If you want to see wildlife in New Zealand then look no further – head to Pūkaha National Wildlife Centre in the Tararua district to see the countries most exotic, endangered birds, animals and relax in an ancient Maori forest. Nature lovers will be in their element in this wildlife sanctuary north of Wellington!
Where can I see wildlife in New Zealand?
At Pūkaha you’ll see New Zealand’s most important conservation in action. This reserve is a restored forest home to various endangered wildlife, from the iconic Kiwi bird, orange fronted parakeet to longfin eels among others. Take a relaxing walk on gentle tracks through lish green forests with a variety of wildlife waiting for you – see if you can hear the piercing sound of the hihi, or keep an eye out for the bright red wings of the bush parrot.
Walk along the Aviary track to meet the parks resident kōkako, the little chick with an incredible story. As you explore the reserve, you’ll find the traditional Pou signposts, connecting Maori ancestry and gods to the wild with rich stories.
You’ll even have the opportunity to see the incredible Kai whakairo (carvers) at work, with their carving studio located just outside the carpark. You may feel a little overwhelmed at the size and splendour of the park, but not to worry – you can take a tour with the park’s rangers, introducing you to the wonders of the forest and telling you everything you need to know.
Once you’re done exploring, relax with a delicious range of refreshments at the Kākā Café. Sit back on the viewing deck with some freshly roasted coffee and a hearty soup, while you watch the rare takahē fly by. Pūkaha National Wildlife Centre is an excellent day out on the southern end of the North Island!
- Summer Hours
9:00am – 6:00pm
9:00am – 5:00pm
- Cafe open 7 days a week from 9am to 4pm.
- Standard entry is NZ$22 adult, Children 5-14 years NZ$7.00, under 5 FREE.
- Tour tickets are NZ$45 adult, Children NZ$22.50.
- Accessibility information can be found here.
- Detailed directions can be found here.