See & Do

a working farm in the heart of
new zealand’s biggest city.

When Cornwall Park first opened, it leased its land to farmers. The park began operating its own farm in the 1920s, bringing farm life directly into the park. Today there are around 600 sheep, 60 cows and two-full time farmers working the land, and the animals at least double during lambing/calving seasons from July to September. Sheep and cows are often in the eastern and southern areas of the park or in Olive Grove, though they are regularly moved throughout the paddocks. Stop by Huia Lodge Discovery Hub if you need directions to find them. 

Our cows


Our cows are Simmental cattle, a Swiss breed. They are docile but very protective of their calves and known for their sturdy nature, excellent beef and ability to cope with changes in climate. Our cattle are either sold to be breeders or for meat, while some stay with us to replace our mother cows – we pick the cream of the crop in terms of looks, temperament, fertility and mothering ability, and year on year they help us to improve our herd. We have worked hard to breed top-quality cows with good mothering ability and a quiet temperament. As a result, they are in high demand from other farms.

Our white sheep


Our white sheep are all Perendale and Texel cross ewes. Perendale are known for their fine wool, and Texel for their hardiness. Our ewes call Cornwall Park home for about five to six years, before being sold.

Our black sheep


Keep an eye out for our black sheep too! This breed is Gotland Pelt, which originated in Sweden.

Our farmers


Our farm is successful thanks to the hard work and passion of our farmers Peter and Brenton who have been part of the Cornwall Park family for over 10 years. They work 365 days a year to keep the livestock safe. Be sure to give them a wave as you pass by!

Lambing and calving


Lambing starts at the beginning of August and goes through till mid-September, while calving is mid-July to mid-August. During this time we restrict access to the areas of the park where the newborns are being cared for by their mothers. It is during the first few weeks of their lives that these animals are especially vulnerable. Once the newborns are strong enough, they will be moved to more public areas.

Please take care around our animals


We are a working farm and it can be dangerous to get too close to our animals. Please do not try to touch or feed them. New lambs are particularly vulnerable to people and dogs — sudden noises, human touch, dogs sniffing around can result in the lamb going into shock and dying. The mother sheep are also after an instant bond after the birth, and, if interrupted such as through people or dogs, she may just walk away, abandoning the lamb. Mother cows have strong maternal instincts and can be aggressive — they will protect their young from perceived threats such as humans and dogs.

Shearing


We shear twice a year, once in May and once in December. May is just before winter so they have time to grow a little back before it gets too cold, but they eat more when they are cold so this is good for the unborn lambs. A full wool coat over winter would also mean that their core temperature may drop and they could get sick. December is so that they don’t have a full coat in the heat of summer. Shearing is not open for public viewing as our woolshed is quite small. Keep an eye on our What's On section for our behind-the-scenes farm tours.