Top tips from TUX on NZ’s top dog walking spots

If you have a dog, it’s likely you’ll spend your fair share of time walking – potentially more than two weeks every year according to new research from TUX[. The average Kiwi dog owner currently heads out at least once a day with their best mate (81%), but more than half (57%) don’t love their current walks.

The team at TUX took on the challenge of finding out exactly what makes the perfect Kiwi dog walk to help connect Kiwis and their canine companions. For dog owners the focus is on location, but the priority for their dogs is what happens when they get there – a walk must take place somewhere where they can run off-leash (88%), have fun and burn through some of the fuel in their tank.



While most want a nice gentle stroll, 14% of Kiwis are up for something a little tougher, picking an eight out of ten or higher on the scale of a challenging walk. Additionally, there are a small number of fitness fanatics out there (8%) who would prefer to run with their dog rather than walk.

So, where is the best place to find the ideal walk? There are plenty of great options to choose from, and Aucklanders might want to check out the Kakamatua Inlet, a dog-friendly beach which, at low tide, is a great place for dogs to get a real chance to let loose. Gisbornites have the beautiful Wainui Beach and those from Otago can try Smails Beach which provides a multitude of places to explore, on and off leash.   Here’s some favourite spots.




Kerikeri, Roland’s Wood. Four hectares of woodland that was gifted to the people of Kerikeri and makes the ideal place for a dog to run off leash.


Auckland, Kakamatua Inlet. A dog-friendly beach which, at low tide, is a great place for dogs to get a real chance to let loose.


Raglan, Opotoru Inlet. Dogs and owners can enjoy quality time off leash in the grass and foreshore area of the Opotoru Inlet.

Bay of Plenty

Whakatane, Ohope Beach. Visit Ohope Beach’s west end to let your dog off the leash to enjoy the water.




Gisborne, Wainui Beach. A popular spot to take your dog for some off-leash fun outside of school and public holidays.

Hawke’s Bay

Hawke’s Bay, Waimarama Beach. A popular hot spot for locals and tourists, enjoy a walk along the beach north of Puhokio stream (be sure to check seasonal regulations).


New Plymouth, Taranaki Back Beach. Enjoy an off leash walk all year round, especially at low tide where a large stretch of black sand is revealed to give your dog plenty of place to run around.

Manawatu – Wanganui

Palmerston North, Mowhanau Beach. Give your dog the freedom to explore the shoreline north of the stream and bridge at Mowhanau Beach


Wellington, Seton Nossitier Park.  A 1.6km long, 30ha bush-clad reserve nestled in Belmont Gully with and off-lead dog exercise area halfway up the valley.




Golden Bay, Rangihaeata Beach. Walk along the Golden Bay shoreline with your dog, with lots of rocks, trees and soft sand to explore.


Blenheim, Dillons Point River Reserve. This off-leash park gives dogs the chance to run like the wind and make friends with other local dogs.

West Coast

Hokitika, Hokitika Beach. Enjoy letting your dog run free along the sand on Hokitika Beach from Stafford Street up to the picturesque Sunset Point.


Timaru, Waimataitai Beach. An off-leash area, your dog will have plenty of room to run around and enjoy the water.


Dunedin Smails Beach. Kick off your shoes and get the sand between your toes while your dog frolics in the off-leash areas.


Invercargill, Waihopai Walkway. Become one with nature as you and your dog walk along the riverbed at Waihopai Walkway starting at Stead Street Wharf, with plenty of off-leash available when more than five metres from the track.

To check  out the list of TUX’s Ideal Kiwi Dog Walks visit:


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