What to Expect
Pūkaha is a wonderland of native wildlife and bushwalks.
On gentle tracks through the towering bush, viewing the variety of New Zealand wildlife in our enclosures.
(Most of our tracks, aside from the two-hour loop Te Arapiki o Tawhiki track,
are accessible to mobility scooters and wheelchairs.)
Kahurangi the kōkako, the only one of her kind in captivity in the world. Then check out the kiwi nursery, where we raise kiwi chicks for release.
In our free-flight aviary as native New Zealand birds arc and soar around and above you.
Pou (signposts) throughout the reserve which connect with Māori whakapapa (ancestry) and atua (gods) to help guide visitors with rich stories about the wildlife and forest.
Kai whakairo (carvers) in action at the whare whakairo (carving studio) located just off the carpark. Entry to the studio is free and it’s open six days a week, 9am – 5pm from Monday – Saturday.
On a two hour tramp to really explore the depths of the forest.
Note: there are no rubbish bins in the forest.
What you take in you must also take out!
We’re not a petting zoo.
We’re the National Wildlife Centre, a place of conservation and restoration, in partnership with Rangitāne o Wairarapa; Rangitāne o Tamaki Nui-ā-Rua; Rangitāne Tū Mai Rā Trust and the Department of Conservation.
You can’t hold baby kiwi or pat the takahē.
You can feed the tuna (eels) – if you dare!
Marvel at the Giant Wētā, a scale model of a real life wētā but 50 times its size!
This metal monster stands 1.6m (5’3”) tall and 5m (16’4”) long, not including the legs and antennae.
Take a tour with our amazing rangers who will fill your time with insights into what happens at Pūkaha and introduce you to the wonders of the forest.
Experience nature in harmony.
We call this rongo te mauri – feeling life’s essence.
And when it’s done
You can relax with refreshments in our fabulous Kākā Café.
Be careful not to let the cheeky kākā steal your food!