Visitors gain a great understanding of conservation at Pūkaha National Wildlife Centre, a 20-minute drive north of Masterton at Mount Bruce. Pūkaha is home to some of New Zealand’s most endangered wildlife including tuatara, eels, kaka, kōkako, kākāriki and the white kiwi, Manukura - the only white kiwi in captivity in the world.
Walk through their fantastic free flight aviary, home to many native New Zealand birds like the whio (blue duck), or explore easy-to-walk trails that weaave through native forest. Then enjoy lunch at Kaka Cafe with it's great cofee and views over the takahe enclosure - but watch-out as curious Kaka may swoop in and introduce themselves! Check out the interactive gallery where kids love to spot creepy crawlies in a rata tree.
Each day you can join in on educational talks given by the rangers, which take place throughout the day:
11am Tuatara talk & feed
12pm Kiwi talk
1.30pm Longfin Eel feeding
3pm Kaka feeding
Or get up close and personal with a Behind the Scenes Guided Tour where you can visit the takahe, watch a kiwi health check, and help feed the eels, tuatara and kaka. For feeding times, prices and to make a booking click here.
Pukaha National Wildlife Centre is open 7 days a week between 9am – 6pm in Summer (1 October to 30 April) and 9am – 4.30pm in Winter (1 May – 30 September).
Locals can visit Pukaha, any time of year, at half the normal entry fee with proof of residence such as a utilities bill.