Whanganui's Bushy Park has a new name ahead of the opening on a new visitor centre in September.

The combined forest sanctuary and historic homestead is now Bushy Park Tarapuruhi - with tarapuruhi meaning "place of abundant bird life".

Renovation of the 1906 homestead finished last year.

Its stables are now renovated as well, and ready for use as a visitor centre.


They will be opened on September 14 by Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage and Whanganui Mayor Hamish McDouall. Forest & Bird CEO Kevin Hague will also be present.

The event is part of Heritage Month, and all are welcome to come. Devonshire teas and lunch will be available at the homestead, or people can bring a picnic.

They will be offered guided walks through the protected forest and wetland, where they can see endangered birds. Or they can tour the Heritage New Zealand Category 1 listed homestead.

It's an exciting time for the place, Bushy Park Trust chairman Kevin Ross said. He's grateful to everyone who has worked toward it.

The sanctuary has an army of volunteers, and more individuals and businesses are welcome to join. It has been a special focus for the Rotary Club of Whanganui North.

The addition to its name comes from its closer relationship with local iwi Ngā Rauru Kiitahi - iwi members Alex McLeod and Leaara Kauika-Stevens are now on its board.

Trustee Nicola Patrick thinks the addition to the name will go down well.

"I think people are really embracing te reo. People welcome knowing these places' full history, and they value the traditions behind them."


Bushy Park Tarapuruhi is 25km from Whanganui on Rangitatau East Rd. Its 98ha predator-fenced forest is open during daylight hours, and free to visit. Its homestead is open 10am to 4pm from Tuesday to Sunday, and can be toured for a donation.