Ambury Farm Day is taking a break this year while organisers of the popular family event look to revitalise the format and bring it back better than ever in 2019.
Auckland Council Senior Ranger Bronwen Lehmann says Ambury Farm Day is a well-run and popular event, but it was time to take the opportunity to review the event and ensure it still aligns with the park's outcomes.
“It wasn't a decision we made lightly but we've had some feedback that people would like to see it return to its traditional rural roots and farming themes, and this seemed as good a time as any."
The free Ambury Farm Day, which began in 1988, is the largest council-run event and attracts tens of thousands of visitors. It connects city people with country life by providing Aucklanders from across the region the chance to experience a working farm up close.
However, recent feedback from organisers and two visitor surveys showed that attendees wanted to see more rare animal breeds, displays from handlers and vintage farming machinery.
"We want to take the time to confirm the future direction for this event and to continue building key relationships to ensure the next Ambury Farm Day offers our urban families a true experience of rural New Zealand," says Rachel Kelleher, Auckland Council Manager Regional Parks.
“In the meantime, smaller events will be hosted at both Ambury and other southern regional parks to ensure we still provide communities occasions to enjoy these spaces,” says Rachel.
Keep an eye on our events page for upcoming events at Ambury.
Experience life on the farm
While Ambury Farm Day takes a break, there are still plenty of opportunities to experience life on the farm in Auckland. The council is the largest urban farmer in the region, grazing nearly 1500ha across 19 regional parks.
“There is a growing demand to experience farm settings and have contact with farm animals as the population becomes increasingly urbanised,” says Rachel.
Here are a few farming parks to tick off the list:
Ambury Regional Park
Located on the shores of Manukau Harbour just 15 kilometres from central Auckland, Ambury Regional Park is a working farm, an education centre and a birdwatcher’s paradise. You can see sheep, goats, cows, pigs, lambs (seasonal), chickens, turkey, rabbits and maybe an elusive peacock.
Duder Regional Park
Duder Regional Park is a working farm park located on the pōhutukawa-fringed Whakakaiwhara Peninsula, which cuts out into the Tamaki Strait. Here you will find grazing sheep and cattle.
Ātiu Creek Farm
Ātiu Creek Regional Park, Auckland’s largest farm park with around 340ha of grazing land, is located on the elevated Okahukura (Taporapora) peninsula. It is a working sheep and cattle farm and a great spot to see lambs in the springtime.
Fun fact: Many of the paddocks are named after distinctive features or people who have shaped the development of the farm.
Scandrett Regional Park
Scandrett Regional Park is a compact and scenic farm park offering panoramic views of the Hauraki Gulf and nearby Kawau Island. There are restored heritage features including the late 19th century Scandrett homestead and original farm buildings.
Take a look at our Viewing Farm Animals website for more places around Auckland to see animals.