Whanganui Overnight Tour - ***POSTPONED***
Sorry this tour has been postponed due to the uncertainty around the pandemic. New dates TBC.
Have you ever been past the "Bushy Park" sign at Kai Iwi and wondered what is in there? Well ... we can show you.
We are planning an overnight trip from New Plymouth to Whanganui. Leaving NP approximately 9 am we will visit Bushy Park where a Devonshire Tea awaits us in the cafe. After that there's time to enjoy the wildlife sanctuary.
Arriving in Whanganui later in the afternoon you can relax in your hotel room or wander around the shopping precinct. The hotel restaurant has an A-La-Carte menu, or you may prefer to choose your own restaurant nearby.
Spend a leisurely morning beginning with breakfast at the hotel and later there is the option to join a cruise on the river with the MV Wairua.
Later we’ll begin the return trip to New Plymouth, but firstly a take visit to the Winter Gardens and Aviary alongside Lake Virginia.
Single person cost available on request.
Minimum numbers apply in order for this tour to proceed.
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.
- Transport in a modern deluxe coach or minibus
- Hotel accommodation for 1 night
- Cooked breakfast
- Devonshire Tea at Bushy Park
- River cruise on MV Wairua