Making the most of the great outdoors often means having our canine companions with us – but there are rules for dog walking in public places like parks, reserves, pathways, beaches and tūpuna maunga (ancestral mountains) across Auckland.
In general, dogs must be on-leash at all times in all council-controlled public places with unrestricted access. It’s a little different for beaches, where summer and winter restrictions apply. Throughout the summer months, until 1 March, dogs are not allowed on most beaches between 10am to 5pm, with off-leash walks and exercise allowed outside these hours, and more relaxed winter hours beginning on 2 March. Remember that even though your dog is off-leash you’ll need to make sure they are still under control.
It’s best to visit Auckland Council’s website before leaving home to find out exactly what rules apply where. The good news is that if you’re looking for new places and walks to explore with your dog, you’ll find hundreds of suggestions. We asked dog owners for their picks and here are a few they recommended:
Birkenhead and Northcote offer a range of bush and beach options, as well as spectacular views across the inner Waitematā Harbour and a number of dog-friendly cafes. Kauri Point Domain is off-leash at all times and you can follow a track down to Fitzpatrick Bay where dogs can enjoy an off-leash paddle between 5pm and 10am in summer and anytime in other months.
It’s not too far to Le Roys Bush Reserve, where if you’re walking the 4km Le Roys Bush Path, you’ll need to keep your dog on-leash. Onepoto Domain, at the start of Onewa Road, features wide paths, boardwalks, two small lakes and a playground. Dogs must be kept on-leash near the playground, but they can stretch their legs off-leash in the rest of the domain.
If you want to head somewhere more remote, visit Waitawa Regional Park on Auckland’s southeast coast, about 50km from the CBD. During lambing and calving season, dogs are prohibited from the park, but allowed on-leash from December through to June. However, they’re allowed off-leash at all times at Mataitai Bay Beach at the north end of the park.
Waiatarua Reserve, off Abbotts Way in Remuera, is well known and loved for its path around the wetlands where you and your canine companions can enjoy an off-leash walk (put the leash back on in the main central wetland area and on viewing platforms) and dog swimming hole. Northern Remuera is also home to Waiata Reserve, between Victoria Avenue and Orakei Road, where there’s off-leash access at all times.
Find more dog walking spots
Check the rules in your local park or at any park or beach across the region on the Auckland Council website.