"Mt Bruce National NZ Wildlife Sanctuary" Mount Bruce by Kate-Me
Mount Bruce Travel Guide: 6 reviews and 15 photos
Mt Bruce is located in the very small town of Wairarpa (if it's even a town). The closest town to pinpoint its location on a map is, if I remember exactly, the reasonably sized town of Masterton.
We'd travelled from Napier/Hastings that morning, and were due to be in Wellington in the evening.
It was a long day's driving and the mostly torrential rain only made it seem longer.
We were only stopping here because of the Mt Bruce National Wildlife Park.
We arrived by 3.30, luckily with an hour left till closing, in time to catch the end of the Kea parrots feeding out in the open air. (There are several animal feeds scheduled through the day)
All other birds were enclosed in fairly large aviaries. The problem was the foliage in there was quite dense, and generally the birds fairly dull in comparison to Australian ones. I was a bit surprised to see that they didn't have any walk through aviaries like we have here, and it made seeing many of the birds quite difficult, if not almost impossible (especially as some of these were listed on their cages as being very shy).
The park is set in a nice rainforest setting with a rather wide creek running through it in several places (and huge eels hanging about under the bridge – they get fed at 1.30 each day so are no doubt quite tame too). Also in the rainforest besides the tree ferns and NZ trees, some giant Californian redwoods.
The Kiwi nocturnal house (which we knew to expect as it is NZ's iconic bird - though quite rare now, even endangered) was extremely dark, but quite well set up. We searched futilely the first time for the kiwis – just saw one of them on ‘nest cam’ fuzzy tv in its burrow, and couln’t find the other of the pair.
We were about to leave at the other end when suddenly we managed to spot the other kiwi after all, heading right for the glass front wall where we were standing, poking its long curved beak into leaf litter and around logs in its enclosure room. Its beak was the most visible thing, catching the light of the infra red, while the rest remained shadowy.
Hard to tell which end was which as it preened itself, but the couple of times it came right close to the glass, we had quite a good look.
Walking from aviary to aviary you pass through some very lush forest in the Mt Bruce Sanctuary.
Also in the rainforest apart from the tall tree ferns and native NZ deciduous leafy trees, are some very impressive giant Californian Redwoods.
- Pros:A good place to see Keas and Kiwi close up
- Cons:For a National Centre it's not that large, only about 11 aviaries
- In a nutshell:Plenty of NZ birds to see, though you may have to search for them in their cages
I forgot to mention, besides NZ birds at Mt Bruce, in another cage (glassed in I think) you can also see New Zealand's... more travel advice
Keas are a must see (you can also see them easily in the wild at Arthur's Pass and Fox/Franz Josef glaciers) as I... more travel advice
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