5 Winter Activities For Kids To Enjoy
by Sarah Watkins
When the weather is cold and sometimes wet, what do you do with the kids?Here are five fun winter kids activities you can enjoy at Pūkaha National Wildlife Centre to engage the whole family. The forest reserve is an easy 20 minute drive north of Masterton in the Wairarapa and only one hour south of Palmerston North in the Manawatu.
1) Watch the tuna (eels) being fed
Brave adult volunteers can go down the steps to the river’s edge with a Ranger. They feed the tuna with a long metal spoon. Just watch out for the eel’s 300 teeth! These guys are wild and are creatures of habit. They hang out near the bridge at any time of day in the hopes of catching a stray morsel. But at 1:30pm they are fed every day, one of the centre’s four daily talks.
2) Check out the giant tree
The giant tree is located in the gallery and is free to explore. Just make sure you grab lunch, a hot chocolate or fluffy at Kākā Café afterwards. Great for a rainy day.
3) Watch movies
Learn how the first kiwi were translocated to the forest from Little Barrier Island. Discover the whakapapa Rangitāne have to this whenua (land) and why it’s so special
4) Hike the loop track: Te Arapiki o Tawhiki
The hike takes roughly two hours.
Say “kia ora” (or “kōkako”!) to Kahurangi on the way to the start of the track. On wet days you are protected from the rain by the forest canopy for the most part. The slog up the hill is rewarded by stunning views at the lookout to Mount Holdsworth to the south and into the Tararuas to the north. The good news? The downhill bit is easy!
5) Eye spy…
Check out Pūkaha National Wildlife Centre’s website for tickets and more info.