Sunday, November 24, 2013

Shakespear Regional Park, North Island

A perfect weekend getaway in summer would be the Shakespear Regional Park, 40 minutes away from Auckland city. It is a peninsular which now boasts of an Open Sanctuary. Gates are open from 6am to 9pm and there are options for camping onsite as well but you do need to book apriori if planning to camp. There is also the YMCA lodge where you could get to stay for the night. However, for an unplaned weekend, this is a good option when you decide an outing on an impulse.

The Shakespear Regional Park is now maintained by the Auckland City Council and is free to enter as well has ample parking space. One could go swimming, fishing, paddle boating, canoeing, kayaking, paragliding, boating, sailing, hiking, mountain biking or picnicing. The park has 3 walking trails to boast of which are graded "Easy".

  • Lookout Trail - 1 hour return  - 2.5kms
  • Heritage Trail - 2 hours return - 3.9 kms
  • TiriTiri Trail - 2 hours return - 4.8kms
If you have a few hours to spare there, do the lookout trail which has a breathtaking 360 degree view. If you have half a day, you could opt for 2 trails or you could do one trail and picnic there. For a full day there, you could end the day with a walk to explore the glow worms display at The Waterfall Gully which is closeby.

We went there for half a day and did one trail - the TiriTiri trail. It shares a part of the Lookout trail so you get the good views too. It goes through beach, grassy meadows and native forest. 

What to wear :
If doing the TiriTiri trail try to avoid shorts as you will walk through the native forest with a few thorny bushes. 
The sun can be harsh so wear a thin cotton full sleeves top. 
Don't forget to apply enough sunscreen.

What to carry:
Food is not available there so please do carry your trek/picnic grub. 
Beach mat
A water bottle
A rubbish bag as you have to take back all your rubbish

Be careful about the rocky beach/sea floor which can easily cut while you head out ot swim.