Kōkako at Pūkaha. © Tara Swan

Absorb the legends of Aotearoa with Te Hīkoi o Pūkaha

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At Pūkaha National Wildlife Centre you can have an immersive experience that is both ecological and cultural. 

Pūkaha is a 942-hectare native wildlife and conservation sanctuary – the largest remaining piece of native bush in Wairarapa, and home to some of New Zealand’s rarest birds. 

Here, you can explore the native environment on a unique cultural tour – Te Hīkoi o Pūkaha – where local guides explain Māori creation legends, tell the fascinating stories of Māui and how the land and life came to be. 

The Pūkaha motto is Rongo te Mauri – listen and smell; be present; absorb the moment that you are in; experience the ‘mauri,’ the life force. 

You’ll meet Pūkaha’s native residents – kererū and hihi, kākāriki and kōkako – and finish with refreshments: delicious fried bread and kawakawa tea. 



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