Bushy Park is a lowland rainforest surrounded by a predator-proof fence.
It is home to a range of native species, including hihi, kōkako, kererū, robin, and tīeke (saddleback).
The reserve has 10 tracks through the forest area that vary in length from 5 minutes to 2 hours. Nearly all are flat and well formed and are well signposted near the homestead.
The Bushy Park homestead (built 1906) is the main building on the property. Accommodation and meals are available in this historic building by arrangement. The park’s forest area is enclosed in a predator-proof fence. Education programmes and guided walks are held by appointment. Entry to the forest is FREE during daylight hours.
With a wide variety of birdlife thriving in the sanctuary, visitors will be able to see or hear species such as bellbirds, kererū, north island robin, tīeke (saddlebacks), hihi, moreporks as well as the falcon, fantail, grey warbler, mallard, pukeko, silvereye, kingfishers, and white-faced heron.
Giraffe weevils, glow worms, and huhu beetles also inhabit Bushy Park.
A special 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.
Bushy Park is located along Rangitatau East Rd, Kai Iwi, Wanganui. It is approximately 8km east of Kai Iwi and 24km north-west of Wanganui.
Bushy Park contains a range of vegetation from mature rimu-matai forest (including the biggest rata in the North Island) to farmland. There have been numerous releases of native bird species within the protection of the predator-proof fence, including saddlebacks, North Island robins, and these relocated populations are flourishing. Forest & Bird members have worked on the revegetation of the wetland area, planting species including rimu, pukatea, mahoe, karamu, hangehange, pigeonwood, kawakawa, NZ flax and toetoe.
When Whanganui farmer Frank Moore died in 1962, he donated the forest, homestead and surrounding land to Forest & Bird.
The project has been managed by the Bushy Park Trust since 1994 and was encircled by a 4.8-kilometre pest-proof fence in 2005.