Meet rare New Zealand wildlife

Become a forest guardian

Learn about conservation in action

Join the daily talks

Rongo Te Mauri

Opening Hours

Winter Hours
9:00am – 5:00pm
First Sunday in April – last Sunday in Sept

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
First Sunday in April – last Sunday in September
9:00am – 5:00pm

Summer Hours
During daylight savings
Last Sunday in September – first Sunday in April
9:00am – 6:00pm

Kākā Café
7 days a week from 9am
Over Winter Hours: closes 4.30pm
Over Summer Hours: closes 5pm

Comprehensive prices and hours info here.

Entry Prices

Are you a local?
Ask about our Hapori rates!

Pukaha members
Children under 5 years

Children 5-14 years

Gold Card Holders
(65 and over)

Adult Entry

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

Comprehensive prices and hours info here.

Campervans / EVs

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. 


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.

Suns out - skinks out!
This Easter weekend join us for some tasty Easter treats! From chocolate eggs to Takahe Awareness Month activities and talks there is so much to do! 
See what you can find on your Easter walk this weekend at Pūkaha!
#skink #lizard #littlecritter #easterweekend #easter #reptile #hidden #fern #green #nature
16 yellow crowned kākāriki ready and waiting for release on Monday at their new home on Puangiangi Island in the Marlborough Sounds. 

6 females and 10 males, our parents in Avairy 8 have done an amazing job raising them. 

(This is the quarantine avairy where birds are held just before release, you can see our other kākāriki on the avairy loop during your visit.)
#kakariki #yellowcrownedkakariki #conservation #release #birdphotography #nzbirds #bird #birdlife #nzwild
You may have noticed a few more moths than normal out and about the last few days. The warm, damp weather brought them into Pūkaha in the thousands and our local wildlife have been making the most of this tasty treat. Here is Asneath and Tuatahi hunting in the grass for the moths hiding away from the day. 

You can spot our pair from the Kākā Café deck, just watch out for those cheeky kākā and your coffee!
#takahe #moth #snacktime #treats #rarebird #EndangeredSpecies #birdlovers #nz #naturephotographer #birdsoftheworld #birdsofinstagram #instabird #bird_brilliance #birdsnature #birdphoto #birdfreaks #birdnerd #birdphotography #nzbirds #bird #birdlife #nzwild #forest #nature #conservation
That hop! 😍

We have some adorable young kiwi in the Nocturnal  House, busy exploring and hunting for grubs in the rotten logs rangers provide for enrichment. 
#kiwi #kiwichick #birdphotography #nzbirds #bird #birdlife #nzwild #conservation #conservationinaction #birdlovers #cute #birdsoftheworld
Smile for the camera!

Our lovely tuna ladies are looking forward to their daily 1.30pm feed. Join rangers to hear about their incredible lives, from hatching to breeding, these eels have quite a story to tell! 
#eels #tuna #wildlife #river #waterways #water #aquaticlife #aquatic #eelriver  #dailytalk #feed #smile
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!)
#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!
#cicada #insect #summersound #song #bug #nature #hidden #wildlife #invertebrate #nzwild

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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