See & Do

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

Lambing and calving restricted areas

Although an exciting time, our calves and lambs are especially vulnerable during the first few weeks of their lives. To protect them and give them the best chance of survival, we implement restricted areas around the animals from 17 July to 10 September. Once the newborns are strong enough, they will be moved to more public areas.

What does this mean for you?

Some paddocks in the Eastern Areas of the park will be out-of-bounds for dogs during this time - please keep clear of these areas and keep your distance from all animals. There is increased signage in the park during lambing and calving so please take note of any signs as you enter a paddock. Remember that we have many entrances so if you have a dog and cannot enter through your usual entrance there will be another entrance not too far away for you to use during this time. The best viewing area for the public is the Belvedere Steps, just south of the cafe.

For more information on lambing and calving as well as a detailed map see here.

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 a Perendale x Texel breed. Perendale sheep are known for their fine wool and Texel for their hardiness. Each sheep is carefully matched with a ram based on her level of experience – first-time mums are matched with a ram that is known for producing smaller lambs to make for a more uncomplicated pregnancy and birth, and more experienced mums will go with rams that tend to have bigger lambs. Our farmers find out who’s pregnant – and how many babies – in May. 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 rare breed is Gotland Pelt, which originated in Sweden. They are very hardy breeds with good fertility. There are less than 1000 Gotland Pelt sheep in New Zealand, 50 of them are here in Cornwall Park.


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.

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, including no dogs areas, 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.

Our farmers

Our farm is successful thanks to the hard work and passion of our farmers; Peter, Brenton and Zac. They work 365 days a year to keep the livestock safe. Be sure to give them a wave as you pass by!

Our farm dogs

Our farm dogs are some of the hardest workers at Cornwall Park - they run hundreds of kilometres every week! We have two huntaway sheepdogs with loud, deep barks to drive the sheep where they need to go. They belong to a long line (16 generations) of barking dogs. This New Zealand breed is known for being very good at guiding the sheep into the designated paddocks. We also have heading dogs – this breed is really good at gathering the sheep into a tidy group and stopping them from escaping. One of the dogs is a “strong eye” dog – these dogs show the sheep who’s boss just by looking at them! Another is a “plain eye” dog – these dogs are super quick and intelligent.

Please take care around our animals

We are a working farm, and getting too close to our animals can be dangerous. Please do not try to touch or feed them. New lambs are particularly vulnerable to people and dogs — sudden noises, human touch, and dogs sniffing around can make the lamb fall into shock and die. The mother sheep are also after an instant bond after the birth, and, if interrupted such as through people or dogs, she may 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.