Is there anything better than grabbing your best furry four legged friend and heading out for a walk together? You could hit the bush, on the beach, or head to an off leash dog park - there are so many spots to choose from in Auckland.
This is such a great walk around the basin - not too long but not too short, either. It’s about four kilometres and takes about an hour depending on your walking speed! The walk’ll take you to the edge of the basin on the boardwalk and near the boat club (both on-leash zones), but there are also lots of off-leash areas, too!
MADILLS FARM, Kohimarama
This is a wonderful spot if you’ve got the kids or maybe the grandkids or maybe even a new pup. There are quite big off-leash areas, a flat path that winds right around the park and also a really fun playground. Dogs are on-leash near the playground, but further afield there’s plenty of space for them to run wild.
CRAIGAVON PARK, Blockhouse Bay
If you like your fitness, this is a great spot for you and your canine companion. There are fitness stations, for both you and your dog with the dog agility area made up of obstacles and structures to play and learn tricks. There are also off-leash areas, loads of trees for shade as well as a stream and a gravel walking track that loops through the native bush. It’s not a long walk so maybe this is a good option if you just want to find a spot to set up shop and hang out with your furry mate.
CENTENNIAL PARK, Campbells Bay
There’s a really cool loop walk through Centennial Park that takes you through bush flush with all sorts of native plant life. The whole walk takes about an hour but your dog does need to be on a leash. There are, however, off-leash areas not too far away if those legs need to really be stretched!
MACLEANS PATH, Eastern Beach
This park’s amazing and is the biggest in East Auckland - huge open paddocks, picnic areas and all sorts of trails. There's a 30-minute, two-kilometre walk through Macleans Park - it takes you through bush and wetlands and there are spectacular views of the Hauraki Gulf, Rangitoto and Waiheke Islands. You’ll also find loads of off-leash reserve areas for your dog to burn energy.
OAKLEY CREEK, Waterview
Oakley Creek is one of Auckland's longest urban streams and it’s also home to loads of native plants and trees. Phyllis Reserve is a great place to start - the walk is through beautiful bush and after about 10 minutes, you’ll come to one of Auckland’s best kept secrets - a six-metre-high natural waterfall and the only waterfall in the centre of the city. The whole walk takes about an hour and at times the path is quite narrow. Heron Park which is right nearby has an off-leash area to let your pooch loose after the waterfall walk.
CHURCHILL PARK, Glendowie
Churchill Park is a great spot - it’s basically a whole lot of farmland where your dog can roam leash free. It’s worth noting that there are sometimes cows in surrounding paddocks and even though it’s only a short walk, at times it’s quite steep. As you make your way along the path, keep your eyes peeled for long-finned eels that grow up to two metres in the streams.
TŌTARA PUHINUI CREEK
This is a really lovely walk through Tōtara Park along the fringe of the Tōtara Forest. If you’re a nature lover, even better - there’s so much wildlife to spot. There’s also a fantastic off leash area with huge expenses of green space for dogs to run around.
WAIKŌWHAI PARK, Hillsborough
There are two walks; the stroll option is Captain's Bush Reserve Loop - the longer choice is Waikōwhai Walkway. The latter is definitely a whole day out as it can take up to five hours to do the ten-kilometre distance. Make sure you check the tides before you head off! The shorter trail goes through Waikōwhai Park and Captain's Bush. Dogs need to be on-leash along the foreshore and through most of the Waikōwhai Walkway, but there are lots of off-leash areas in the park as well including where they can have a dip in the sea.
KAKAMATUA INLET, Cornwallis
Kakamatua Inlet is one of the best dog friendly beaches in Auckland and is perfect for a weekend adventure away from the city for you and your dog. It’s about 15 mins from Titirangi, or about 45 mins from the CBD but well worth the drive! It’s best to go at low tide so there’s maximum sand to charge about at top speed or chase balls. It’s really popular so there’ll be plenty of other doggy pals to play with.
This is just a start - there are so many more fabulous dog walking areas around Auckland but always be sure to pay attention to any signs and check for updates before you head out. The Auckland Council website is a great resource for public parks and reserves.