Alison & Ted Roberts 1970
Alison feeding Tammy 1969


2018 plaque at the donkey enclosure


The patter of tiny hooves is being heard around Highfield Reserve again.

Donkey foalToby – born 22nd Jan 2015 – and he looks just like his dad – Teddy!
Congratulations to proud mum Truffle.

Toby – and the proud grandad.



Highfield Garden Reserve & Donkeys:

Donkeys living at Highfield Garden Reserve began Nov 1969, with the arrival of Tilly, purchased by owners of the land, Ted & Alison Roberts. The donkeys were to carry loads for their farm/gardening projects, as well they would be an interest for the visiting youngsters along with keeping the grass under control.    Donkeys are social animals and Tilly was soon followed Toby.  The donkey’s names all begin with a T, acknowledging Ted whose inspiration they were.

 When the land at Highfield was gifted to the people of NZ, Alison continued to look after the donkeys. After her death and with the blessing of the Roberts family our local community formed an Incorporated Society to take ownership of the donkeys and a new era began.

 The amalgamation of Rodney Council to Auckland City meant new systems had to be organised.  Negotiations began between the Council and the Society re the welfare and responsibilities of the donkeys, bearing in mind the gift of Highfield land along with aspirations of Ted and Alison that the donkeys would remain at Highfield   A Memorandum of Understanding between the Council and the Community was negotiated and signed on 23rd January 2014.   Local Board Member Steve Garner and Peter Couling Chairman of Highfield Donkey Incorporated Society both signed the historic document.

 With Community support and help from Auckland Council, the donkeys at Highfield will continue to roam as in the dream of old.   The donkeys enjoy offerings of carrots, apples and silverbeet as treats.   The Community is encouraged to enjoy the Reserve and the donkeys, but are reminded that the donkeys are wild animals and must be respected and care must be taken particularly with small children.

 Donkey Inc membership is $10 per annum and volunteers are always welcome.  Ph: Peter Caccia-Birch 425 6640.

 You can access the Highfield Garden Reserve either from the the main road (signposted) or from the Algies Bay beach front car park on Gordon Craig Place.  From the beach, you’ll head north along the coastline following the markers, up the many steps to the lookout for fabulous views across Kawau Bay and a thigh workout.

Allow around 60 minutes for the stroll.

Highfield Gardens web-page → Click HERE:

Donkey Serenade Newsletters → Click HERE: