Shakespear Regional Park

Info Tour Details:
 Departs Auckland
 Pick Up / Drop Off Yes
 Best taken All Year
 Duration Full day
 Fitness Level Moderate, some walking required.
 Transport Included
 Food Picnic Basket included
 Accommodation N/A
 Group size Min. 1 - Max. 7
 You will need:
 Summer: Comfortable footware, sun screen. sun glasses, water.
 Winter: Warm clothing,
 Additional Activities N/A
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Shakespear Regional Park
Tour Highlights Tour Highlights:
  • A drive across the Harbour Bridge
  • Gulf Harbour Marina
  • Shakespear Regional Park

This is a delightful trip North from Auckland not too far away from the city.

We drive North, cross the Harbour Bridge , take the Silverdale off ramp and we are on the Whangaparaoa Peninsula.

Our first stop is the Gulf Harbour Marina, we check and photograph the views and the boats before continuing to Shakespear.

Shakespear Regional Park has it all, one of the best beaches sheltered bays, wetlands, native forest, cliffs, historic places and a lookout with amazing views.

Photo Opportunities Photo Opportunities:
  • The Gulf Harbour Marina
  • Haruhi Beach
  • Panoramic views
  • Views to Tiritiri Matangi Island
  • The Rolling hills of Shakespear
  • Birdlife
Once in the park, we'll be greeted by the resident peacocks before taking the Tiritiri trail.

Info The Shakespear trail takes about 2 hours to complete. It's not an arduous walk and requires a moderate level of fitness. The visual rewards and photo opportunities are well worth the effort.

The first part of the trail goes up in a steep ascent with a rewarding 360º panorama of the Hauraki Gulf and the cityscape of Auckland awaiting at the summit.

The trail then continues over the rolling hills just to disappear suddenly in the depths of the wetlands and to emerge on the cliffs above the shoreline in a striking contrast and an unobstructed view of Tiritiri Matangi Island.

Info Tiritiri Matangi is a world-renowned sanctuary just a couple of kilometres away across the Tiri Channel.
A limited number of visitors is allowed on the island, Contact me if you wish to visit!

Pukekos are abundant, quite fun to watch and chase as they won't pose for a photograph! You will also be amused by the small fantails that will flutter around you just to say hello! There are many more birds to see and hear at Shakespear. If you love birds and bird watching, see the bird list below.

The trail will pass the remains of an old Maori village before ending back at the Haruhi beach where the trail ends with a pleasant leisurely walk on the sand.

Shakespear Map

Depending on season, weather and your personal preferences our itinerary may change.

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  Bird list for Shakespear Regional Park
Native Introduced
Australasian harrier Gannet Black swan
Bellbird Red billed gull Blackbird
Fantail Black shag Brown quail
Grey warbler Little black shag Californian quail
Kaka Little shag Chaffinch
Morepork Pied shag Eastern rosella
NZ pigeon Reef heron Goldfinch
Pukeko Royal spoonbill Hedge sparrow
Silvereye White faced heron Mallard duck
Tui Brown teal Myna
Welcome swallow Grey duck Peafowl
Little blue penguin NZ shoveller Pheasant
Bullers shearwater Paradise duck Redpoll
Cooks petrel NZ dotterel Rock pigeon
Flesh-footed shearwater Pied stilt Skylark
Fluttering shearwater Red crowned parakeet Sparrow
Grey-faced petrel S.I.pied oystercatcher Starling
Sooty shearwater Shining cuckoo Thrush
White fronted tern Spur-winged plover White-backed magpie
Black backed gull Variable oystercatcher Yellowhammer
Bird list sourced from: the Shakespear Open Sanctuary Society
Auckland Regional Parks
Click to Play Video

Additional Information

Whangaparaoa, means "Bay of whales" in Maori. It is regarded as the start of the coastline known as the Hibiscus Coast. The Whangaparaoa peninsula stretches for 11 kilometres into the Hauraki Gulf with Shakespear Regional Park at the end of the tip.

A "Pa"
A pa is a fortified place built by Maori. Pa are associated with a group of related people. They were built as refuge from attack during times of war, but also had many other uses.

They were secure places to live and store food, they were residences for important people and centres for learning, crafts and horticulture.

The Park
Originally a sub tribal group Ngati Kahu occupied this territory. Their main settlement was between Te Haruhi Bay and Army Bay where fortified pa protected the area.

The Shakespear family bought this land around 1882 and built the Shakespear homestead on the hill overlooking Te Haruhi Bay in 1910.
The Auckland Regional Council acquired it in 1967 and opened the park in 1972

Open Sanctuary
The Shakespear Open Sanctuary Society aims to create an open and accessible wildlife sanctuary that integrates public recreation, conservation and farming.

The Open Sanctuary will encompass 555 hectares of land at the eastern end of the Whangaparaoa peninsula including Shakespear, the military training centre and the Hibiscus coast Sewerage. A 1.5 kilometres pest prevention fence is to be erected across the peninsula neck from Army Bay to Okoromai Bay.

Tiritiri Matangi
Tiritiri Matangi (”looking to the wind”) is one of the most successful conservation projects in the world. Unwanted predators have been eradicated, and the island has been replanted with native trees. Rare native birds and animals have been returned to its now-safe and restored habitats. Tiritiri Matangi is an open sanctuary.

One of New Zealand’s oldest working lighthouses, the Tiritiri Matangi Lighthouse is a heritage site. Built in 1864 of pre-fabricated cast iron, it was transported from Britain and erected in the spot where it stands today.

Blast from the past
Legend has it that during WWII, top-secret testing of a tsunami bomb took place at Shakespear. Project Seal involved experimental explosions, designed to trigger a localised tsunami.

The idea was to use the weapon to create tidal waves in Pacific areas held by the Japanese. The bomb attracted interest from the United States and British military, but it was never actually used.

The trials were kept secret, but they were felt by the Shakespear family. The elderly Mrs Shakespear fell from a sofa frightened by the blast force!
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