About this park
Shakespear is New Zealand’s most visited and accessible open sanctuary integrating conservation, recreation and farming. Pest free habitat provides a safe home for threatened native wildlife.
To help keep Shakespear free of pests, please check your vehicle and belongings for stowaway pests before you visit. Dogs are prohibited in the open sanctuary at all times. To volunteer or find out more visit Shakespear Open Sanctuary Society.
||Open 24 hours
|Summer gate opening hours
6:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.
|Winter gate opening hours
6:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.
(Non daylight savings)
How to get to Shakespear
From Auckland, head north on the northern motorway (State Highway 1) and take the Silverdale off-ramp. Drive through Silverdale and turn right onto Whangaparaoa Road. Follow the brown Twin Coast signs to the end of the Peninsula.
View larger map
Distance from Auckland CBD
Public transport information
There is also a daily bus service to and from Shakespear. Buses run daily from Downtown Auckland to the Park entrance 09 366 6400.
People have visited and lived at Shakespear on and off for about 1000 years. The Ngāti Kahu iwi occupied the Whangaparāoa Peninsula before European settlers arrived in the 1820s. Archaeological surveys show two main living sites – at Army Bay and Te Haruhi Bay.
Mr W H Shakespear purchased 800ha at the tip of the peninsula in 1883. In 1910 the Shakespear family built a homestead (now the YMCA Lodge) overlooking Te Haruhi Bay on ground that retains evidence of a Māori pā. During World War II the army acquired 130ha of the northeastern tip of the peninsula.
The end of the peninsula was an important defence site during the war. The army constructed a range of defences including 11 pillboxes, searchlights, electrified barbed wire entanglements and an anti-tank ditch.
These remains are highlighted on the Heritage Trail. The Ministry of Defence continues to use the adjacent land.
The ARC purchased the area known as Shakespear Regional Park in 1967 from the Shakespear family.