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Manukura - The World's Only White Kiwi

Manukura is a white kiwi bird - the only known white kiwi in the world! She was born at the National Wildlife Centre Pukaha, in the Wairarapa region of the North Island of New Zealand, on 1 May 2011.

Manukura the White Kiwi

Manukura is not albino (where there is a lack of melanin that makes pigmentation white and features pink eyes), but, pure white, which means she is the rare progeny of two parents who carry the recessive white feather gene. Manukura’s parents came from predator-free Little Barrier Island (700 kilometres, 435 miles north of Pukaha) along with 28 other kiwi in 2010 in the single largest translocation of kiwi known. The purpose of the translocation was to boost kiwi population at Pukaha. The result of that breeding season was 14 healthy chicks, most of which have now been released into our forest. Elders from the Rangitane o Wairarapa iwi (the local tribe) saw the chick as a tohu (sign) of new beginnings and gave her the name 'Manukura', which translated means "of chiefly status".

At the National Wildlife Centre, kiwi eggs are collected at night when the male is off the egg and out feeding. They are brought into the kiwi nursery where they are incubated and hatched at around 80-90 days. The chicks are raised in captivity until they weigh 1.2 kg when they are released into the wild. Visitor numbers at the centre have soared since Manukura captured world-wide attention. “Manukura has certainly raised awareness of our work here to restore the forest and reintroduce native species. We need all the support we can get to maintain our intensive pest control programme which is funded mostly by community efforts.” - Kathy Houkamu.

'Manu' goes exploring

We decided to send our very own little white kiwi called 'Manu' (Manukura's long lost brother) out to explore...

Manukura at Lake CrucibleManukura lost in contemplationManukura Steering the Earnslaw

Manukura 1

Kiwi facts

  • Young kiwi in captivity feed themselves on worms and insects and receive a top-up of ox heart, vegetables, bananas, cat biscuits and a special kiwi supplement. The special captive diet keeps the kiwi’s nutrient intake balanced and close to what they would eat in the wild.
  • Female kiwi weigh up to 3kg and males up to 2kg. Females are bigger to accommodate their eggs which are huge in proportion to their body size. A kiwi egg takes up about 20 percent of the female's body size compared to 5 percent for a human baby.
  • The hatch weight of a kiwi is usually 320g - 350g.
  • It takes up to six months for a juvenile kiwi to reach the release weight of 1200g.
  • Female kiwi are generally more stroppy than males and harder to handle because of this and their comparative size.
  • Kiwi reach breeding age at 2 - 3 years.
  • Kiwi have a lifespan of approximately 30 years.

(Courtesy of the Department of Conservation)

Why travel with Active Adventures?

Legendary Kiwi Hospitality

Above all, we aim to be amazing hosts. We're proud of our kiwi roots, and our professional, warm and relaxed style of running trips around the world is unforgettable.

Expert LOCAL Guides & Trip Leaders

We're VERY picky about who we select to work in our team, and we have people from all over the world lining up to guide our trips. So we get to hire the absolute BEST in the business.

Everything is Included

As soon as you get off the plane, we've got all the details of your vacation covered – top notch meals, comfortable transport & accommodation, amazing guides and INCREDIBLE service.

A Sense of Achievement

Whether you’re new to adventure travel, or you’ve never travelled in a group before, you’ll find yourself arriving home positively different from when you left.

Small Groups

With our small groups (no more than 14), you'll get to know our team, your fellow travellers, and have the flexibility and freedom to do as much (or as little!) as you like.

Diverse Experiences

It's all about getting there under your own steam – on foot, in a sea kayak, or by bike. What better way is there to experience mind blowing scenery? If it's your first time, no worries – our expert guides have got you covered.

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