Success is getting what you want; happiness is liking what you get

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Big Day out in Wanganui

The big white bus arrived, with our friendly driver Peter at the wheel, and a bus full of Probus members climbed aboard for a day of adventure travelling to Wanganui.  The first stop on our intinery was to look through the St Stephen’s Anglican Church at Marton.

St Stephen’s Church, Marton

This lovely old church was completed in 1872, and made from native timbers of totara, rimu and matai.  The interior glows with the dark honey colour of the timber panelling, and light floods in through the stain glass windows.  The bell tower served for many years as a fire warning before the fire station was built.  We were given a potted history of this lovely old building, and then had a cuppa at the adjacent church hall next door.


Inside the church

Re-boarding the bus, we then drove on to Wanganui, passing a caravan on the road and we noticed something white fluttering in the wind as we started overtaking  We first  thought that perhaps a curtain was stuck in the window, but this was much more serious, and the whole front window was missing.  Whoops, wonder how that happened?

There’s been a slight accident

Bushy Park Homestead and Sanctuary in Wanganui was our next stop.  Built in 1906, it sits in stately grace admidst lawns, colourful flower beds, and has a wonderful view of the surrounding countryside.  This wonderful property was bequeathed to the Forest and Bird Society in 1962 by Frank Moore, to be preserved in perpetuity in its natural state.The  homestead is surrounded n three sides by a large expanse of forest and an area of  wetlands and is a sanctuary for many species of native birds.  Our group enjoyed a finger food lunch in the dining room, where we were told all sorts of facts and figures,  including the fact that originally 10 gardeners originally worked on the property.

Lunch in the dining room

We were then free to look around the homestead and beautifully manicured grounds, or take a walk along the many bush tracks.  The homestead is run as a B&B and it would be a lovely place to stay for a special occasion, as I mentioned to Robin, perhaps our next anniversary could be a caravan free zone just for a change?

All the rooms had original furniture

Standing on the steps of Bushy Park

In 2005 a 4.8km predator proof fence was completed around the 98 hectare forest, wetlands and homestead grounds.  Constant vigilance is still needed to ensure that the sanctuary remains predator free, including checking numerous traps regularly -  work  done by a large number of volunteers.  Several endangered bird species have been re-introduced: toutouwai, (North Island Robin), tieke, (Saddleback), and hihi, (Stitchbird).


Driving back down the long bush clad drive, our next stop was just along the road where we visited a Walnut orchard. 


Following the owner we were taken through the orchard to look at various plantings of walnut trees, but I must admit I was more interested in checking out the free range nut eating pigs.  And here they are – just look at those cute babies!

Cute little piglets

Heading back on our homeward journey, there was just one more stop to make.  On our way through Sanson we had dropped off an order at Viv's Kitchen, for some of her world famous cream horns, to collect on our way back home.  Yum, guess what we had last night!  It was a great day out.

Here come the cream horns


Marilyn, nb Waka Huia said...

A long time ago when we lived in Wanganui, we visited Bushy Park - we thought it was lovely!
The bulk order of cream horns is pretty impressive tho - is Viv's Kitchen the place on the left just inside the 50kmh zone on the way in from the north?

Janice said...

What a great day out. I fell in love with the timber churches when we visited NZ 12 months ago. So different to those on Oz, which are also lovely. Bushy Park sounds like a very stylish old girl and isn't it great to be a sanctuary. Enjoy your cream horns.

Jenny said...

Viv's Kitchen has cream horns to die for! They are very hard to find in shops these days, but Viv has made them her speciality. She moved premises see where the cafe is wee while ago, off to the left just heading out of town. Just look for the big Cream Horn on the fence.