Shakespear park

Just outside of Auckland, in the Whangaparaoa Peninsula, sits Shakespear Park- a place with roaming green hills, grazing farm animals, and a beautiful crystal blue beach access. When we first arrived, I was so amazed that you can walk amongst the animals free in the paddocks. It really is quite the experience if you’re someone like me who has a love for farms animals but grew up in the city, just keep a friendly distance from the cows and sheep, they don’t mind you walking by for a visit though. 

The beauty of Shakespear park is you can walk as far, wide, and freely as you wish or keep it short and simple by just enjoying the scenery around. There are multiple different routes to take and most are through the fields. They aren’t at all extreme in difficulty but the hills do surprise you with how steep they are once you begin to walk them. We walked along the animals then cut through towards the beach and back up to the top of the farm hills. The perfect place to go just a short drive from the city if you want to stretch your legs outside for a few hours or even just enjoy the peacefulness with a picnic. Make sure you stop at the giant picture frame at the top to show just how picture-perfect the scenery around is!

Kaiate falls hike

Kaiate falls is located approx. 30 mins outside of Tauranga. There are multiple paths and trails to choose from to take you to the tip-top or the very bottom of the multiple waterfalls, so no need to chase them! If you choose to go to the bottom on a hot day, bring your swimsuit (aka “togs”) and take a dip in the swimming hole! It is quite a short and easy walk for the most part, we hung out among the bridge and rocks halfway through soaking up the sun. However, the trail was pretty worn down, uneven and slippery when we visited. So if you need a bit more stability on a hike maybe skip this one, or do it with caution as some trails are easier than others. The car park is a bit small so I imagine it gets filled quickly on a nice summer day. At the top next to the car park are some picnic benches and a grass area if you’re looking for a picnic spot, I know I always am!

Mount Maunganui Base Track Walk

Mount Maunganui is located in Tauranga and can be hiked to the top of, or walked around the base of the mount if you’re looking for an easier walk. We took our time as we were admiring the beautiful coastal views around every corner and took advantage of all the scenic benches along the track. It took about 45 mins to do, but we saw lots of people running or power walking their way around, so it can definitely be done in less if you’re crunched for time. Perfect for families as it is stroller (aka “pram”) friendly, just keep an eye on your little ones as it is a steep drop off the pathway and some areas of the track can be a little narrow if it is busy. Bring a picnic and enjoy the view at the end if you’d like, or head to the shops after for a nice lunch along the beach; the mount is a great place to go if you’re looking for just a quick walk to get you moving and close to town so you can continue on with your day after.