Tucked away in the Wairarapa is a treasure so rare most people are unaware of its existence - the white kiwi.
The Pukaha Mt Bruce National Wildlife Centre Restoration Project is home to just three white kiwi, and participants in the Pukaha Wild Challenge trail run or biathlon go into a draw to win the chance to name and release one of them in the reserve.
The Pukaha Wild Challenge takes place for the second year on Sunday, September 27, featuring a 10km run through the Mt Bruce Redwoods and over Bruce Hill, and an optional 23km return cycle on rural roads across rolling farmland.
This year's event includes a Wild Challenge 5km Kids Run.
Pukaha Mount Bruce general manager Helen Tickner welcomes the chance to introduce racers and their supporters to the area.
"Both the Kids Run and Wild Challenge biathlon course will see participants weave through restored native bush packed with our native birds. The courses will provide participants with a great challenge but the reward will be knowing that they are directly contributing towards our pest control work and keeping the forest as safe as possible for our special birds."
Funds raised from the Wild Challenge event go to the Pukaha Restoration Project. A collaboration between the Pukaha Mount Bruce Board, Department of Conservation and Rangitane o Wairarapa, the group works with local organisations and volunteers on predator control and species reintroduction.
All share a common goal: "to ensure the birdsong that graced the original 90 Mile Bush is evident for future generations".
The Wild Challenge entry fee includes a family pass to the Pukaha Mount Bruce National Wildlife Centre, with a kiwi house, aviaries, cafe, bushwalks and tuatara.
33km biathlon, 10km run and 5km kids run
Sunday, September 27
Mt Bruce, Masterton, Wairarapa
For more information: www.pukaha.org.nz