Bushy Park Sanctuary
The entry fee is only $10.00 per adult while children 15 years and under, and "Friends of Bushy Park" are free. This gives you access to the homestead grounds and the forest.
Summer opening hours from December to April are 10am to 3pm during the week and 10am to 5pm at weekends and holidays.
Winter opening hours for the forest from May to November are 11am until 4pm daily but closed on Mondays.
During winter, the homestead is closed Monday-Friday, except by prior arrangement.
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.
A 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.