Bushy Park Sanctuary

Visiting the forest is now FREE for everyone.
We still welcome donations to help us maintain, protect and enhance this special place.
A donation box is alongside the Stables, just before you enter the forest.

Access to the forest is during daylight hours only.
For access outside these times, please contact the Homestead 06 3429879 to arrange.

The Homestead is open
for Devonshire teas, functions, events & accommodation
Tuesday - Sunday, plus public holidays,
from 10am - 4pm

Educational groups and large group visits please book ahead of time.
Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Bushy Park Sanctuary is a 245 acre remnant of some of New Zealand’s finest lowland native rain forest. Bequeathed to Forest & Bird by the late GF Moore in 1962, Bush Park has been diligently cared for by a local Trust.  A predator eradication programme has rid the forest of almost all pests – stoats, ferrets, weasels, possums, feral cats, hedgehogs and rats, and the culmination of this eradication programme has been the completion of a 4.8km  Pest Proof Fence at the cost of $830,000 around the entire Park.

According to Forest & Bird, Bushy Park is considered to be amongst the 25 best restoration ecology projects in Australia and New Zealand. A network of forest paths traverse the forest reserve that includes mahoe, mamaku, pukatea, rata, and rimu along with colonies of ferns and mosses.

ratanuiA feature of the reserve is a large northern rata Metrosideros robusta named Ratanui ("Big Rata"). It is estimated to be between 500 and 1000 years old. It is 43 metres (141 ft) in height while its girth exceeds 11 metres (36 ft), and has in the past been severely damaged by possums. It is reputed to be the largest Rata tree in the world.

Birdlife is one of the spectacular features of the Sanctuary. Many species can be viewed, and in particular Bushy Park has become a sanctuary for the hihi/stitchbird and the tieke/saddleback. You will also be able to view toutouwai/North Island black robin, kereru/NZ wood pigeon, tui, korimako/bellbird, ruru/morepork, as well as fantails, kingfishers, black swans, mallards, pukeko, silvereye and many more.

A more recent development of the Sanctuary is the opening up of the wetlands area with walks. This allows you to view both rainforest birdlife and wetlands birdlife in one location.

Another feature of the Bushy Park Sanctuary is the majestic Bushy Park Homestead. This 22-room Edwardian homestead, was designed by Charles Tilleard Natusch. It features a 109 feet (33 m) long, 6 feet (1.8 m)-wide hall that runs the length of the residence, as well as wood panelling, carved mantels, and art deco lights. Built by Russell and Bignell in 1906 at a cost of £4,566 for G. Frank Moore, a cattle and racehorse breeder, the residence and park were gifted by Moore in 1962 to the Royal Forest and Bird Protection Society of New Zealand.

Bushy Park Sanctuary is located on the west coast of the North Island of New Zealand (delete comma) at 791 Rangitatau East Road, 8 kilometres (5.0 mi) from Kai Iwi, Whanganui, Manawatu-Whanganui Region.

Just 25 minutes’ drive west of Whanganui lies one of the region's hidden treasures – Bushy Park Sanctuary now a healthy, regenerated forest where you can wander among the forest giants over 800 years old and listen to and see birds so rare that most New Zealanders have never seen or heard of them.


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Bushy Park Newsletter

The August 2014 Bushy Park newsletter has been added. (PDF - 711 kb)
For previous copies, click here.

News from The Bush

Hihi/Stitchbird translocation:
A new publication is available for download. The report into the Translocation of the Stitchbird can be downloaded by clicking here. (PDF: 4.1MB). Updates on the Hihi translocation can be viewed on our new page by clicking here.
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  Homestead: Phone (06) 342-9879