Visiting the site offers a snapshot of life in the Edwardian era in New Zealand ranging from the arrival of the first early European settlers who lived and worked in the bush in bushman's huts, to the establishment of open pit and steam operated sawmills, to a recreation of an early Edwardian high street community showing the first stores, businesses, church and homes and has a unique 10 and ¼ inch gauge miniature steam rail development being established onsite as the only miniature rail of it’s kind in New Zealand
Bushtown aims to be a visitor attraction to depict this period and is an ongoing longterm project with much of the native tree species planted are now more than 12 years old, forming a forest attracting native birds and providing a recreated forest walk on site
TŌTARA TREE PLANTING
Bushtown offers the opportunity to plant your own Tōtara tree with a special ceremony dedicated to each Tōtara planted - this significant event is celebrated with an engraved plaque to mark each and every Tōtara; the location is mapped; a photograph certification provided, and this tree becomes a living legacy as part of this mighty Tōtara forest protected for the future and taken care of in perpetuity by Bushtown
The aim is to plant 700 podcarpus Tōtara trees which was the predominant forest cover. Tōtara trees are known for their hard timber and are a very long living tree species of hundreds of years
GUIDED SITE TOURS
Currently Bushtown offers pre-booked guided tours of the site for individuals or groups
These tours are guided by our Bushtown volunteers; and offer a chance to experience the developing heritage site first hand! Typically a tour takes approximately 1.5 hours with a welcome and overview of Bushtown, followed by a walking tour of the entire site including the Edwardian High Street, Church Hall, Tōtara Forest and Bushmans Huts.
Guided Tour $5 per person
We are able to cater for groups ranging from individuals who wish to visit the site or view their Tōtara Tree, through to large groups who may be visiting by coach. In the past Bushtown has been visited by a variety of schools; heritage, vintage machinery, garden interest and vintage car groups and clubs.
At present Bushtown is only open by appointment for our pre-booked tours - but we welcome anyone who is interested in visiting the site to contact us using the form below