saddleback #tieke #nzbirds #bird #birdlife #snacktime #birdphotography #birdlovers #birdsoftheworld #forest #nature
What is all that noise?!

The forest is alive with the song of the chorus cicada! The most common species of cicada here in Aotearoa, you can find them up in the tree tops. 

As you walk around the forest, try and find their left-over nymph skins (can be seen on tree trunks and branches). The males produce their cicada song in unison, which can reach deafening proportions at the height of their population around February, now is the best time to hear their song!
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#cicada #insect #summersound #song #bug #nature #hidden #wildlife #invertebrate #nzwild
Who can guess how this bird got its name?!

The pīpīwharauroa (shining cuckoo) is a regular visitor to the reserve this time of year. You can often hear them as you are walking through the forest- adults as well as demanding young begging their tiny riroriro (grey warbler) parents for a meal. 

Often very secretive, come try and get a clearer shot of this amazing bird before they head back to the islands for winter! 
(Taken by the Free Flight aviary)
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#shiningcuckoo #cuckoo #nzbirds #bird #birdlife #nzwild #birdphotography #summer #forest #nature
Today we wish our girl a wonderful Happy Hatchday! Kahurangi the kokako is celebrating her 'Sweet 16' with treats from the rangers and all the hangehange she can eat! 

Happy New Year everyone! Hope 2021 brings you all luck, love and laughter!
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#kokako #happynewyear #kahurangi #birthday #birdphotography #nzbirds #bird #birdlife #nzwild #forest #nature #birdlovers #conservation #conservationinaction #wildlife
It is with great sadness we announce the loss of our dear friend Manukura. 
After rangers caring for Manukura noticed she was not eating and losing weight in early December 2020 she was swiftly taken to Wildbase Hospital, a specialist wild animal veterinary practice at Massey University in Palmerston North.  Wildbase vets operated to remove an infertile egg that had become stuck and unable to be passed naturally.  More surgery was then required to remove her oviduct and most of her left ovary. The surgeries went well but were not enough to save the ailing kiwi whose health continued to deteriorate in the weeks following the operation. 
Manukura passed away peacefully at 12.50pm on 27 December 2020 with rangers and veterinary staff present.
She will be sorely missed. xx

#manukura #whitekiwi #kiwi #memory #lovedforever
Ka tangi te Tītī
Ka tangi te Kākā
Ka tangi hoki ko au
Tihei Mauri Ora!

It is with a very heavy heart that we ask our followers to send all of their love and prayers to help our precious white kiwi, Manukura, as she continues to battle with her health.

Manukura has had recurring health problems around breeding season for the last few years. Each year the situation has become more serious and has required a number of surgeries.  This week she underwent extensive surgery to remove her oviduct and most of her left ovary. 

She is a tough bird and has bounced back many times in the past, however we are preparing ourselves that this time she may not make it back to her home at Pūkaha.

The veterinary staff at Wildbase Hospital at Massey University are doing all they can for Manukura.  We thank them for their incredible work, compassion and care.

This is a very difficult time for kaitiaki, the staff that care for her and of course all of Manukura’s loving community of followers that she inspires.

We will keep you updated on her condition.

Rangitāne o Wairarapa Pukaha National Wildlife Centre
Department of Conservation and Pukaha National Wildlife Centre
Qualmark Gold Pukaha National Wildlife Centre
100% pure New Zealand Pukaha National Wildlife Centre

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