Photos: Adorable Lambs in Shakespear Park, Auckland New Zealand

Adorable baby Lambs at Shakespear Park in Auckland New Zealand

Adorable lambs are bouncing all over Shakespear Park these days. Lambing season is the cutest time of the year in New Zealand and the Auckland region is no exception. From our house, we can walk to Shakespear Park. This is what we found last week: Adorable Lambs Practical Information: Shakespear Park is one of a […]

Collecting Cockles at Okoromai Bay in New Zealand

Ready to collect cockles (small clams) on Okoromai Bay in Auckland New Zealand

As the tide retreated we could see a few people collecting cockles at the water’s edge. I pointed them out to our Italian AFS exchange student, commenting that it is generally a summertime activity. It was only 12c yesterday, not a day I wanted to step into the water even with protective rubber boots. She, however, seemed […]

Xanthospermous – #AtoZ Postcards of New Zealand

Kowhai - the unofficial flower of New Zealand is a Xanthospermous as it has yellow seeds

X is for xanthospermous . . .  meaning having yellow seeds. Practical Information:  Kowhai is often considered to be the national flower of New Zealand, although officially, the country doesn’t have a national flower. It is not uncommon in summer to see Tui drunk in the trees (or falling out) after drinking the Kowhai nectar. […]

Mob of Sheep – #AtoZ Postcards of New Zealand

Mob of sheep at Shakespear Park, Auckland New Zealand

M is for a mob of sheep . . .  or maa Practical Information:  A group of sheep is called a mob. (More specifically, a mob of sheep is “a group or cohort of sheep of the same breed that have run together under similar environmental conditions since the previous shearing.”) In New Zealand, a mob […]

Baby Lambs – #AtoZ Postcards of New Zealand

Spring lambs in Shakespear Park, Auckland, New Zealand

B is for baby lambs . . .  or baaa. Practical Information:  New Zealand has the highest density of sheep per unit area in the world. It has more sheep than people. In fact, the country is home to nearly 4.5 million people and 30 million sheep. Springtime is lambing season, and the hills all over the country […]

Arataki: Gateway to the Subtropical Rainforest in Auckland

Arataki Visitors Centre in the Waitakere Ranges, Auckland, New Zealand

Arataki Visitor Centre is the gateway to the Waitakere Ranges, the subtropical rainforest that is a half-hour drive from downtown Auckland. Here we found ourselves surrounded by the rugged natural beauty one expects to see in New Zealand. The landscape changed rapidly in the 30 minute drive and with windows down, I enjoyed the fragrant aromas of the rainforest. to […]

Sarah’s Sunday Snapshots – Te Muri Camp New Zealand

Swimming at Mahurangi West beach in Auckland, New Zealand. Copyright Sarah E. Albom 2016; for more photos of Mahurangi West, visit the blog

Last weekend I went on a camp with friends at the Te Muri campgrounds in Mahurangi West regional park, about an hour and a half north of Auckland City. Summer here has been glorious and hot, and we enjoyed the cloudless days with plenty of swimming and walking. I also went to Mahurangi West regional park last […]

Colors of the Mission Bay Fountain: Auckland New Zealand

Mission Bay Fountain, Auckland New Zealand

By day Mission Bay is an ideal spot for beach going, bicycle riding, family picnics or just grabbing a bite to eat. The activity is centered around the Trevor Moss Davis Memorial Fountain, which sits on the reserve that separates the main road from the beach. At night it comes alive, the colorful water streams […]

Docking Lambs – A New Experience for this City Girl

Docking Lambs in New Zealand

Living on the doorstep of an Auckland Regional Park offers us access to great hiking trails, varied beaches, and farm animals – in this case, sheep and cows. We all know the city girl in me is still intimidated by the cows, even after living in New Zealand for 12 years. No worries, today’s story […]

Coastal Hiking: Interesting Rock Formations in New Zealand

Coastal Hiking in New Zealand

Swirling patterns in the cliffs and unusual rock formations dominate the coastline on the east side of Shakespear Park (Auckland, New Zealand). With a bit more energy, I could actually walk from my house to the steps leading down to Pink Beach. Yet, before last week I had never been here on the outgoing tide, […]

Wondering Why It’s Called Pink Beach? (Auckland, New Zealand)

Is this really named Pink Beach?

Pink Beach is a destination I had somehow missed until last week. We have set out many times along the Tiritiri track in the general direction, but it’s only accessible at low tide. This time we checked the Auckland tide tables and planned around them. Starting from the Shakespear Park campground we climbed, then passed […]

Intimidated by Cows I Climb Over an Electric Fence

Intimidated by Cows I Climb Over an Electric Fence

On part of today’s walk through Shakespear Park in Auckland (New Zealand) hubby and I parallel an electric fence. We were well beyond the paddock that held the adorable black lambs. Escape route gone, my rational mind takes over and I know these cows are not going to harm us. They are used to humans. (Even […]

A Black Sheep in the Family: Baby Lambs in Shakespear Park

Spring lambs at Shakespear Park, Auckland New Zealand includes one black sheep

Black or white, bouncing, bleating, baby lambs make me smile. Despite the chill in the air, this is my favorite time of year to walk in Shakespear Park (A regional park north of Auckland New Zealand). Birthing is just about over and the hills are dotted with happiness. And this year there is a special […]

Wintergardens and Forest Play in Auckland’s Oldest Park

Auckland Domain Wintergardens, Auckland, New Zealand

I have walked by Wintergardens many times as it sits next to the Auckland Museum on the cone of an extinct volcano that is now the Auckland Domain. It’s the oldest park in New Zealand’s largest city and a great spot for forest play. Last week, while my daughter was dressed as a spriggan running […]

Sarah’s Sunday Snapshots #33 – New Zealand Undergrowth

Fungus on a tree, Shakespear Park, New Zealand - Photograph copyright Sarah E. Albom 2015

New Zealand is well known for being a lush, green country, with plenty of interesting endemic flora and gorgeous forests. I’ve been on a few photo shoots over the last several weeks (mainly to Shakespear Park) and I’ve been trying to take photos of some of the undergrowth I’ve found. My favourites are below: Shakespear Park […]

Planting Day Replenishes the Native Bush to Auckland Parks

Planting Day at Shakespear Park in Auckland New Zealand

Planting Day brings out the best of people. The sense of community is one of the things I love about living in New Zealand.  Despite the rainy day, about 90 people planted nearly 4000 trees in Auckland’s Shakespear Park a few weekends ago. For now, I can’t plant, so I came along with a camera. […]

Sarah’s Sunday Snapshots #32 – Shakespear Textures

Fungi in Shakespear Park, Auckland, New Zealand - Photograph copyright Sarah E. Albom 2015

Across the bay from us is Shakespear Park, and my mum and I often go there to take photos. Because I really enjoy taking close up photos, I thought today I would post a few shots of my Shakespear textures and close ups. I took these photos with a Canon 70D, which I am quite enjoying […]

An Eerie Morning Fog over Shakespear Park in Auckland

Eerie morning fog over Shakespear park in Auckland New Zealand

This is the view that greeted me today, an eerie morning fog that gave a painted look to my photos and started my day with a smile. The white dots on some of the hills are sheep: The sun crept through and dramatically changed the view.  The time between the first shot on this page […]

Everyday Differences: Even NZ’s Paddock Fence is Unique

Paddock fence in Shakespear Park, Auckland New Zealand

As I walked by some farm land this morning I was thinking about how a paddock fence really is cultural, constructed differently in every country. In New Zealand they look like this: Walking alongside this fence, you can tell it is all handmade. PS:  This is the same paddock that had the crop circle – […]

Are Ewe Pregnant? Scanning Sheep in New Zealand

Scanning Sheep today - the blue spot means pregnant with a single. At Shakespear Park, New Zealand

It was an unusual start to the day. I was invited out to Shakespear Park where they were scanning nearly 600 ewes (female sheep) in order to determine if they were pregnant with multiples, singles or “empty” (their words, not mine). As they use the same ultrasound equipment that is used on humans in hospitals […]

Urban Parks Tell the Story, Auckland is Clean and Green #AtoZ

Tree in Auckland Domain (Parks in Auckland New Zealand)

New Zealand’s clean green reputation is amplified in Auckland’s urban parks. Unlike places like New York City with one Central Park, Auckland has many mid-sized urban parks. While each has something special, they are always a welcome escape from the city life that surrounds them. Here are photos from four of  my favorite urban parks: […]

Lookout and Enjoy these Views of AmaZing Auckland #AtoZ

View of from the top of the Sky Tower, Auckland New Zealand

Being built on the remnants of 53 volcanoes, Auckland is a city with no shortage of great lookouts and viewing platforms. My favorite is the lookout tower in Shakepsear Park, as it is so close to home. However, for a closer view, I tend to bring  guests to Mt. Victoria or North Head in Devonport.  […]

Hunua Ranges, Hunua Falls and a LARP in the Woods

Hunua Ranges, Auckland, New Zealand

The Hunua Ranges extend beyond the southeast edge of the Auckland region, a direction we don’t generally travel.  However, one of our girls was participating in a LARP event (Live Action Role Play), and I was a photographer/chaperone.  As we passed a sign for “Hunua Falls,” I made a mental note to return as I […]

The Big Reveal of My 2015 A to Z Blogging Challenge Theme

Sunset on an Auckland Beach

Last May I was hiking through one of the Auckland Regional Parks when I came upon something really unusual. Fortunately there was a sign, so I learned that this mystery started with the letter “U”. It was at that moment, nearly a year ago, that I knew my theme for the 2015 A to Z […]

Sarah’s Saturday Snapshots #17 – Tawharanui Tramp

Standing at the edge on our Duke of Ed tramp

Last week for my Duke of Edinburgh Bronze practice ‘adventurous journey‘, I went with a group of seven other teens on a Tawharanui tramp. Tawharanui Regional Park is a peninsula on the east side of New Zealand’s North Island, North of central Auckland. It is one of my favourite parks, and is an awesome place for […]