Just like us, some dogs love nothing better than a good splash around in water. While many Auckland beaches have restricted access for dogs during summer months there are still some fabulous watering holes.
Our Animal Management Officers love to see dogs having a great time - after all, most of them are dog owners too - and have put together their top picks.
Cockle Bay Beach (Howick)
The reserve and adjoining tidal beach is ideal at low tide as it has a huge area for dogs to explore rock pools, the exposed sea bed and muddy areas.
Note: During high tide, space is limited to the narrow reserve.
Craigavon Park (Whau)
Although not technically a beach, this popular park has it all and is a great place to socialise your dog. It has a dedicated dog exercise area, dog agility course and barbecue, fenced playground and fitness track for us humans.
Bush-covered paths offer sheltered walks by the stream, which is shallow and slow moving - perfect for dogs who like to swim. The grassy fields provide space for ball-chasing and running.
Note: Several busy roads border the park, but most of the action is in the middle of the park, so it's easy to keep dogs safe.
Onehunga Bay Reserve (Maungakiekie-Tāmaki)
This is a popular area for walking and cycling, as well as an awesome place for dogs. It has a great wide open space for dogs to run around and, at high tide, a lagoon to swim in. At low tide it is an estuarine mud flat full of stinky, black mud (look out for the tap with the hose to clean your dirty dogs).
There is a nice loop track around the outside of the lagoon, and several small beaches on the eastern shore that make it great for throwing a ball or stick around.
Dunkirk Reserve (Maungakiekie-Tāmaki)
This designated dog exercise area is located on Dunkirk Road. It runs alongside the road which makes it unsuitable for flighty dogs.
The grass area stretches out a fair way which makes it a great location for dog training. At low tide you can explore mudflats and go for a paddle in the water.
Coyle Park (Albert-Eden)
Coyle Park provides an open environment covering nearly 5ha. The main grassy area provides plenty of space to run your dog, while you take in views of the harbour.
Well-structured access paths lead from the car park area down to Point Chevalier beach. A number of informal access paths also provide access to the coastal area surrounding the park. During low tide there are rock pools for your dog to explore.
Karioitahi Beach (Franklin)
This gorgeous wild beach is absolutely worth the drive (particularly if you time it for sunset). On the west coast of Waiuku this is a popular playground for paragliders, motorbikes, horse riding and surfing. Bring a towel as there’ll be plenty of black sand!
Centennial Park (Rodney)
This is the place to go to when dogs are not allowed on the northern beaches during summer. Tree foliage here provides shade during the hot summer days, while you follow the trails through the bush.
The higher grassed areas have a lovely sea view and there’s the occasional seat along the way to enjoy. There is a beautiful, grassy clearing at the start of the track that would be perfect for a picnic on a hot day.