Pukaha Mount Bruce Wildlife Centre

Introduction

Experience some of New Zealand’s most endangered wildlife up close and in the wild at Pukaha Mount Bruce in northern Wairararapa.

Features

One of the interactive displays at the Pukaha Mount Bruce Visitor Centre. Photo: Sandra Burles.
One of the interactive displays at the
Pukaha Mount Bruce Visitor Centre

At this popular visitor destination you can see conservation in action as the future of threatened New Zealand wildlife is secured through pioneering captive breeding programmes at the National Wildlife Centre.

Pukaha Mount Bruce also incorporates a visitor centre, café, education programmes, stunning interactive displays, and wheelchair access tracks through native bush.

It's set against a backdrop of the primeval 942 hectare Pukaha Mount Bruce forest, into which native wildlife is being returned.

Location

Pukaha Mount Bruce is in northern Wairarapa.

Getting there

Pukaha Mount Bruce is located on State highway 2, 30 km north of Masterton and 10 km south of Eketahuna on State Highway 2.

The entrance to the Pukaha Mount Bruce Visitor Centre. Photo: Sandra Burles.
The entrance to the Pukaha Mount
Bruce Visitor Centre

Activities

Bird and wildlife watching Bird and wildlife watching
Child/family friendly activities Child/family friendly activities
Guided activities Guided activities

The loss of native forest and  birdlife is highlighted in a display at the Pukaha Mount Bruce Visitor Centre. Photo: Sandra Burles.
The loss of native forest and birdlife
is highlighted in a display

In the visitor centre

Before venturing into the forest, linger a while in the revamped visitor centre, where the stories of the wildlife, forest and activities of the centre are told through state-of-the-art, digital technology and interactive displays.

You can journey back in time to experience the colours, sights and sounds of an ancient forest, inhabited by huia and moa. You can see computer-generated, moving images of birds that early settlers would have encountered when the forest was first noisy with birdlife, before much of it was cleared and burned for settlement.

The aviary walkway, where you can see rare New Zealand birds being bred in captivity. Photo: Sue Galbraith.
The aviary walkway, where you can
see rare New Zealand birds being
bred in captivity

In the forest

Outside the centre you can explore the last remaining remnant of this once majestic forest. Surrounded by ancient forest trees and free flying native birds, you'll get a sense of how New Zealand used to be. Encounter wild kaka (large native parrots) as they swoop out of the forest for their 3pm daily feed. View kiwi poking through the leaf-litter in the nocturnal house. Watch the threatened native birds kokako, stitchbird, takahe, and kakariki in their leafy realm, and the massive eels churning the water at their daily 1.30 pm feed.

The captive residents include tuatara, the "living fossil" that roamed the earth at the same time as the dinosaurs.

Make your way up to the summit via the Te Arapiki o Tawhaki walking track and you may be lucky enough to glimpse reintroduced kokako or hear their haunting song. Nocturnal kiwi have also been returned to the forest.

Return to the visitor centre for lunch or afternoon tea at the Entice Too cafe. This overlooks the enclosure for the takahe, a colourful flightless bird that was saved from extinction through the pioneering efforts of the Pukaha Mount Bruce National Wildlife Centre.

Plan and prepare

 

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Weather

Maps

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Check, Clean, Dry between waterways and stop the spread of didymo.

Walking track categories

Safety

Follow the Outdoor Safety Code:
1. Plan your trip
2. Tell someone
3. Be aware of the weather
4. Know your limits
5. Take sufficient supplies

Alerts for Wairarapa places

Contacts

 


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Pōneke / Wellington Visitor Centre
Phone:      +64 4 384 7770
Address:   18 Manners Street
Wellington
Email:   wellingtonvc@doc.govt.nz
Full office details
Whakaoriori / Masterton Office
Phone:      +64 6 377 0700
Email:   masterton@doc.govt.nz
Full office details