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Timings : 7:00 AM to 6:00 PM

Time Required : 2 - 3 hours

Cornwall Park, Auckland Overview

Spread over 425 acres, the Cornwall Park is symbolic of New Zealand’s history, flora, fauna and farm culture. It’s located in the heart of Auckland and offers a wide array of activities. One can go for a casual stroll with loved ones in the lush green surroundings of the trails and then enjoy a cup of coffee or a meal from its eateries, get together with friends and family over barbeque, exploring the cattle in the farm and other horticulture activities. From visiting the historic Acacia cottage built in the 1800s to playing sports in the clubs - this place is a popular spot for all age groups with varied interests. Exercising, doing yoga while basking in stillness and connecting to Mother Nature with birds chirping in the background is nothing short of eternal bliss.

Maungakiekie or the One Tree Hill is the epicentre of the Cornwall Park. It stands for friendship and unity between Maori and the non-Maori settlers, known as the Pakeha in the Maori dialect. Sir John Logan Campbell, donated the land that Cornwall Park is built on to a private trust that would ensure the land would only be used for the public's enjoyment. He is buried beneath the obelisk that was built to signify friendship between the Maori and the European settlers. 

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History of Cornwall Park

The Cornwall Park was gifted to the people of New Zealand by Sir John Logan Campbell in 1901. He was a businessman and a humanitarian who had bought this land (earlier known as Mount Prospect Estate, then renamed One Tree Hill) along with his business partner William Brown in 1853. He was one of the first settlers and was well respected for his efforts in establishing Maori - Pakeha relations. A trust was established by him to maintain the park and also gave attached land to keep it financially sound. The Cornwall Park Trust Board aims to sustainably keep up the ecology, heritage, culture and values that the park stands for. The land was renamed as 'Cornwall Park' in 1901 to honour the visit of the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and York who were both on a tour of New Zealand at the time.

Nature Around Cornwall Park

The Cornwall Park is majestic in all true sense with as many as 350 species and 8000 trees spread all over that add to the beauty and aesthetic appeal of the park. Strong yet nurturing, the trees provide shade and support various life forms the majority of which are indigenous to New Zealand. There are trees which are season specific while others grow around the year ensuring a good cover always. Since some trees reach their maturity and cannot survive, they are replaced by approximately by planting 80-100 trees every year to maintain balance. The park is well kept and groomed by expert arborists to ensure healthy tree growth and safety of others. 

Activities at Cornwall Park

  • Bird spotting - Given the number of trees, the park is home to more than 30 species of beautiful birds that nestle on them. Few birds are found in a particular season and others are spotted throughout the year. Birds of all sizes and hues adorn the skies, the branches of the trees and chirp merrily in coexistence. This makes bird sighting all the more delightful. One can easily find Tui, Paradise Shelducks, Pipiwharauroa, Californian Quail, Pheasant, Wood Pigeon and Fantail. One can contact Huia Lodge Information Centre for further details.
  • Farming - Farming operations commenced in the Cornwall Park in the 1920s with 600 sheep, 60 cows and 2 full-time farmers. The lambing and calving season is when the lambs and calves are born starting from 17 July to 10 September during which people and dogs are restricted to go to the eastern side (the paddocks) of the park where newborns, sheep and cows are taken care of. The newborns are taken out once they are mature. This step ensures the survival of the sheep and cows who are extremely vulnerable at that time. However, the Belvedere Steps to the south of the cafe can be considered as an option.
  • Gardens and discovery - The gardens are another attraction in the park that are curated by expert horticulturists and changed monthly. The nursery here is an enticing option for all those who have a flair for gardening. The Huia Lodge Discovery Hub highlights the heritage of the park as it was home to the caretakers and their families. Now it extends help in finding exploration worthy spots in the park. Also, one can a for a walk or a jog across One tree Domain or go in for their seasonal trail suggestions. Barbequing in Grand Drive Gas BBQs, Native Arboretum Gas BBQs, Wooden BBQs are great options for a picnic.
  • Acacia Cottage -  Right across Huia Lodge which can be enjoyed from 7:00 AM till dusk is a treat to all those who are charmed by wooden architecture and all things vintage. This is Auckland’s oldest surviving wooden building was built by Sir John Logan Campbell along with his business partner William Brown.
  • Sports and other events - What is a park without excitement and sports? The Cornwall Park is chockablock with people playing in Auckland Rugby Club, Auckland Joggers Club, Carlton Cornwall Bowls, Carlton Cricket Club, Grammar TEC Carlton Rugby Football Club and The Campbell Park Tennis Club. One can, always bring their own equipment or own board games. Throughout the year, especially in summer months, the park is abuzz with a deluge of activities and events that keep taking places. However, these are for students and the public in general - not meant for commercial use (you can organise one too). 

Food at Cornwall Park

  • The Bistro is a smart casual dining place located at Michael Horton Drive, Cornwall Park. (Monday to Friday - 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM, weekends - 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM)
  • High Tea available 7 days a week from 2:00 PM. High tea bookings need 48-hour prior notice. The Cafe offers dine-in and takeaway, no reservations are done. (Monday to Sunday - 7:30 AM to 4:30 PM) December to March, the cafe closes at 5:00 PM.
  • The Creamery is attached to the Bistro, open 7 days a week. (8:00 AM to 5:00 PM and later on the weekends)

Facilities at the Park

  • The park is a secure place for all and undertakes all necessary steps for safety and well being of others.
  • Defibrillators are installed, in case of dangerous cardiac problems.
  • The public toilets spanning across the park are neat and clean.
  • There are proper amenities for the disabled.
  • Arrangement of adequate water fountains to quench the thirst has been made.
  • Enormous parking space available.

Tips

  • Don’t touch the sheep and cattle.
  • BBQ on the first come first serve basis. Gas and wood provided. Bring something to light it yourself. You can bring your own portable gas BBQ (no charcoal or wood). The BBQ must be on legs and away from trees. Clean the area after using.
  • Huia Lodge Discovery Hub is open 7 days (10 AM to 4 PM). However, it remains closed on Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Years and a day after New Years.
  • No drones allowed. No commercial filming without prior permission.
  • Dogs must be leashed and other instructions for pets must be followed.
  • No weapons or intoxication or betting is allowed.
  • Don’t pluck or uproot plants. Don’t damage/destroy the park property.
  • Prior booking is required for any activity above 30 people.
  • No commercial food trucks or tour buses allowed. Buses must obtain a prior permission to drive in the park.

How To Reach Cornwall Park

  • By car, one can come from Green Lane West, Manukau Road, Market Road and Campbell Road. Car parking is free.
  • On foot or by bike, the preferable route is through main roads or access points from the neighbourhood. Bike parking is free.
  • By train, Greenlane is the closest station, approximately a 15-minute walk along Green Lane West and Remuera road which is a 10-minute walk along Market Road to Puriri Drive Entrance.
  • There is no direct bus route. However, they commute along Green South Road, Green Lane West and Manukau Road.

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