On a beautiful day during my short stay with my uncle Skyler’s family in Orewa (1 hour north of Auckland), New Zealand, a country used to have a 20:1 sheep to human ratio (however, this figure had declined to 7:1 in the recent years), we drove to Shakespear Regional Park, located at the tip of Whangaparaoa Peninsula, to get a intimate contact with the nation’s most beloved animals.
As soon as I hopped off our car, I was amazed by the number of sheep grazing the grass..
A frame at the starting point of the walking trail, capturing the Okoromai Bay with volcanic island Rangitoto in the distance…
The Auckland Council website introduces the history of the park:
People have visited and lived at Shakespear on and off for about 1000 years. The Ngāti Kahu iwi occupied the Whangaparāoa Peninsula before European settlers arrived in the 1820s. Archaeological surveys show two main living sites – at Army Bay and Te Haruhi Bay.
Mr W H Shakespear purchased 800ha at the tip of the peninsula in 1883. In 1910 the Shakespear family built a homestead (now the YMCA Lodge) overlooking Te Haruhi Bay on ground that retains evidence of a Māori pā. During World War II the army acquired 130ha of the northeastern tip of the peninsula.
The end of the peninsula was an important defence site during the war. The army constructed a range of defences including 11 pillboxes, searchlights, electrified barbed wire entanglements and an anti-tank ditch.
These remains are highlighted on the Heritage Trail. The Ministry of Defence continues to use the adjacent land.
The ARC purchased the area known as Shakespear Regional Park in 1967 from the Shakespear family.
As we walked up the hill, we also saw a group of cows grazing in front of a pretty pohutukawa tree (also known as the kiwi Christmas tree as the red flowers only bloom in its summer time around Christmas)…
Once reaching the look-out point at the top of the mountain, we were rewarded with a picture-perfect panoramic view…
To get to Shakespear Reginonal Park located at1468 Whangaparaoa Road, Army Bay:
From Auckland, head north on the northern motorway (State Highway 1) and take the Silverdale off-ramp. Drive through Silverdale and turn right onto Whangaparaoa Road. Follow the brown Twin Coast signs to the end of the Peninsula.