Summer fun on holiday with your four-legged friends
Planning ahead to ensure your pet is safe and comfortable (and welcome!) while on holiday is essential, meaning all the family can enjoy everything that Aotearoa has to offer. We’ve rounded up some great pet-friendly accommodation options and dogfriendly beaches from all around New Zealand that you and your fourlegged friend will love.
Camping and holiday parks
Sleeping in a tent or a caravan, cooking outdoors, and spending time in the sun is the ideal way for many people to spend their summer.
But did you know that there are campsites and holiday parks that allow your dog to come along with you? There are a variety of sites, each one offering different options to suit every family. Be sure to keep in mind any leash restrictions at a campsite, areas where your dog can play, if there are off-leash dog parks and beaches nearby, and where they will sleep.
Bay of Islands Holiday Apartments and Campervan Park
Dogs are welcome at this holiday park, located just off the main accommodation strip, set amongst two acres of mature olive grove. Bringing dogs to Paihia is possible, but it does have quite a few restrictions, so check DOC’s website about Northland’s controlled dog areas.
A nice section of beach, accessible two hours either side of high tide from Te Haumi beach and back around towards Paihia is a great walking area for your dog, and there is another trail between the Te Haumi bridge and Opua where your canine companion is welcome.
Whitianga - Seabreeze Holiday Park
This holiday park is at the doorway of the Coromandel, and used to be a milking shed and hay barn before it was lovingly converted into a functioning hostel with onsite brewery. Dogs are welcome at this park, and there is also a pet-friendly self-contained studio apartment available.
Rotorua Family Holiday Park
This family-friendly and affordable camp is in a quiet location just a short drive to the city centre – and has no sulphur odour! The park boasts a solar-heated swimming pool through the summer and spa pool as well. Close to Lake Rotorua, local fishing streams, village shops and great dogwalking areas, Rotorua boasts 34 dog exercise areas, meaning lots of holiday walks and runs.
Rotorua - Waiteti Trout Stream Holiday Park & Backpackers
Waiteti Park loves furry friends – pets are welcome year-round, with their motels, cabins, lodge rooms and sites suitable for pets at no extra charge. Take a short walk along the streamside pathway to a dog exercise area, or check out Redwood Forest, which has dog-friendly walking tracks.
Hawke’s Bay – Mountain Valley Holiday Park
Mountain Valley in Hawke’s Bay has camping facilities, outdoor activities, a restaurant and bar onsite, and provides facilities and services for dogs, cats and other pets. Situated on 300 acres with 3 km of Mohaka River frontage, this holiday park has plenty of space for dogs to be taken on lovely walks. Owner Julie says that horses, cats and even parrots have been brought along to stay. Your dog can meet resident golden retriever Jack, who loves taking new doggy friends to the river for a swim.
Canopy Camping – Birch Hill, Central Hawke’s Bay
For those who enjoy their creature comforts, why not go glamping? Check out the Birch Hill listing on Canopy Camping’s website, where fully vaccinated dogs and horses are welcome. The luxury campsite is set on a sheltered and picturesque corner of Birch Hill Station, a large sheep and beef farm, and includes one large wooden-framed tent and two smaller ‘sleeper’ tents, which can sleep nine people in total.
The back of the site is ringed with mature kanuka and pine trees dotted with hammocks, and a gully behind these trees makes the perfect spot for pet explorers.
Christchurch – NorthSouth Holiday Park
Dogs are welcome at the NorthSouth Holiday Park, provided they sleep in their own bed or are crated in the cabins. Dogs will love going with their owners to the Port Hills, with beautiful views of both the Southern Alps and Banks Peninsula on a fine day. Most walking tracks, including Harry Elm, Sugarloaf, Rapaki and Kennedys Bush, allow dogs off-leash if well controlled. Be sure to check out The Groynes, a five-minute drive away, which has an amazing dog park and agility area, and a river to splash in.
Rainforest Retreat Holiday Park, Franz Josef, West Coast
The South Island West Coast is spectacular in summer and is one of the most breathtaking areas in the world, so if you’re in the area, check out this pet-friendly accommodation. The river bed is dog-friendly, as is Okarito Beach which is a 20-minute drive from Franz Josef.
Bed and Breakfast
Staying in a bed and breakfast (B&B) is like a home away from home, but with someone taking care of you. It is the perfect choice of accommodation if you are looking for a relaxing escape, with personalised attention, homecooked meals, and individually decorated rooms. B&Bs open up their heart and home to you, and there are some where that includes your pet too.
You will find that these pet-friendly places will most likely also have their own animals wandering around, including chickens, friendly goats, or other dogs that your pet can befriend.
Napier – Redcliffe Homestead
Redcliffe Homestead is a luxury B&B accommodation in a newly renovated 1880s villa, which is nestled in a working kiwifruit orchard. Just five minutes from the homestead is the recently upgraded Napier Dog Park, which is the perfect place for dog owners to let their dogs run free and socialise with other dogs. It also features an agility track and dog drinking fountain. Staying at the Redcliffe means you can take your pooch on the trails nearby, including the Puketapu Loop which is a 14 km trail with a halfway stop for lunch at The Puketapu country pub.
Dunedin – The Barn Bed and Breakfast
The Barn B&B is nestled in the hills above Blueskin Bay, just 15 minutes from Dunedin’s city centre. Tucked away in total seclusion and surrounded by bush, farmland and local beaches, it is the perfect place to relax and unwind. There are also two friendly dogs on the property, and by arrangement you are welcome to bring your dog with you – the only requirement is they have to be good with the resident animals, which include chickens, sheep, horses and a goat. Doctors Point Beach is a beautiful beach near The Barn B&B, which allows dogs to run around off-leash, making daily adventures with your dog easy. There are also many other places you can travel a short distance to adventure with your furry friend – Aramoana Beach, Allans Beach and Truby King Reserve are just a few.
If you feel like a holiday and need extra space for the extended family and pets, holiday homes are your best option. Choose an off-grid adventure in the bush or somewhere closer to New Zealand’s popular summer destinations; either way, you’ll love the ease of being on holiday in someone else’s home!
Auckland – Adam’s Accommodation, Waiheke Island
A 35-minute ferry ride away from Auckland, Waiheke Island is very dog-friendly and has lots of walks that can be enjoyed by all the family throughout the whole year. Adam’s Accommodation is very pet-friendly, with cottages on a 10-acre farm that includes alpacas, shetland ponies, pet sheep and lots of guinea fowl who are happy to meet friendly dogs.
Close to central Hastings, this holiday home welcomes dogs with open arms. Wendy says, “We know how difficult it is to go on holiday with your dog, so we have deliberately made this home welcoming to dogs (and their owners). Rover might even find a dog treat in the bowl and a buried bone in the garden.” A fiveminute drive will take you to supermarkets, the sports park, Frimley Park, a skate park, and a dog exercise park. ¨
Hotels and Motels
Hotels offer a luxurious holiday, complete with pampering packages, in-house restaurants and crisp fresh sheets. Some hotels even offer this luxury for your pet to enjoy! Jet Park is a big supporter of SPCA, and their team understand that your pet is part of the family. They have two hotels located in Auckland and Rotorua (see below), and are passionate about providing a luxurious hotel experience, whether their guests have two legs or four.
Bay of Islands – Edgewater Palms, Paihia
You’ll feel like you have stepped into paradise when you arrive at the Edgewater Palms. The Edgewater offers a variety of apartments, including special apartments which are pet-friendly, all of which have a balcony or patio for your best friend to roam on and take in the spectacular scenery across the clear waters of the Bay of Islands. ¨
Auckland – Jet Park Airport Hotel
Jet Park Hotel in Auckland is perfect for when you are visiting the big city, or travelling domestically or internationally as it is only five minutes from Auckland Airport. Their adorable ‘pet suite’ includes a pet bed with a duvet and sheets, a food and water bowl, pet treats, and a large field to exercise your companion. Jet Park even offers pet-sitting services for those times that you have to leave your pet unattended. If you’re keen to explore some of the many dog-friendly beaches and parks that Auckland has to offer, there are lots nearby to choose from. Mangere Mountain is an SPCA favourite. ¨
Rotorua – Jet Park Hotel
Rotorua is full of activities that the whole family can enjoy, and the Jet Park Hotel is a great option for when you want to include your pet in all the adventures. Like Jet Park Airport Hotel in Auckland, your pet is given a four-star stay with their very own pet bed, a food and water bowl, pet treats and biscuits, and easy outdoor access. The hotel is only a five-minute walk to the main town centre, so you and your pet can wander down to the hub of Rotorua and explore the sights. ¨
Christchurch – Fino Hotel and Suites
This modern hotel is across the road from the Christchurch Town Hall, and boasts bright modern facilities and two special pet-friendly suites. Pet beds and feeding bowls are available free of charge. Your pooch will love a trip to The Groynes dog park, which has two spring-fed streams, plenty of trees, and lots of open space. You will find eight fenced areas with three obstacle courses there too, as well as a dog memorial park, a wash-down area, and plenty of places to sit and relax in the summer sun.
Timaru – The Anchor Motel
This low-rise motel with a brick hostel annexe is very close to Caroline Bay and Ashbury Park, where dog owners will love taking their pooches for a walk and be able to check out the walkways and dashing rocks. Pets are welcome at The Anchor, which has different accommodation options depending on your needs. Timaru also boasts the Dog Park, located on Leckie Street and covering about 2 ha, making it one of the largest dog parks in the South Island. You’ll find plenty of seating, a dog wash area, large grassed exercise areas, and picnic tables on which to enjoy a summer snack.
The feeling of sand between your toes (and under paws!) is a special summer feeling that everyone loves. There are many off-leash stretches of beach across the country, giving your canine companion the opportunity to enjoy the sand and surf. Your dog will love catching a ball, paddling in the water, or running full-tilt across the beach.
Auckland – Takapuna Beach
The scenic beach walk from Takapuna to Milford makes for a great stroll all year round for you and your dog. Paddle in the shallows or find shade under the pohutukawa trees at the beaches’ fringes. During the summer months, this stretch changes to a restricted zone, so check restrictions on signs or the council website.
Auckland – Bethells Beach (Te Henga)
Bethells Beach is just 45 minutes’ drive from Auckland’s city centre and dogs love it. They are permitted on tracks on a lead, and from the carpark out on to the beach. There are large strips of beach for pets to stretch their legs, swim in the water, and catch a Frisbee.
Auckland – Onehunga Bay Reserve & Beach
With great open spaces for dogs to run around in, dogs who love to swim will adore it as they can swim in the lagoon at high tide. There is a loop track around the outside of the lagoon, and a footbridge at either end of the park will take you and your dog to the Onehunga Foreshore Beach. No dogs are allowed at the eastern end (to protect the birds), but they are allowed on-lead by the new beaches.
Auckland – Piha Beach
In the mid-section of North Piha Beach, about 100 m from Lion Rock, is an off-leash area, marked out by green poles on the beach. Leashed dogs are permitted in the areas immediately north and south of the marked off-leash area, but are prohibited at the far northern end of the beach. Piha is famous for its great surf, so keep an eye on dogs. On the hottest days of summer, access the beach via the steam to avoid your dog’s paws getting burnt on the very hot black sand.
Hauraki Gulf – Great Barrier Island
There are plenty of off-leash areas on the island, including Mulberry Grove, Gooseberry Flats, Medlands Beach, Okupu Beach, Awana Beach and Okiwi. When heading to the island, bring proof of registration and always check with your accommodation provider first. Dogs are prohibited on all DOC public conservation land, and boaties should note that there are no beaches in the Port Fitzroy harbour where dogs can be exercised.
Mt Maunganui – Omanu Beach
Dogs are allowed on the beach all year round, with the only limitation being that no dogs are allowed on the beach 200 m either side of the Omanu Surf Club. Dogs will love to paddle in the waves or go for a swim if they are brave enough. During the hot summer days, the beach can get busy with both dogs and humans, so ensure you can control your dog at all times. For a quick bite to eat while on a walk, you’ll find the dogfriendly café, George, nearby.
Hastings – Te Awanga
The Haumoana–Te Awanga beachfront stretches from the Tukituki River to the Clifton Motor Camp. While dogs aren’t welcome near the Cape Kidnappers gannet colony, they’re free to play on this stretch of the beach.
Wellington – Lyall Bay
It's common to see owners and their dogs meeting on Lyall Bay beach, a vast stretch of sand that is perfect for a game of fetch and a dip in the sea. While dogs are not permitted near the seawall area or the children’s playground, they are welcome at the nearby Spruce Goose Café, which has excellent coffee, stunning views of the bay and airport, and a large dog-friendly deck area.
Nelson/Tasman – Golden Bay
Dogs in Nelson are spoilt for beach choice, with three popular beaches welcoming dogs. Pohara Beach, Patons Rock Beach and Rangihaeata are off-leash beaches, and there are plenty more around the Tasman District too.
Christchurch – Bottle Lake Forest Park
Take your dog off-leash in Bottle Lake Forest Park, just behind Waimairi Beach and 10 km north of Christchurch city centre. This forest makes you feel like you are miles away from a city when walking through all the pine trees. There are numerous options for walking in the forest, but the Blue and Green tracks are the most popular, ensuring both owner and dog will get plenty of exercise.
Dunedin – Brighton Beach
A short trip from Dunedin, Brighton is a small seaside town, along the Southern Scenic Route within the city limits. The area is popular for day trips, and your dog will love running around on the sand and exploring the rock pools. n