Bachcare’s Guide to the Top 10 Dog-Friendly Beaches in New Zealand
We’re super passionate about pooches here at Bachcare! If you’re wondering where the best dog friendly beaches in New Zealand are, look no further! New Zealand is brimming with beautiful places to take your pooch pals for a frolic in the water, a game of fetch or a general run around with other doggos. We’ve rounded up our pick of the Top 10 Dog Friendly Beaches in New Zealand to ensure the ulti-mutt walkies for our four-legged friends – and the two-legged kind too!
1. Takapuna Beach – Auckland
Takapuna Beach has to be one of our favourite places as its equally enjoyable for both your canine companion and for you! Located on the North Shore you’ll find this long stretch of shoreline just back from the shops. Excellent year round, but especially so in summer where you can join the early birds as the sun rises, and then leisurely take in an idyllic golden hour. During summer months dogs may only be off-leash before 10am and after 6pm, however – your dog can run wild throughout the rest of the year!
Pro tip: After your active pursuits, make a beeline for Takapuna Beach Café which is the perfect pet-friendly destination and ensures a quality drop to get you caffeinated.
2. Lyall Bay – Wellington
This stunning stretch of surf beach has plentiful space for your pooch to explore. There are often even dog-walker meetups and meetups of various dog breeds at this ever popular spot. Do note that dogs are not permitted near the seawall area or the children’s playground.
Insiders tip: Stop into The Spruce Goose Café which makes the beach even better, there’s even a dog friendly deck area so everyone’s catered for.
3. Bethells Beach – Auckland
Bethells Beach is just 40 minutes north-west of Auckland’s city centre and the drive will reward you with a great dog friendly beach, although it’s important to note that in summer all dogs must be on-leash on the main beach as there are dotterels nesting. They can run around off-leash on gorgeous Waitakere Bay (see photo) which is just to the right of the main beach, across the river. In winter they can be leash-free on the main beach too. What a spot!
4. Golden Bay – Nelson
It’s not just the North Island that is abundant with walkie choices! Golden Bay is a beautiful section of Nelson, and has numerous play areas for dogs. Patons Rock Beach, Rangihaeata and Pohara Beach are just 3 of the dog-friendly (off-leash too!) beaches in the area. There are also many more dotted throughout the Tasman District too. Be sure to get clued up about the restrictions and prohibited areas of Nelson’s beaches on the council’s website before you head out.
5. Ocean Beach Domain – Dunedin
If your doggo is craving some off-the-lead time in summer – this coastline is just the ticket. Ocean Beach Domain doesn’t quite boast the same amount of sand as the other beaches on this list, however its excellent for a trot about. If you’re a little further south, check out Brighton Beach Reserve which is just as dog friendly, and with a little more sand.
6. Piha Beach – Auckland
For breathtaking vistas, take your furry friend to one of the most magnificent dog friendly beaches in Auckland: North Piha Beach. Piha is a classic kiwi summer spot – and one that your dog should certainly enjoy too. You’ll notice the dog friendly off-leash area outlined by poles. With serious amounts of sand to be dug up, and a strong chance of meeting other furry mates – you’re set to be the family favourite after a visit here. Be aware that the waves can be strong here, so if your pooch isn’t the strongest of swimmers its best to keep them out of the water.
7. Mt Maunganui Beach
This longstanding favourite holiday spot, also happens to be fabulous for your canine companion too. Whilst some areas in Mt Maunganui do require your dog to be on-leash, Blake Park is a great exercise area for dogs in Tauranga. There’s also a humming market scene nearby, and a multitude of food trucks to pick up some treats for both of you on your walk.
8. Mangawhai Heads Beach
Mangawhai Heads Surf Beach is undoubtedly breath-taking. Take to the shoreline with pup and revel in your surrounds. Depending on the tide you can head north for approximately 3km, with stunning views across to the Hen and Chicken Islands and Little Barrier Island to accompany you. Expect to find eroded sandstone and limestone rocks dotted across the shore; lying where they’ve fallen, and rock-pools – perfect for your pooch to paddle in. Have fun running up the sweeping face of one of the sand dunes and then rolling back down – first to the bottom gets a treat!
Insider tip: sunrise and sunset are definitely a must-see here, take our word for it!
9. Te Awanga – Hastings
An awesome area to check out for holidayers and locals alike! The Haumoana Te Awanga beach front stretches from the Tukituki River to the lines of Clifton camp. Be sure to keep your four-legged friend away from the Cape Kidnappers Gannet Colony, however, they’re most welcome to play on the stretch of the beach. Head to Haumoana or Te Awanga town after your stroll and playtime for some tasty cuisine (cue the puppy eyes!).
10. Bottle Lake Forest Park – Christchurch
Take your pooch for an off the leash meander in Bottle Lake Forest Park, which is located just behind the beach, and only 10km north of Christchurch city centre. If your buddy is craving the sun, salt and sand then Waimairi Beach (on the east side of the forest park) makes for a delightful destination, however, it is a restricted area between December and March.