Shakespear Park

In which Miles visits Shakespear Regional Park, decides to wait for better weather, and returns to walk the Tiri Tiri Track.

There is a gallery of 39 pictures below.  To view them on imgur, click here.

The weather has turned in New Zealand, and rain, cold and wind are the norm.  It’s late spring, but people switched from saying “winter is coming” to “winter is here” a few weeks ago.

The weather site offered just enough room for optimism.  I made the drive to Shakespear Park, and enjoyed some time in the sun, and some time dodging brief but heavy showers.  I spent some time on the beach at Te Haruhi Bay, and looked over the maps at the information center, but didn’t go further.  The sun may shine and the sky may a lot of blue, but a good look across the gulf would reveal rain out on the water, and on the move.  It got very cold and wet with little notice.

It was a good day for rainbows.

Te Haruhi Bay
Te Haruhi Bay

Shakespear Regional Park is an open sanctuary.  There is a predator-proof fence across the neck of the peninsula to keep out pests that would prey on native plants and animals that have been successfully reintroduced to the park.  The fence opens and closes automatically for cars, and at the press of a button for pedestrians and cyclists.  The park is now free of stoats, rats, wild cats, possums, hedgehogs and ferrets, and is home to the endangered dotterel, which are breeding successfully, and to brown teal (pateke), banded rail, red-crowned parakeet (kakariki), kaka, seabirds, and six species of skinks and geckos.

Peacocks greeted me near the information center.  They acted like they expected me to feed them.

Peacocks
Peacocks

I think I saw some dotterels on my shorter visit, but I didn’t have good zoom available at the time.  I spoke with a couple who recommended Tawharanui Regional Park for bird watching, and then later with a woman who recommended the same.  This helped me decide on a plan for the next day.

The weather site predicted a break in the rain in the middle of the week, and this time it didn’t let me down.  With a little creative rearranging of my schedule, I was able to get several days in a row in the sun.  On the first sunny day I returned to Shakespear Park to walk the Tiri Tiri Track.

Shakespear Park is at the tip of the Whangaparaoa Peninsula, and the Tiri Tiri Track offers great beach and cliff-top views of the Hauraki Gulf, Tiritiri Matangi Island, Rangitoto Island – and on a clear day many other Hauraki Gulf islands and even the Coromandel Peninsula – and the city of Auckland and the always recognizable Sky Tower.  There is some bush, with some kauri I’m told, and lots of green pastures and sheep.

In the picture below you can see, moving left to right from Little Barrier Island half-hiding behind the ridge on the left, Tiritiri Matangi Island, another open sanctuary from which various birds come to Shakespear Park, Great Barrier Island behind Tiritiri Matangi, the Coromandel Peninsula, Waiheke Island, and Rangitoto Island.  You’ll need to zoom in, at which point you’ll see some panorama stitching artifacts that I didn’t bother to fix.

Tiri Tiri Track
Tiri Tiri Track

I’d like to see the Pink Beach.  Unfortunately it seems to be underwater during high-tide.

Pink Beach
Pink Beach

The name of this track gave me pause.  This is the gate at the bottom end of the trail, with a twin at the top.  I was already not liking the look of the steep path behind that first gate, and the name wasn’t helping.  It was clear that it lead to Te Haruhi Bay, and there was no other way forward from where the Tiri Tiri Track had led me.  It grass was wet and the ground was muddy.  My feet slid out from under me twice on the way down.

Accident
Accident

If I recall correctly, Shakespeak Park has some different looks from what I saw last week.  I believe I’ll look back on my 2014 visit.  Should share some photos with you here?

Visit the Auckland Council website for more info on Shakespear Regional Park.

There is a gallery of 39 pictures below.  To view them on imgur, click here.