Meet rare New Zealand wildlife

Become a forest guardian

Learn about conservation in action

Join the daily talks

Rongo Te Mauri


Winter hours 9am-4.30pm 


14 May 2020

Covid-19 update
Haere mai ki Pūkaha! At Alert Level 2, Pūkaha National Wildlife Centre is open. We’re  so happy to welcome you back! There is plenty of space in the forest for social distancing and we have implemented new initiatives like our  Bubble Tour.

We ask for your patience and understanding of new public health conditions to keep everyone safe.  Before visiting, it’s a good idea to download the Rippl app to your phone, to make scanning in and out easy. 

We look forward to welcoming you back to Pūkaha. We’ve missed you, and so has our wildlife!

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 Manukura the white kiwi and 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
At Alert Level 2 cafe hours will be 9.30am-3pm.

7 days a week from 9am
May - Sep: closes 4.30pm
Oct - Apr: closes 5pm

Comprehensive prices and hours info here.

Entry Prices

Are you a local?
Ask about our Hapori rates!

Pukaha members
Children under 5

Children 5-15 years

Gold Card Holders
(65 and over)

Adult Entry

Family Pass
2 adults and up to 4 children
(5-15 years)

Comprehensive prices and hours info here.

Camper Vans / EVs

Overnight camper van stay
Includes guided night walk and daytime entry package.
Minimum of 10 per group, by request.
Note: Camper vans are not provided, but there are a range of camper van hire companies in New Zealand.

$95 per person

Electric Vehicles (EVs)
We are planning to have a charging point available in 2020.

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
Video about 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.

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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