Fodor's Expert Review Pukaha Mount Bruce
Head 30 km (19 miles) north of Masterton for a fine introduction to the country's wildlife—particularly its endangered birds. An easy trail through the bush (one hour, round-trip) takes you past aviaries containing rare, endangered, or vulnerable birds, including the takahē, a flightless species thought to be extinct until it was rediscovered in 1948. The real highlight, though, is the nocturnal habitat containing foraging kiwis, endearing little bundles of energy that are the national symbol. Here you can also view the only white kiwi in captivity; she glows in the dark, so you won't have to wait for your eyes to adjust to the gloom to see her. Indigenous parrots are fed daily at 3, and the reserve's stream writhes when the long-finned eels are feed at 1:30.