More info He pārongo atu anōVisit Website
Shakespear Regional Park sits at the easternly tip of the narrow peninsula, home to clifftop views and fabulous inlet beaches. Flop onto a big towel at Army Bay – a popular beach among locals – or hike across farmland and native bush to 360-degree views of the Hauraki Gulf. The ‘Giant Frame’ is quite an Instagrammable spot. If you don’t snap a photo here, were you really at Shakespear at all?
The Ngāti Kahu iwi resided here long before Europeans arrived in the 19th century, with evidence of two Māori pā at Army Bay and Te Haruhi Bay. The edge of the peninsula became a farm following W H Shakespear’s purchase of the 800ha parcel of land in 1889. Later, the farm served as an important defence site during World War II.
If you’re feeling peckish after Shakespear, be sure to call by the Whangaparāoa township for a bite at a café or coffee to fuel your next adventure. For something refreshing, sip a cold one at The Beer Spot or Paraoa Brewing Co, two popular watering holes in the area. Stroll from the town centre on the peaceful Rata Road walkway, which weaves through greenery to Stanmore Bay Beach.
Into fishing? Hook, line and sinker at dawn or dusk around the rocky areas on the southern end of Stanmore Bay. Let the kids cool off at the beach-themed outdoor splash pad at Stanmore Bay Leisure Centre in summer, which has free entry.
If it’s sunny, Big Manley Beach is the place to be. Warm up on the white sand with a novel or cool off in the clear seawater. Paddle along the lapping shoreline on your SUP or try an exhilarating windsurfing lesson from Flying Forwards.
This funny-shaped peninsula makes a stroll from ‘coast to coast’ technically possible in 20-minutes flat. Earn those bragging rights by meandering from Gulf Harbour along a scenic reserve to Fishermans Rock Reserve, aptly named the Coast to Coast walkway. Pop into one of the cute cafés along the way to get your flat-white fix. You'll also pass by the beautiful Whangaparaoa Golf Club, a top spot for anyone keen to hit the green.
In less than 30 minutes, you can be whisked away from the mainland via ferry and explore one of the most incredible conservation projects in the country. Venture through the lush pest-free bush or take a guided tour of Tiritiri Matangi, an island reminiscent of Aotearoa before humans. Be serenaded by native korimako (bellbirds) and keep your eye peeled for rare kōkako, tīeke (saddleback) and even takahē.
Location Te wāhi
Whangaparāoa PeninsulaPlan your route
Getting there Te huarahi ki reira
Whangaparāoa Peninsula takes 35-45 minutes by car from the city centre. Ferries operate from Gulf Harbour to Tiritiri Matangi once a day.
Local tip He tīwhiri mō te rohe
At low tide, stroll from Big Manly Beach to around the cliff edges to Tindalls Bay and beyond.