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“Cafe was better value than the birds”

Pukaha Mount Bruce National Wildlife Centre
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US$14.79*
and up
Pukaha Mount Bruce Entry Ticket
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Home to Manukura, the only white kiwi in captivity, Pukaha Mount Bruce is a 940 hectare unfenced wildlife reserve only 24kms north of Masterton, in Wairarapa, open every day (except 25 December) from 9am – 4.30pm. Pukaha Mount Bruce has six daily talks and feeds starting with takahe at 10.30, tuatara at 11.30, kiwi chick or gecko talk at 12 noon, eel feed at 1.30, kokako talk at 2.15 and kaka feed at 3pm. Visitors can see rare and endangered NZ birds in aviaries but also other NZ birds such as tui, fantail, kereru and rifleman living wild in the forest. Pukaha Mount Bruce has a kiwi house with 2 resident kiwi, an egg and chick nursery, a theatre with three short films and an interactive gallery. There is a two hour loop walk through regenerated native bush and a shorter aviary walk. If you are in a hurry, book a 1 hour guided tour or if you want to get up close and personal to NZ nature, how about a 2 1/2 hour Behind the Scenes Tour?
Guelph, Canada
Level Contributor
33 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Cafe was better value than the birds”
Reviewed 20 March 2017

We were disappointed in this stop, but perhaps a combination of high expectations and unpredictable wildlife conspired against us -- perhaps can't blame the venue. The setting is lovely for a walk and the cafe provided decent value for lunch. We found the entry price a bit steep (we have 3 teens with us but they wouldn't give us a family rate because of the age of our kids, so it was $67 to get in), and several of the aviaries were closed and empty. For those that did contain birds, we could not always spot them. (Should we think of it as a zoo where you see wildlife, or as a birdwatching experience where you may not see anything?) Even in the Free Flight area, we only spotted a few birds at a distance and certainly didn't "engage with them" as the advertising might suggest. In the kiwi house, we knew it would be dark (nocturnal birds) but didn't expect it to be so dark that we literally could barely see the one brown kiwi. The white kiwi was asleep (despite signs saying their days/nights had been reversed -- it was our midday), so we could just see the edge of it, curled up in a burrow. There are various shows/demonstrations on site but our visit timing did not correspond with them and we didn't want to stay long enough to wait -- they were spaced apart in terms of timing. If we'd been willing to be more patient, stay longer and take advantage of the walking trails, we might have enjoyed it more. As it was, it has become a bit of a family joke -- an overpriced bathroom, lunch and walk stop.

Visited March 2017
Helpful?
Thank RebeccainGuelph
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Helen T, General Manager at Pukaha Mount Bruce National Wildlife Centre, responded to this review, 23 March 2017
thank you for taking the time to review us. While we appreciate your comments about the entry price we do have a childs price which goes up to 15 years old ($6) and after that either a student rate at $17 or adult price for non students. Our 7 daily talks are spaced from 10.30 until 4pm. Our kiwi will sometimes nap during her 'day' - but usually our guests have enough time to see her when she is not napping. Although, as with all wild animals, sometimes they just do what they want to when they want to. Sorry that you didn't enjoy your stop with us.
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Binfield, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
274 reviews
84 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 76 helpful votes
“Stop on way to Wellington ”
Reviewed 27 February 2017 via mobile

This is a great place to stop on the way down from Napier. Only 20 NZ$ each. A nice walk and the highlight was a talk on the geckos AND seeing not only a white Kiwi but a baby being fed. Really special. The bird siteings were not easy but a really nice place.

Visited February 2017
Helpful?
Thank Paul S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Helen T, General Manager at Pukaha Mount Bruce National Wildlife Centre, responded to this review, 23 March 2017
Thanks for writing a review of Pukaha and your kind words
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Palm Coast, Florida
Level Contributor
43 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“See a "Rare" White Kiwi, Manukura”
Reviewed 27 February 2017

For Bird and Nature enthusiast, this is a place for you!!!!!
Well managed, this Bird and Nature conservatory is well worth your time to
visit. You can also feed the Eel's if you like.

Visited February 2017
Helpful?
Thank Albert S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Helen T, General Manager at Pukaha Mount Bruce National Wildlife Centre, responded to this review, 23 March 2017
Thank you for your lovely review and your recommendations
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
15 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Best kiwi viewing ever”
Reviewed 21 February 2017 via mobile

Thanks to the white kiwi being easily seen and her mate putting on a screaming show we had a great viewing. Unfortunately the rest was not so great as most birds were hard to spot. We even had one of the lovely workers come back up to the walk-through avery to help us spot the birds but they were a little scarce. It is however a fabulous facility and we learnt a lot chatting to him. I have a new respect for the plight of the native eel after talking to him. I guess they're not so scary after all I wish we'd had time to stay for the eel feeding but we were on a time limit.id like to come back when I have more time.

Visited February 2017
Helpful?
Thank shazjtx
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Helen T, General Manager at Pukaha Mount Bruce National Wildlife Centre, responded to this review, 23 February 2017

Thank you for reviewing Pukaha and it's great to hear that you not only had an excellent kiwi viewing experience but also that one of the team took the time to try and point out the birds to you. If you are on limited time, it can sometimes be tricky to see the birds.
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Napier, New Zealand
Level Contributor
81 reviews
62 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
“A Mixed bag”
Reviewed 19 February 2017

Was here quite a few years back, and seeing as I had the time to visit again decided to book a behind the scenes tour.

Got there and they didn't know anything about it, turns out that someone had forgotten to put it in the diary, so I missed out on this, which I was quite disappointed about.

Decided to do the guided tour instead, and was given a refund of the different amount between the two, as well as a free hot chocolate.

The guided tour was quite interesting and the lady taking it was quite friendly.

The real bonus was when she took me into the Kokako's enclosure at the end of the tour. Definitely a unique experience to see a wild bird which enjoys a head scratch, much like my pet parrot at home.

The rest of the place was interesting as I wandered around afterwards, but the highlight for me was definitely the Kokako.

Visited February 2017
Helpful?
Thank Draco_Malfoy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Helen T, General Manager at Pukaha Mount Bruce National Wildlife Centre, responded to this review, 23 February 2017
Thanks for taking the time to write a review. Yes, we certainly acknowledge that your booked Behind the Scenes Tour was unfortunately not recorded correctly and we apologise again that we were unable to fulfil this. However, thank you for taking up our offer of a refund and a one hour guided tour instead. Pleased that you enjoyed what we could offer you on the day though.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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