At the tip of the Whangaparaoa Peninsula, Shakespear Regional Park has sheltered bays, wetlands, regenerating native forest, cliffs, historic places and a lookout with views second to none. It offers nice walks and beaches and is an easy 50 minutes drive from the Harbour Bridge.

Visit the Auckland Council website for more information about the Park.

The Park is an easy 50 minutes drive North of the Harbour Bridge. For driving directions use the Google map below.

Automatic vehicle gate

There is plenty of parking at each of the beach areas. To drive into the main part of the park you must pass through the vehicle gate in the fence. If you drive up slowly it will open automatically. Note that after 7pm (9pm in summer) you can drive out but not enter. PETS ARE PROHIBITED inside the sanctuary fence!

For public transport use the Auckland Transport travel planner. Buses and the ferry/bus option will deliver you to Army Bay, which is also close to the start of Waterfall Gully.

For pedestrians there are gates in the fence at the Water Gully carpark, next to the vehicle gate and at the Okoromai Bay end of the fence.

For access hours please see the Auckland Council page for Shakespear.

For some clues about where and when to best look for wildlife, consult our wildlife calendar below

The Pohutukawa are in flower so watch for bellbirds moving through them, especially in Okoromai Bay.
Look for Kereru feeding on cabbage tree fruit.

All the cicada species in the park (about 8 species) are now singing. The loud chorus cicada will be winding up to its peak volume.

Walk in to the Waterfall Gully glow-worms while the evenings are warm. You may also hear the cricket-like sound of newly fledged moreporks calling their parents.

Through spring and summer Cook’s Petrels can be heard flying over Whangaparaoa Peninsula each night on their way to Little Barrier Island so listen for these during the evening.

The chorus cicada, Amphipsalta zealandica, will be very loud in Waterfall Gully.

Life quietens down in the autumn. Breeding is over for birds and insect life winding down. It’s a nice time for walking though as summer’s heat has passed so explore the park and enjoy the expansive views.

Thrush song begins and continues through to December.

Cutora, the last of the summer cicadas are now finishing for the season.

Large flocks of introduced birds such as starlings and finches can be seen in the park’s open country.

NZ pigeon are often seen in kowhai trees through winter eating kowhai leaves as there is little fruit available for them. Blackbird song begins and will continue through to January.

Karo is flowering providing nectar for tui and bellbird till kowhai flowering starts.

Paradise shelduck are nesting Aug/Sept.
Brown teal nest in the park and young seen through to about October.

From August through to January or later listen for skylarks singing in the open pasture land. Skylarks sing continuously high in the air and are often not visible.

A small number of whitebait enter the wetland at Okoromai Bay and can be seen swimming upstream. Glass eels return to our streams at this time also.

Kowhai starts flowering later in the month attracting large numbers of tui and bellbirds. At the same time look for the white flowers of clematis on the bush margins.

Kereru nest mainly between September and February- watch for their breeding display involving soaring up into the air then stalling and diving earthward.

Copper butterflies seen in rough bush margin areas through to January.

Pukeko, spur-winged plover and pied stilt chicks sometimes seen around the Okoromai saltmarsh and wetland areas.

Shining cuckoo are again in the park having returned from overwintering in the tropical western pacific. They migrate north again in March.

Rewarewa are flowering and tui are busily feeding on their nectar.

Shoveler nesting through Oct/Nov

Cicadas starting to emerge and begin their summer song.

Flax will be in flower so watch for tui and bellbirds with orange heads, a tell-tale sign that they have been feeding on flax nectar.

Pohutukawa are coming into flower later in the month, also attracting tui and bellbird with nectar.

Kanuka (the other NZ Xmas tree) are covered in white flower.

NZ dotterel and variable oystercatcher are nesting on Te Haruhi Bay above the high tide line so give them space.

Cabbage trees are flowering.

Pohutukawa are at their best.

This is a good month to look at the glow-worms up Waterfall Gully. They are particularly good at the waterfall, only a 5-10 minute walk from the carpark.

Shakespear has three beaches, several walks, large picnic areas and a campground. For more information download the park map and for camp bookings go here.

SOSSI has developed a Junior Ranger booklet to keep the kids busy and build their interest in conservation. SOSSI has also produced Shakespear Explorer, a phone app which guides you on two selected walks, one of which is especially for children.

We are happy to provide guided tours of the Sanctuary or give talks about it to schools and groups, and we can also suggest suitable educational activities for school groups. Please click here for more information, and here for a poster for your notice-board.

We do appreciate reasonable notice, especially in the peak time over summer. We’d also appreciate a donation – we think $2 pp is about right. We’re a registered charity and will send a tax receipt. Thanks!

Please book by completing the form below, and then clicking the button.