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Pūkaha National Wildlife Centre

Pūkaha National Wildlife Centre


To be recognised nationally and internationally as Aotearoa New Zealand's number one mainland, indigenous wildlife sanctuary.


Our unique role in contributing to our country's heritage is re-creating a predator-free natural environment where rare native birds, plants and other wildlife can breed and thrive. Rangitāne are respected and present, visitor engagement is meaningful and authentic, and we demonstrate leadership to improve the ecological balance in Aotearoa New Zealand and internationally.


Pūkaha is located two hours from either Wellington or Napier and is a 20-minute drive from the town of Masterton on the border between the Wairarapa and Tararua districts.


Forest restoration occurs throughout Pūkaha's 942-hectare reserve. Extensive predator control is maintained throughout Pūkaha's buffer zone.

Our forest provides a safe refuge for:

Koura (freshwater crayfish), tuna (longfin eel)

Karearea (New Zealand falcon), koekoeā (long-tailed cuckoo), korimako (bellbird), miromiro (tomtit), pīpīwharauroa (shining cuckoo), pīwakawaka (fantail), pōpokotea (whitehead), riroriro (grey warbler), tauhou (silvereye), titipounamu (rifleman), tui

Elephant weevil, flatworm, giraffe weevil, huhu beetle, puriri moth, wētā (cave/ground/tree), powelliphanta snail, peripatus, sheetweb spider

Barking gecko, copper skink, ngahere gecko

Organisations involved

Pūkaha is a non-profit site jointly managed between the Pūkaha Mount Bruce Board, Rangitāne o Wairarapa and the Department of Conservation.

Key Achievements

1970 – 1980

Captive breeding programmes begin for:
Tuatara, banded rail, Forbes parakeet, pāteke, roa (great spotted kiwi), whio, red-crowned kākāriki, kererū, Antipodes parakeet, hihi, Reischek's parakeet, North Island weka, ruru, karearea (New Zealand falcon), tieke, kōkako, kāki (black stilt)


Captive breeding programmes begin for:
Tūturuatu (shore plover), Auckland green gecko, North Island brown kiwi, kea, Campbell Island teal, Harlequin Gecko, kiwi pukupuku (little spotted kiwi)


Captive breeding programmes begin for:
Yellow-crowned kākāriki, orange fronted kākāriki

Operation Nest Egg officially begins


Summer hours: 9:00am – 6:00pm
Winter hours: 9:00am – 4:30pm

Open every day except Christmas Day

Advance bookings required for guided tours, Behind the Scenes tours and Night Tours