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
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.

The makomako (wineberry) is just starting to flower here at Pūkaha! With heart shaped leaves and delicate little flower bells. Soon, sweet fruits will grow, a favourite of the native birds including the Kererū who struggle to balance on those thin branches! 
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#wineberry #makomako #mako #flowers #pink #bells #endemic #nz #plant #tree #nature
Our whio ducklings are growing up fast! 
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Join us this Sunday for our Community Open Day! Check out the Pukaha Whanau FB page for all the details on activities and stalls. Koha entry 💚
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#whio #whioforever #community #openday #birdphotography #nzbirds #bird #birdlife
Happy happy kiwi!

Who else wishes they had as much energy as her in the morning?! 🙋‍♀️
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#kiwi #whitekiwi #birdphotography #morning #energy #bounce #dance #getmoving #happybird
Ducklings first swim!
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Crossing the bridge today we spied this new family of ducklings taking their first dive into the river (this part is eel free!) Spring is off to a great start!
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#duckling #birdphotography #ducksofinstagram #quack #wildlife #nature #duck #birdlife #river #splash
From today's Wildlife Photography Workshop. 

Was so much fun and the weather was perfect! We saw all the usual bird visitors, the kereru, tui and lots of kaka. We were even fortunate to spy a rifleman just by the bridge.  Thank you Karen and Andy for joining us. Can't wait to see your favourite photos from the day! 
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#kaka #parrot #parrotsofinstagram #nzbird #birdphotography #nzbirds #bird #birdlife #nzwild #canon
The kahukura have been spotted here at Pūkaha, enjoying the kowhai and matipo flowers. The red admiral butterfly is endemic to NZ and enjoys the native nettle plants, ongaonga from which the caterpillar feeds and the butterfly lays its eggs. 
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To attract these beautiful butterflies (and others) to your garden plant bright and colourful flowers and natives. To go the extra mile, provide a safe zone 'eco-space'- free from sprays and encourage the weeds to grow! While we don't like nettles, these butterflies do and for a species in decline, its a simple move to help conserve them right in your own backyard. 
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How many different butterfly species have you seen in your garden this year?
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#butterfly #wildlife #nature #redadmiral #macro #insects #naturephotography #butterfliesofinstagram #lepidoptera #butterflygarden #conservation #garden #naturelover #entomology #butterflylove
Kahurangi showing off her gorgeous pair of wings as she checks out her nest. Looking good girl! 
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#kokako #nesting #birdphotography #nzbirds #bird #birdlife #nzwild #forest #nature #birdlovers #conservation #birdsoftheworld

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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