Bushy Park Homestead and Sanctuary...

Bushy Park Homestead and Sanctuary

57%

Details

1 Rankers Review

0 Face-to-Face

50 Bird Watching

85 Hiking Tours

11 Whanganui

Maps

Information

upto 4 km return | 5 minutes – 2 hours return

The track network explores the lowland podocarp forest, brimming with birdlife. The highlight of a walk is ‘Ratanui’, the largest known rata in New Zealand. There is also a small wetland preserved for species such as the grey duck.

Liberally placed interpretation panels not only aid species identification, but enlighten you to botanical facts and human uses for the leaves, bark and wood.

Access

Just north of Kai Iwi, turn into Rangitatu East Road and continue 8 km. Bushy Park is signposted on the left and the homestead is a further 800 metres up the access road. You should park in front of the homestead and report there before commencing your walks.

Visit http://www.bushyparksanctuary.org.nz/ for detailed information on opening hours.

Track

You will be provided with a map of the available walks after reporting to the homestead. Behind the homestead is a harness room, small museum and interpretation centre with information on the projects and ecology of Bushy Park.

The track network explores the lowland podocarp forest, brimming with birdlife. The highlight of a walk is ‘Ratanui’, the largest known rata in New Zealand. There is also a small wetland preserved for species such as the grey duck.

Liberally placed interpretation panels not only aid species identification, but enlighten you to botanical facts and human uses for the leaves, bark and wood.

Flora

‘Ratanui’ is said to be the largest northern rata in the North Island. It has a height of 43.10 metres, a trunk diameter of 3.77 metres and a girth of 11.86 metres. Until it falls, no-one will know its age. A twisted mat of fused convoluted roots descend the massive trunk. The tree would have started life in the branch clefts of a host tree, possibly a rimu, and the aerial roots would then have descended its host, eventually swallowing it up.

European History

The homestead buildings are open to visitors and are a step back into the stately world of times past. The homestead oozes grandeur. Vast collections of photographs and paintings relating to New Zealand’s flora and birdlife adorn the high studded walls. Period furniture complements the décor.

The homestead was built by Russell and Bignell, a prominent Wanganui building outfit for a cost of £4,566. The gardens were designed and landscaped by Mr I Cameron of Westmere.

James Moore, who emigrated in 1863 from the Shetland Islands in Scotland was the early pastoralist who farmed the area around Kai Iwi. His son Frank inherited the estate because his older siblings died young and bequeathed the 220-acre estate to Forest and Bird in 1960.

Picnic tables are situated in front of the homestead, which also serves light refreshments.

The predator proof fence, known as an ‘Xcluder Predator Fence’, has been constructed by a Cambridge firm with experience in such endeavours. Since 2004, a 4 metre wide platform has been cut around the 4.8 km perimeter and a five wire fence constructed in the interim to keep out stock. The two metre high posts are then clad in a mesh, which predators are unable to climb. A 40 centimetre wide anti digging skirt is piled at the edge of the fence to stop burrowing nasties from entering via subterranean methods. The fence is then capped in a hood to stop predators from trying the high road to get in.

Details

Feature Value Info

Location

North IslandManawatu - WanganuiWhanganui

Categories

  • Walking
  • Bird Watching
  • Hiking Tours

Contact

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Reviews

aiakar's avatar

aiakar

New Zealand

Ranking: 7/10

Lovely place with a relaxed atmosphere. The hosts were knowledgeable but not intrusive.

The food was very nice but I was a little stunned to see hoki on the menu because of the way it is fished. It didn't really match the conservation ethos of this place.

The flocks of kereru were delightful.

I was surprised that the bedrooms were open to the public when they were not being used and that there were no individual keys for each room meaning that you had to lock your valuables in the wardrobe before you left each time. The hosts stated that this was being attended to but it should be a priority. The park has been operating for some time now.

Signage on the tracks is informative but the tone is a little outdated. I imagine some people would find it less than capturing.

Reviewed almost 10 years ago