Bushy Park Tarapuruhi

Bushy Park Tarapuruhi

Bushy Park Tarapuruhi is a beautiful area of native forest with a bird sanctuary, about 25 minute out of Whanganui. It is well maintained by a trust established by NZ Forest and Bird in 1994.

There is also a large homestead next to the sanctuary car park where you can book accommodation, including a B&B. The grassed area in front of the homestead is perfect for a picnic.

In 2005 a predator-proof fence was established, providing improved protection for native birds. There are several undulating and connected short loop tracks around the sanctuary. These include a small, exceedingly pretty wetland, as well as trails that take you through a mix of big established trees and regenerating forest.

The highlights are the several very big rātā trees, including the enormous Rātānui (“Big Rātā”). It is estimated to be between 500 and 1000 years old and over 40 metres high. Another nearby giant rata is particularly striking for the arch created by its roots.

The native birdlife is also diverse and exceptional, and more visible than many other sanctuaries. Toutouwai, NZ native robins, are plentiful and fearless, while we also saw several tīeke (saddlebacks). Best of all were a good number of hīhī hanging around the several prominently placed bird feeders.

The park is about 25 minutes from downtown Whanganui. Head along SH3 and take Rangitatua East Road. If you continue on this road to Junction Road, you will also find the longer hiking options at Waitahinga Trails.

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