15 ideas for a barking brilliant day out
Get the doggy diary out and start planning some fun adventures where your pooch can come too!
15 ideas for a barking brilliant day out
Pets are a part of the family, and we understand it can be difficult to plan day trips where dogs are allowed. To give you some inspiration, we have compiled some dog friendly activities across New Zealand so they do not have to stay at home and miss all the fun.
We’ve broken it down by regions, so whether you are staying put at home or going out of town for a holiday, you can keep this list on hand! Remember to check the rules of each place before you visit, and bring extra doggy bags to keep the areas clean.
- Picnic at Roland’s Wood in KeriKeri – this gorgeous dog park is an idyllic spot for a family day out for those in Northland. It is quite uniquely set in an “English style woodland” so offers a different array of flora to enjoy in comparison to typical New Zealand landscapes. Take a picnic blanket, fill the chilly bin with some snacks, and let your dog explore and sniff until their heart is content while you enjoy the scenery.
- The perfect dog lover’s afternoon at Silo Park, Auckland – Silo Park in Auckland is hosting ‘Dog Day Afternoon’ this April to celebrate our wonderful four-legged friends. There will be spot prizes, an agility course, and even an on-site team of vets who will be on hand to answer all your dog health concerns. Quick, pencil it in if you are in Auckland. Saturday March 23. Remember to keep your pup hydrated and to keep in mind this event may be crowded, so always monitor how your pup is doing to ensure everyone is having a good time.
- Explore the geothermal capital Rotorua with your pooch - finding a campsite where pets are welcome can be tough, but if you are in the Rotorua area, the Rotorua Thermal Holiday Park is pet-friendly. There’s plenty of activities on-site, which means whether you camp or stay in one of the log cabins, pets can join in with the fun. Even better, there’s also no additional pet fee. Perfect if you are exploring New Zealand’s geothermal capital. Many campsites require arrangements to be made before your visit, so be sure to let them know your pet is coming along to ensure your trip runs smoothly!
Find out more: https://rotoruathermal.co.nz/
- Take a relaxing morning stroll in the sunny Bay of Plenty – while the main Mt Maunganui Beach is off limits to dogs, there are plenty more options for you and your dog to explore. These include: the beach from south of Moturiki (Leisure Island) to Papamoa East, Papamoa Walkway, or The Lakes (Tauriko), just to name a few. Why not start off the day with one of these, and then explore some of the local food markets on offer?
- Enjoy an afternoon in Waihi Beach’s Secret Garden – tucked away on the main high street, The Secret Garden is a fantastic spot for all dog owners. Living true to its name, as soon as you walk through the doors you are welcomed by a gorgeous set up with plants and trees filling the space. The café serves incredible food and there’s also also boutique shops to browse, which means you could spend all afternoon relaxing in this hidden gem. Even better, they adore dogs and have their very own doggy visitor wall proudly displaying recent pooch customers with their owners! They also have live music playing at times throughout the summer and long weekends. Could it get any better?
Find out more: https://secretgardenwaihibeach.co.nz/
- Pet-friendly bar crawl around Wellington CBD – If you are in the city there’s a few spots that welcome dogs too! Whether you want to sample Wellingtonians fantastic hospitality or head for a beverage in the sun, try Garage Project Bar or Rogue and Vagabond who both welcome canine companions warmly. If you are in the city on a Sunday, you could also check out the Chaffers Street Markets (near Te Papa) and go for a wander around the quaint market stalls with pooch in tow. Keep in mind that these places may be crowded, so be sure to monitor your pooch to ensure they are comfortable and happy.
- Head to the Wairarapa for a lovely weekend break– If you are thinking about a break from the city or maybe live in the area and want a weekend away where pets can come too, there’s plenty of choice. Mawley Holiday Park in Masterton is set in a great location to explore the local area and welcomes dogs, it’s also nestled on the banks of Waipoua River so makes for a picturesque spot. Alternately, if you are travelling near Cape Palliser, the Waimeha Camping Village is dog-friendly and has fantastic views of the coastline. Many campsites require arrangements to be made before your visit, so make sure to let them know your pet is coming along to ensure the trip runs smoothly.
- Explore the beautiful Tasman Bay coastline – the area is known for its sunny weather and striking beaches. If you want your dog to enjoy this region too, then we’ve found the perfect spot to explore. Tahunanui Beach has a dedicated dog-friendly section, and is an ideal spot with white sand and inviting blue waters. The whole family can take a dip, including the four-legged variety, and soak up the incredible views. In low tide, the beach opens up even more and the wet sand makes for a doggy delight! Just be sure to watch out for the signs to avoid the no-dog areas of the long stretch of beach. Remember to bring along some pet-friendly sunscreen for your pup and be SunSmart!
Find out more: https://tahunanui.nz/
- Hit up the best brunch spots in Palmerston North – the city has animal lovers in mind with an array of cafés being dog-friendly, so there’s plenty to choose from. Local Café has a fantastic outdoor seating area with plenty of yummy (human) options on the menu, and the well-known Joseph Street Kitchen with its cosy and eclectic outdoor seating area is a great spot to unwind with dogs welcome too!
- Stay active in Hawke’s Bay – if you’re hoping to get out and explore sunny Hawke’s Bay, then check out Pakowhai Regional Park. It’s known as ‘The Dog Park’ by locals because it’s one of the best places in the area where your dog can run off–leash, play, sniff and meet other canine friends. It’s near Hastings and not too far a drive from Napier, so very easily accessible if you are in the region. The park is also covered in beautiful flora and is a great place to while away the afternoon with family and friends.
- Soak up the ocean views around Christchurch – The Rapaki Track is a fantastic walk and a local’s favourite. A doable 3.5km, the track is around 45 minutes one way and bolsters ideal terrain to go for a charming hike with your dog by your side. Another brilliant walking spot frequented by local dog lovers is where we hosted our SPCA Moonwalkers Dog Walk last year: Bottle Lake Forest Park! There are plenty of different track options, which means you can stay all day and keep exploring. A doggy dream!
Find out more: https://www.ccc.govt.nz/parks-and-gardens/explore-parks/port-hills/rapaki-to-bowenvale/rapaki-track/#14/-43.5794/172.6746 and https://www.ccc.govt.nz/rec-and-sport/cycling-tracks/family-cycling/bottle-lake-forest/
- Book a dog-friendly Bach in central Otago – There is so much to explore in the region: hikes, lakes and stunning snow-capped mountains - one of the few features that make it a popular spot for holidaymakers. If you want to venture around the area then there’s plenty of pet-friendly holiday parks, bachs or cabins to book through popular sites like bookabach or Airbnb. Simply do a quick google search and take your pick!
- Take on a fitness challenge in Wanaka – One of the region’s most popular short walks is Mount Iron, and dogs can show off their fitness prowess here too! Climb the impressive 240-metre summits to be rewarded by breath-taking views of the surrounding lakes and peaks. It’s easily accessible from the centre of Wanaka, and a great challenge for all fitness levels, taking around 1-2 hours. Enjoy those stunning views! Just make sure your dog stays on the track.
- Plan a training day at Green Island Dog Park – this spacious and well-fenced dog park boasts an agility course and is a great place for your canine to burn off lots of energy! If you have a smaller breed dog, there is also a small dog section and every Sunday morning there is an organised dog playgroup from 10.30am. No matter what size, age, or energy level dog, there is something for everyone here.
- Try one of the dog friendly walks around Lake Wakatipu – There’s plenty of choice for dog owners in the Queenstown/Arrowtown area. Whether you are on holiday or live in the area, you need not be bored by frequenting the same loop track all the time. Mt Crichton Loop Track boasts stunning mountain beech and mānuka lined walkways. Halfway through the track you’ll stumble across the historic Sam Summers hut that was once lived in by local miners. Another one to pencil into the diary is the Lake Hayes walkway, which is a popular jaunt for locals who know a good view when they see one!
Check out the recommendations from our very own SPCA Ambassadors!
“I would highly recommend visiting Hunua Falls, a popular sightseeing spot just 10mins drive from the Papakura Motorway offramp in Auckland. Lesser known is the myriad of dog-friendly stunning forest trails, with a choice of loops varying in distance and difficulty. Unfortunately, sections of the forest are currently closed as a result of the Kauri dieback, which means all the more reason to check it out while you still can.”
“My twice daily routine is the dog haven that runs from the bottom of St Marys Road, along the Northern Motorway to a large paddock by the Herne Bay motorway on-ramp and, if you’re feeling energetic, a short stair climb up to Pt Erin Reserve. The walk is actually a brilliant piece of planning and landscape design, turning what, at first, appears to be useless and undesirable land into a really relaxing, safe and fun dog run. The parks at either end are great for ball-throwing and general dog rough-and-tumble too!”