5 last-minute eco-friendly Christmas gifts from Pūkaha



by Sarah Watkins


Sort your last-minute Christmas gifts at Pūkaha National Wildlife Centre, and take some time out too. The nature-inspired gift shop at the Visitor Centre is only 20 minutes drive north of Masterton.

Tick those people off your list who are waste-free, love to shop local or bird nerds!

Whilst you’re here, take some time for yourself by enjoying coffee and cake on the Kākā Café deck overlooking the Takehē enclosure. Drink in the serenity of the forest and rongo te mauri (feel life’s essence).

Reusable Sandwich Wrap, The Rubbish Whisperer, $30

Wrap your sandwiches in these adjustable wraps instead of plastic. Made in New Zealand from cotton with a strong food-safe lining and poppers for easy fastening. Available in a range of funky patterns.

Manuka Honey Soap, Greytown Honey, $8.90

This gorgeous, rustic, all-natural soap is perfect for sensitive skin from Greytown Honey. It is lovingly hand crafted using olive oil, oatmeal and Manuka Greytown Honey.





Three Little Kiwi children’s book, $20

Three Little Kiwi is a new book based on a true story. Join three little kiwi Tahi, Rua and Toru on their night-time exploration of the Pūkaha forest. Perfect for tiny nature-lovers.

Written by Pūkaha Ranger Tara and illustrated by Angelique, the teenage daughter of another Ranger. Published entirely in the Wairarapa.


Bird magnets, $3.50 each

The bird nerds in your life will love these Pūkaha National Wildlife Centre historic bird illustration magnets. Featuring Ruru, Takehē, Brown Kiwi and White Kiwi (Manukura) designs.

Timber chopping board, Chaos by Design, $80

These stunning chopping boards are created locally in Eketāhuna by Katie and David. Native and natural timber products feature nature-inspired resin designs. Also available are coasters and larger chopping boards (not that you’d want to use them!).


Oh, and while you’re here don’t forget to call into the Kākā Café!

Treat yourself during the silly season at Kākā Café. Enjoy the fresh forest air and wildlife. Watch out for the wild Kākā! These cheeky birds are regular visitors to the outdoor tables.

The cabinet changes frequently and includes daily specials. Choose from house made favourites such as wraps, paninis, toasties and fresh salads in the summer. The in-house team love to bake fresh scones, muffins, cakes and slices to delight. Seasonal local produce is championed and are inspired by Māori ingredients. There’s a special children’s menu and a variety of dietary requirements are catered for including vegetarian, vegan, dairy and gluten free.

Pūkaha National Wildlife Centre is located 20 minutes north of Masterton, on State Highway 2. Open 9:00am to  6:00pm leading up to Christmas and all summer long.

Kākā Café open until 4:30pm daily.