There is no shortage of great hikes in New Zealand. We are day hikers, and lucky enough to live near Shakespear Park, one of the many massive Auckland regional parks. Before you ask, it was not a typo, the park is named after the Shakespear family who bought the land in the late 1800’s from the local Maori and have donated it for use as an Auckland regional park.
When we moved to New Zealand we were thrilled to be able to walk to the Shakespear park waterfall from our house. We have hiked here countless times, but this last week, following all the rains is by far the best we have ever seen it in terms of water flow.
After the waterfall the trail continues another 25 minutes, climbing up to a lookout, before looping back through the park. Ten years ago, when we first arrived in New Zealand, we ventured up the trail and I stopped at the first farm gate, intimidated by sheep. As a child, I grew up in the suburbs of Chicago, while hubby grew up in Brooklyn. As you can image, farm animals were not part of either of our childhoods. With our lack of knowledge to the facts that sheep have no top teeth and will run away rather than towards us, on that initial hike we turned back.
Not today (and never again after everyone laughed at me). Now we know to just follow the trail marking signs and close the gates behind us as we pass through the many paddocks. Today’s hike brought us through fields of Pukeko (New Zealand swamp hens), cows, and sheep with their adorable baby lambs:
The girls were quite a bit faster, and walked ahead of us.
Once up the lookout tower, we were rewarded with stunning views out to Rangitoto Island.
Yesterday’s best friends photo was also from this hike. I decided to share more of our photos as it was so well received.
We are really lucky to have Shakespear Park in our backyard. It is New Zealand’s most visited and accessible open sanctuary park. Named after the local Shakespear family, it is spelled correctly.
My other favorite places to hike on New Zealand’s North Island are the Waipoua Forest to see the Kauri Trees, Bay of Island and Cape Reinga at the top of the North Island. However, the most magnificent New Zealand destinations I have hiked are on the South Island, the Catlins at the bottom of the South Island, New Zealand’s rugged West Coast and Moeraki Boulders to the East.
Have you been to Shakespear Park? Could you imagine being afraid of sheep? Where is your favorite place to hike?
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