Welcome to the Bushy Park Sanctuary
Bushy Park Sanctuary is located on the west coast of the North Island of New Zealand, at 791 Rangitatau East Road. It is 8 kilometres from Kai Iwi and 25 kilometres from Whanganui City.
The sanctuary is a 100 hectare predator-free native bird sanctuary, set amongst one of the few patches of virgin lowland forest. According to Ecological Management & Restoration, the journal of The Ecological Society of Australia along with SER International, the world’s premier restoration body, have ranked Bushy Park as one of Australasia’s “Top 25” Restoration Projects.
Within the Bushy Park Sanctuary there are 3.4km of metalled or well-formed walking tracks throughout the forest providing easy all-weather access for visitors. Tree species include 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 and is 43 metres in height and has a girth that exceeds 11 metres.
With a wide variety of birdlife thriving in the sanctuary, on your visit you will be able to see or hear species such as bellbirds, kereru, north island robin, saddlebacks, hihi, moreporks as well as the falcon, fantail, grey warbler, mallard, pukeko, silvereye, kingfishers, and white-faced heron. The sanctuary is home to some kiwi too.
Giraffe weevils, glowworms, and huhu beetles also inhabit Bushy Park.
As well as the Sanctuary, the property also features an Edwardian-era homestead that is a Category One Heritage Building registered with the New Zealand Historic Places Trust. The 22-room homestead, designed by Charles Tilleard Natusch, includes a 33 metre long, 1.8 metre-wide hall that runs the length of the residence. In 1962 G.F.Moore bequeathed Bushy Park to the Royal New Zealand Forest & Bird Protection Society. In 1995 the Society transferred ownership of the Homestead, Stables and a surrounding area of 11.7ha. (27acres) to an independent Trust now known as Bushy Park Trust who continue to run the Park. In addition it delegated to the Trust, by way of a lease in Perpetuity, management of the forest area in accordance with a mutually agreed plan. It is is possible to book a stay at the homestead - click here for details.
Summer opening hours are from 10am to 3pm daily during the week and 10am to 5pm at weekends and holidays. Winter opening hours from May to November are Saturdays and Sundays from 11am until 4pm. The Homestead is closed Monday-Friday, except by prior arrangement.
There is a small fee for visiting the Bushy Park Sanctuary. Currently the fee is $6 for adults, while all children (15 years and younger) and “Friends of Bushy Park” are free.
Please pay your fee at the Homestead when it is open and it will give you access to the Homestead, the Homestead grounds and the forest. You can still enter the forest within daylight hours, and we request you deposit your entry fee into the donations box located at the track entrance adjacent to the Stables.