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 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
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

$6.00
Children 5-15 years

$17.00
Students
Gold Card Holders
(65 and over)

$20.00
Adult Entry

$50.00
Family Pass
2 adults and up to 4 children
(5-15 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. 

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.

How cute are Hautete and Pungas chicks! At this 1 month old health check, we can see these little kākā are starting to grow their stunning plumage.
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 Wont be long now before the grey downy fluff is completely covered in red and brown feathers, and curiosity of the outside world will kick in!
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#kaka #nz #conservation #conservationinaction #healthcheck #parrot #parrotlover #parrots_life #parrotsofinstagram #breedforrelease
A cheeky common skink warming up in the sun by Te Wahi Weta. As the weather gets warmer, keep an eye out for these reptiles enjoying the summer sunshine. 
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#skink #commonskink #reptile #herp #nz #nzwild #conservation  #pukaha
Our yellow crowned kakariki in Aviary 8 have fledged! 
Here is proud Dad feeding 'Pink', one of the six chicks who have hatched this season. In Aviary 8a we have six fledglings and six eggs in the nest (such a super Mum!) and next door we have seven chicks in the nest who are just over a week old now. 

Here's to a bumper kakariki breeding season!
📷: @tara.swanphoto
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#kakariki #yellowcrownedkakariki #yellow #nzbirds #conservation #nz #nzwild #parakeet #parrotsofinstagram #feeding #chick #birdphotography #birdlovers
Growing up fast! These 2 week old kaka chicks are already close to the 300g mark! 

Hautete and Punga are doing a fantastic job raising this pair of trouble makers. Moka and Cheeno also have a pair, and Rangi and Papa have decided one is enough this year! 

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#kaka #chicks #parrot #parrotsofinstagram #conservation #nzbirds #nzwild #parrotlover #young #nz #wildlife #sanctuary #breedforrelease #wairarapa #tararua
If you ever need help finding your way, Boy and Frenchie are here to help! They will happily escort you to the visitor centre or the 3PM Kākā Feed, whatever is closer!

Keep an eye out for this cheeky duo on your next visit.
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#kaka #bushparrot #parrot #parrotsofinstagram
#conservation #nz #nzwild #released #freedom #cutecouple #couplegoals #visit
Two more stunning kākā were released into the forest this week. Keep an eye out for Frenchie and Boy next time you join us at the 3PM kākā feed.

This particular release was very special to staff as Frenchie (one on the left) was found in the forest over 5 years ago as a young fledgling by Ranger Jess (opening the box). After a trip to Wildbase to check her wounds (from a potential stoat attack) and a few weeks of hand rearing she joined some other kākā to become part of the captive breeding programme as she had new genetics which could contribute towards wild populations. However Frenchie had other ideas, and wasn't interested it seems in the males she met on her journeys. 

Releasing her here at Pūkaha, back where she belongs was incredibly rewarding and we are looking forward to the day she brings her new family down to the feed for a visit. Fly free you pair and have fun!!

Thanks to everyone along the way who took care of this cheeky pair of kākā, enjoy the release video!

(Frenchie/ Olearia/ Blue band and Boy)
@wellington.zoo 
@rainbowspringsnz 
@aucklandzoo 
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#kaka #release #freedom #conservation

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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