Bushmansfriend is a locally owned family business servicing one of New Zealand’s best kept secrets, Whangaroa Harbour. Bushmansfriend was founded by Tony Foster and Judy McHardy in 2004. The operation started out by offering guided bush walks along the Wairakau Stream track and providing water transportion back through the beautiful harbour.  In 2008, Tony and Judy saw an opportunity to purchase the “Maple Leaf” and Whangaroa Houseboat Holidays, to provide people with an opportunity to explore the harbour at their own pace. The business expanded in 2014 to include Whangaroa Harbour Water Transport, which offers harbour tours and water taxis on the Harbour.

Sadly, Tony passed away in 2016 after a short ilness. His legacy lives on as Judy continues the small business.


Bushmansfriend is named after the Rangiora (Brachyglottis repanda) shrub or small tree. It's common name is bushmansfriend due to the use made as 'toilet paper'. However this plant shows the ingenuity of the New Zealand bushmen who would use the resources around them to make do. Much like the strategy of the business to make a living based on simple natural resources.


Bushmansfriend prides itself on a philosophy of Responsible Tourism. We actively strive to improve our energy efficiency, waste management, water conservation, caring for our flora and fauna and being actively involved in growing the Whangaroa Community. 


Tony was a keen botanist, who wrote about and photographed New Zealand native plants. Tony (the Bushmanfriend) had a particular interest in the diversity seen within the Whangaroa bush, which saw him write Plant Heritage New Zealand and an Illustrated Glossary of Botanical Terms. Please follow the links to learn more or to purchase a book.