As I look at the hills dotted with baby lambs, I know why springtime in New Zealand is my favourite time of year. A modern country, New Zealand still has the highest density of sheep per unit area in the world. We have significantly more sheep than people.
In fact, in 2022 the country is home to nearly 5.1 million people and 26 million sheep. The most popular breed of sheep is Corriedale.
Historically, springtime in New Zealand is lambing season. I am not sure why Shakespear Park breeds a bit early. On any given early spring day, if it’s not raining, you can find me up in the hills with my camera. Here are my two best shots from the start of this season, plus some baby lamb highlights from past years:
Random Fact: Did you know that lambs and sheep only have lower teeth, and are without upper teeth.
Getting to know Shakespear Park
More information on baby lambs and New Zealand sheep farming
- Aside from being adorable, sheep are vital to New Zealand’s economy. From the mid-1800s to 1987, sheep farming was New Zealand’s most important agricultural industry. Today, dairy farming is number one.
- Most of the photos on this page are from Shakespear Regional Park. It is one of several Auckland Regional Parks that has a sheep breeding and farming program. Shakespear Park is an open bird sanctuary, recently celebrating five years predator-free. It is the only mainland home to the little spotted kiwi birds that were released in the park a few months ago.
- It is generally safe to walk through a paddock of sheep, however, watch for “do not enter signs” in some areas during lambing season. If you are allowed entry, remember not to disturb the lambs.
- If you are visiting Shakespear or any park with baby lambs, please remember mothers and babies are bonding. It’s important to leave these new families be. Never hassle them. If frightened, lambs will run away from mum, risking hypothermia or starvation. Don’t go between ewes and their babies, and NEVER pick up baby animals.
More photos of frolicking adorable baby lambs
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Here are a few more baby lambs at play. The first four with my Olympus OM-D Em5 and the last one on my iPhone.
- You will find Shakespear Park at the end of the Whangaparaoa Peninsula, north of Auckland, about 50 km outside Auckland’s city centre in New Zealand.
- If you have a car, you can easily drive here from Auckland city. Or, you can take a public bus directly to the park from the city.
- There is a ferry that runs from Auckland to Gulf Harbour, but getting to the park from the marina would be a several-kilometre walk.
- There are a number of lodging options on the Whangaparaoa Peninsula. Check for the best Whangaparaoa accommodation prices at Booking.com.
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Do you wish you could take one of these adorable baby lambs home (just for a day)? Is springtime in New Zealand your favourite season?
More from Shakespear Park and nearby that you might like…
- A WWII Ship Degaussing Station in Shakespear Park
- Little Spotted Kiwi Birds Return to Shakespear Regional Park in Auckland
- Glow Worms at Waterfall Gully in Shakespear Park – An Easy Night Walk
- 75 Free and Nearly Free Things to Do in Auckland New Zealand
- Orewa Beach: See Why This Local’s Paradise is an Auckland Getaway
Those baby lambs are adorable!
Suzette | TrySomethingFun.com
Goodness, just adorable! Your photo of the pair running down the hill together is too much!! Thanks for sharing. Added to my list of reasons to visit NZ 🙂
It was even cuter to see live. They are just adorable.
OMGosh they are so adorable! I’ll have to visit and cuddle with one!
No cuddling, touch with eyes only.
I was just in Waiheke New Zealand last week! I should have focused on baby lambs. They are adorable!
Waiheke Island is quite close to us, in fact, I can see it out my window.
OMG! the lambs are so cute. I wish I could pack them in my bag and run away. Love New Zealand and its lambs 🙂
Ah, but they grow up quick. In a few months they will be the same size as their mamas, then what will you do with them?
This is soooo cute and lovely, I can’t remember seeing that many sheeps in my life. They look so adorable. And Im amazed to know that there are 28m sheeps in new zealand thats so cool! Hopefully, I will visit this beautiful country soon!
This is only a tiny number of sheep compared to what you would see if you went to the South Island. New Zealand is wonderful. I hope you do get here.
What cuties! We live in Texas; for us it’s cattle. We have lots of cute little calves romping through the fields every spring. Shakespeare Regional seems like quite the park! Not sure when we’ll make it to NZ, but that’s looking like someplace we’d really want to spend some time at.
We have calves around too, just not near where I live. For me, it’s the fluffy white wool that makes the sheep so cute. Shakespear Park is right out my door, so we go there often.
Aawww, the baby lambs are sooo adorable! I’d probably take loads of photos of them when i see them – one can never get tired of cute lambs 🙂
I am with you on this one. I take hundreds of photos every lambing season.
Such beautiful photos Rhonda! We’ve just moved to Tas, kind of across the road from NZ if you like, and because we’re based rurally, all of the neighbors seem to have new baby lambs! There’s even a black lamb who appeared a few days ago in the paddock next to our backyard, so it made me smile to se a little black lamb in your photos too! It baffles me though lol because we’re not quite at spring yet, though there are so many babies … hopefully it means the nicer weather is also coming early this year!
Sorry to break the bad news, but the lambs come based on the when the farmers want them to arrive. The boys and girls are only together for a few days a year. I don’t know the gestation, but the farmers do.
Adorable! Every single last one!
Paul F. Pietrangelo
Oh how cute these lambs are. It’s amazing how I enjoy eating lamb with these cute animals. Oh well, they taste wonderful with some mint on the side. Sorry about that Rhonda. I just got back from my tests and I’m really hungry. See ya my friend.
I try not to think about food when I see them, but in truth, most of them will be Christmas dinner.
Jim ~ ReflectionsEnroute
Those lambs are just too darn cute! I don’t know what it is about sheep, they are just so photogenic!
It’s the fluffy wool. I think.
I’m often asked what I miss most about New Zealand and I resist saying the sheep, too much stereotyping but honestly the vivid green of our NZ pastures and the baby animals in springtime, even within the city areas like One Tree Hill and Ambury Park are such a special part of being home. We always make sure we add a couple of the Regional Parks into the mix even on a quick trip back.
It is a bit of stereotype, but so true. The lambs make New Zealand so special this time of year.
karla | Karlaroundtheworld
We dont see lambs where I am from. The lambs are so adorable! Ahhh too cute. I want to be see them too.
I think New Zealand is pretty well known for them. It’s almost too cliche to blog about every year.
The lambs are so adorable! It would take every ounce of restraint not to want to cuddle one of these cuties!
The mama sheep would be baaing at you quite a bit if you got too close.
When I use to drive along the matakana valley road from tawharanui to mangawhai I use to see baby sheep all the time especially on the whangaripo valley road in farms etc.
What a lovely drive that is, and in lambing season it would be even better. Don’t you see them anymore?
Bryna | Dotted Line Travels
My goodness, they are so cute! I love the picture of the twin lambs – so adorable!
Twin lambs always make me smile twice as big as single lambs.
annette @ A French Collection
Honestly, there will be nothing sweeter that I see all day now than your photos. I skied at Mount Hutt more than 20 years ago now and remember driving through the countryside and seeing all the sheep against the deep green grass. It was a spectacular sight! #wkendtravelinspiration
Birgit | Groove Is In The Heart
They are soooo adorable! I would love to spend a few hours in the park with these cuties.
It’s an easy place to spend time. But you do have to keep your distance, so as not to disturb them.
28 million sheep! That’s a stunning number. But, oh how adorable they are! I love the photo where the 2 lambs are running and playing side by side. And, who knew they only have lower teeth?? So interesting! Thanks for sharing the cuteness.
My daughter was very disappointed to discover that adult sheep look nothing their cartoon counterparts, are not that cute, and smell terrible. These ae awfully cute though, and woolly. And if they do smell a little like wet wool, that doesn’t come through the photos…luckily!
Tell your daughter I was disappointed too when I made that discovery. And, when we leave our windows open in the rain, our house smells like wet sheep.
How cute! I went to NZ in the height of Winter so I’d love to go back at Spring.
Technically, there is another 17 days of winter right now.
Ruth | Tanama Tales
I am screeching after seeing these photos! These lambs are so, so cute. You got them with their tongues out, “kissing” and jumping. Lon live the sheep! #wkendtravelinspiration
I brought a group of 5-6-year-old girls to the park last week to see the lambs. I’ll bet they made the same sound.
Michelle | michwanderlust
I love the fact that NZ has more sheep than people. I think more countries could do with more animals than people! Maybe the environment would be better-off… And baby lambs are so adorable! Thanks for sharing, Rhonda.
We also have more cows and more deer than people, plus more of a few pest animals.
Too cute! Spending time with lambs would be my dream day. I’ll have to make a note to visit during Springtime.
Actually, if want to see the total cuteness, you might want to come late winter. That’s what it is now, the spring lambs are early.
Oh, Rhonda, you are so lucky to be able to get so close to these cute lambs! I’d love to cuddle with them (please don’t laugh at me!). Your pictures are so beautiful and they capture so well that peaceful atmosphere. Absolutely adorable!
I can walk to this paddock from my house in about 20 minutes. I love roaming the fields this time of year.
Kirstie @ Venga, Vale, Vamos
Oh my gahhh they’re so adorable!
I know. That’s why I spend so much time in the park this time of year.
Marcella ~ WhatAWonderfulWorld
Aww! So so cute. I love these photos – you captured the cuteness so well! 😀
It’s hard not to capture their cuteness 🙂
These baby lambs are adorable! You really captured their playfulness. I’ve never really been around sheep, maybe when I was a child at a petting zoo or something of that nature. I didn’t realize that lambs had such shaggy looking legs. Very cute!
I was never around sheep until I moved to New Zealand. In fact, when we first arrived I wasn’t even sure if it was safe to walk in the paddock with them.
Sam | Away She Went
Those baby lambs are SO cute! Your pictures are great. I can’t believe how many are looking at the camera. And some of the faces they are making!
My secret is patience. If I stand quietly long enough, they eventually look up at me and I get the shot.
baby lambs are so cute!! We also have them on walking distance from home and the kids love to watch them 🙂
I took 20 little girls (5-6 years old) to see them yesterday. It was adorable.
Come and visit me in the springtime, and you can see them live.
When my daughter was young lambs were her favorite animal. I still remember her wailing “How could you!?” and bolting from the dinner table in tears when I served lamb chops one evening. Oops.
We have a vegetarian in the family also. I can imagine the scene you describe.
Sooo cute! Baby lambs are much more attractive than the brown-ish landscape hues they take on after being out in the pasture for awhile! In Australia, I swear the sheep just blend into the dry landscape sometimes!
New Zealand is very lush and green in the springtime from the rains. It does make a great contrast.
Super cute! I love little lambs and that is definitely a lot of them!
Springtime in the park is adorable.
Lyn aka The Travelling Lindfields
I want one! Not just for a day, I want to keep it, at least until it isn’t a cute little lamb anymore – lol.
Sadly, that happens quite quickly. In just a few months they are adult size.
OMG, how absolutely adorable! The cutest things on 4 legs i’ve ever seen!!
They are even cuter when they bounce.
Ahhhh, I love baby animals! These are so adorable I don’t know how anyone could stand to not fall to the ground in tears around them. Ugh. So adorable.
Living in New Zealand sounds amazing. I would love to go there one day soon.
Falling to the ground is a bit dangerous with all those sheep in the fields, you will probably land in something not so nice.
Can they be any cuter??!! My mom was a shepherdess as a girl, and absolutely loved sitting under a tree, reading a book, watching the sheep. Lambing season was the best. She got to name them all. But when that big truck came, she was so distraught. She had to convince herself that they were only
being shipped off to be shorn. She is now a vegetarian.
My daughter is a vegetarian. It didn’t take as much to get here there.
J E Oneil
Eeeeeeek! So cute! I am definitely envious of New Zealand right now. Yes, I absolutely want to take one home. Maybe two or three.
LOL – It’s only like this in the springtime
Lambs are so adorable, especially when they go charging round the field and play king of the castle with any slightly raised area. My aunt used to have a sheep farm, although it wasn’t really a commercial concern. Spring was always a bit mad, as was dipping season.
I agree, I can sit for hours and watch the babies bouncing around.
That’s a lovely photo. And really? More sheep than people? _Didn’t knwo that.
Over 6 to 1
I love the baby lambs.
Amila @ Leisure and Me
Awww….They are so cute and adorable…
Very sweet! We’ve got loads of lambs in the UK now too.
Acutally, I took this one in the springtime. It’s autumn here in the Southern Hemisphere.
In the early 90’s I played rugby with a Kiwi universally known as Sheep. I knew him ten years before I knew his real name. Good luck with the challenge and the book launch.
I guess that’s the name you get when you come from a country with 6 times as many sheep as people.
Yes, I do wish I could take one of those cuties home! I love that you gave interesting facts about the sheep population in New Zealand. I’m always up for learning new tidbits of information.
They are adorable aren’t they. I love to watch them run and jump. They can be ever so happy.
There is nothing cuter than the bouncing/jumping lambs.
L. Diane Wolfe
Aww… Yes I do wish I could take one of those home, but I know that would be wrong and would probably freak out the cats.
I would never take one home either, but I sure want to – but only when they are cute and little like this.
Jessica @ Independent Travel Cats
So adorable! We now live in Scotland, which is very well known for sheep and we have been very excited waiting for the baby lambs. The sheep next to us have not yet started having little ones, but when we drove South we say lots of newborn sheep. Love seeing all the baby animals arrive in Spring:)
We loved Scotland, and yes, it reminded us quite a bit of New Zealand. We were lucky and had a week of fabulous weather.
Now I feel guilty about eating lamb. Gorgeous pictures. No wonder it’s used as a setting for so many films.
Don’t feel guilty, these will be somebody’s Christmas dinner.
I love them, I wanted to attach a photo of me as a child feeding them in comment 😀
That’s okay, I can picture it, with a big smile across your kid face.
Yes, I would want one (for a day). They’re adorable!
A day would be enough – they grow up super quick and loose that adorable bouncy baby lamb feature that makes us want to hug them.
Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor
How quintessentially Kiwi! Lambs are always so adorable. Whenever I see one, I always want to wrap it up, put a pink ribbon around its neck and take it home with me.
I think I’d prefer to leave them with the mothers. Don’t know enough to feel confident about parenting baby lambs. Your pics are simply beautiful. Thanks for sharing.
I would never suggest really taking them from their mamas. It was more of a fantasy take home.
Awww… Cutest little fuzzy things ever! <3
Everyone loves a baby and lambs are certainly no exception. Mary, my namesake, even had one that followed her to school one day. I hear his fleece was as white as snow. At least that’s what has been said for decades.
LOL Mary, I know your poem. (I love your comment, it made me smile).
I didn’t know that about New Zealand and yes those babies are too cute!
Glad I am sharing new information. Makes it more worthwhile.
Those baby lambs are adorable! When my husband would get upset about things going on in our country, he’d often suggest we move to New Zealand and raise sheep. I think we would have had way too much competition. 🙂
We are American expats, so we understand.
Well cool, almost everyone gets his own sheep!
LOL – Andy, actually there are enough for us each to have 6.
This is way too cute! I reckon all my kids would like 6 sheep of their own 🙂
LOL – they grow up quickly, and aren’t quite so cute anymore.