Auckland is blessed when it comes to great parks, reserves and beaches. But they’re not all created equal when it comes to choosing where to walk your pooch.
After living with dogs for many years in Auckland, we thought we’d round up our favourite places to walk them. Here’s our pick of the best off-leash dog parks in Auckland. So when it’s time to choose where to walk your four-legged friends, you’ll know where to go!
Best Dog Parks in Auckland Central
If you’re living in the city, chances are you don’t have a lot of outdoor space at home to let your dog run around in. Luckily, the CBD is bursting with dog-friendly parks and facilities. Here are some of our favourite central Auckland dog parks.
Meola Reef Dog Park, Western Springs
A centrally located, fully fenced and off-leash dog park in Auckland that’s open year-round, it’s no wonder Meola Dog Park is a popular choice with dog owners! Located on a grassy headland, a short drive from Ponsonby, it’s the ideal spot to socialise your dog and let them have a good run around.
There is also a walking path leading around the edge of the headland for on-leash dogs and an area for them to swim. Note that the water quality is not suitable for human bathers so it’s advised you give your dog a good wash down afterwards.
There is free parking available (the lot gets busy on weekends), water is on hand to fill up water bowls and bottles, and there are toilets nearby.
Big King Reserve Dog Park, Three Kings
The last of the ‘Three Kings’ that gave this inner-city Auckland suburb its name, Big King (Te Tatua-a-Riukiuta) is a grassy volcanic cone with beautiful views across the city. At the top, you’ll find an off-leash area that’s very popular with the locals.
There are a couple of flat areas and plenty of space for dogs to run and play in safely. But it’s not fenced, so you’ll need to keep a close eye on your charges.
There are poop bags & bins available, and there is a small parking lot near the main entrance off Duke Street.
Orakei Basin Dog Park, Orakei
If you’ve got a water-loving pooch, they are going to love this dog-friendly walking track in Auckland. The Orakei Basin is a tidal lagoon on the edge of Remuera, so it’s a hit with local families. While not an off-leash dog park per se, the majority of the track is off-leash, so dogs can enjoy a good sniff & swim as you walk around the perimeter.
The entire loop is about 4km long and will take up to an hour to complete – making it a great exercise for both dogs and their owners. Off-leash areas are well sign-posted and the track is clear and easy to follow.
Park on Upland Road and walk down to the basin. You can then walk the track in either direction, but we’d recommend going counter-clockwise and wearing the dogs out on the grassy foreshore first.
Waiatarua Reserve Dog Park, Remuera
An expansive wetland on the outskirts of central Auckland, Waiatarua Reserve offers one of the best dog-friendly walking tracks in Auckland. Complete with doggie paddling pond and large open spaces, there’s not much not to love.
The main track leads you around the reserve in a loop that takes around an hour to stroll (slowly). Just do be aware that the centre of the park is home to a diverse range of wildlife and dogs are advised to stay on the leash if you decide to take one of the shorter tracks that cut across the park.
Park in the car park near the Waiatarua Reserve playground on Grand Dr, or the larger car park on Abbotts Way. There are toilets near the playground, bins, and water provided.
Owairaka Domain Dog Park, Mt Albert
Another of Auckland’s dormant volcanoes, Owairakara (or Mt Albert) is today a recreational space near the central city. As well as a sports field, and a pleasant on-leash walk, it’s also one of the most dog-friendly parks in Auckland due to its dedicated & fenced off-leash dog area.
It’s not as popular as some other central Auckland dog parks, so it’s a good place to head to if you’ve got a shy dog. Or you simply want to let them let off some steam after a day cooped up inside.
Park at the small car park at the end of Summit Drive and follow the path. Just note that dogs aren’t allowed on the sports field, and there are sometimes cars on the ring road around the park.
Coyle Park, Point Chevalier
A grassy headland that juts into the harbour, Coyle Park dog park is a beautiful place to walk your dogs in Auckland. Apart from the area around the playground (you must keep 10m away), the park is an off-leash dog walking area.
Walk the circular track around the park before having a game of fetch in the middle. Or even wander on down to Pt Chev beach for a dig in the sand and a paddle in the water. Just do keep in mind the restrictions around dogs on Auckland’s beaches. You can find those here.
Park at the car park at the end of Point Chevalier Road and the park is directly in front of you. Toilets, bins, and a water fountain are provided.
Do note, that this dog park isn’t fenced, so if you’re looking for enclosed dog walking areas in Auckland, or a park that’s less popular with dog-free people, head next door to Meola Reef Dog Park instead.
Western Park, Freemans Bay
While we wouldn’t necessarily classify Western Park as one of the best dog walking parks in Auckland, it’s a handy place to let your dog has some off-leash fun in the central city. The park connects Freemans Bay to Ponsonby and is a popular hang-out for lunching locals, families, and dog-walkers.
There’s a small off-leash area within the park, but dogs must be kept away from the playground area.
It’s a great option for a weekend walk after grabbing a coffee-to-go from a nearby cafe. Parking is easier at the Freemans Bay end of the park, and there are public toilets and water fountains available.
Best Dog Parks West Auckland
Less populated and wilder, West Auckland is a great place to seek out some of the best dog walking parks in the city.
Dog walking in West Auckland allows you to visit some spectacular spots that are often off the radar to everyone except the locals.
Craigavon Park, Blockhouse Bay
Compact but convivial, Craigavon dog park in West Auckland offers something for every pooch. Although the park is multi-use, there’s enough space for everyone to do their own thing, and the children’s playground at the entrance to the park is fenced off, making it safe for all.
There is a fun agility set up for dogs, with lots of obstacles, and plenty of bush paths should you want to venture away from the main gravel route. Just be warned that it can get a little soggy in winter!
The entire trail is only a little over 1km long, but there’s also exercise equipment for the humans if you want to make it more of a workout!
Park at the free car park on Connaught Street and follow the lasoo-shaped path through the bush. There are public toilets in this dog park.
Heron Park, Waterview
Another good option for those living in the West is Heron Park. This all-weather dog park in Auckland has a paved track leading in a loop around the park, and plenty of space to run around in between.
The park is varied and interesting, with bush areas breaking up the monotony of large grass fields. You do need to keep 10m away from the children’s playground, but that’s not hard to do.
There is plentiful parking at the end of Cadman Ave which offers direct access to the park, and there are public toilets nearby.
Bomb Point Dog Park, Hobsonville
Although the off-leash area at Bomb Point isn’t the largest dog park in Auckland, you can combine a run around here with a great walk along the coastal trail (on-leash). The off-leash area is clearly signposted, so you’ll be able to find it easily.
The Hobsonville dog park is fully enclosed, making it a fun and safe space for dogs to let loose, and the addition of park benches means their human companions can take it easy.
You can park at the Hobsonville Point car park at the end of Launch Road and walk the coastal walkway to the park. There are bins provided, but no toilets within the park.
Best Dog Parks in Auckland East
East Auckland is blessed with many beautiful white sand beaches and large green reserves, making it a haven for dog lovers. There are many dog-friendly walks in Auckland’s Eastern suburbs, but here is our pick of the best off-leash areas to enjoy.
Macleans Park, Bucklands Beach
A stunning and well maintained off-lead dog park in Auckland’s Eastern suburbs, Macleans Park is a winner in more ways than one. There’s more than ample space to run around and play with other dogs, places to splash around in the water, and varying routes so the human walkers don’t get bored either.
At around 36 hectares, you could easily spend an afternoon exploring all the dog walking tracks and nearby beach. Wander down into the bush where you’ll find the watering hole, take in the breathtaking views over Eastern Beach, and play a game of fetch in the open fields.
Do note that there’s a picnic area closer to the beach where dogs should be on-lead (for obvious reasons).
There are several ways to enter the park, but your best bet (except for the height of summer) is to park in the beach car park at the end of The Esplanade where the only public toilets are located.
Churchill Park, Glendowie
At around 40 hectares, Churchill Park has a space for everyone – including a great off-leash dog park. The off-leash area covers most of the park, except around the school. Although you do need to take care if your dog is skittish around farm animals, as there are grazing cattle within the park, but they’re easily avoided.
The park offers great dog walks through rustic terrain. The entire track will take about 40 minutes to walk (1.8km), but much longer if you stay and play a while. The native bush areas are lovely to wander through, and a little stream keeps things interesting.
The loop track starts on Riddell Road, where there is a decent-sized car park. There are bins in this park, but no other facilities we could see.
Best Off-Lead Dog Parks in North Auckland
There aren’t a lot of dedicated off-leash dog parks in Auckland’s northern suburbs, however, there are many beaches where dogs are allowed to run free. Find dog-friendly beaches in North Auckland here.
Manuka Reserve (Bayview Dog Park), Bayview
The first purpose-built North Shore dog park, the Manuka Reserve dog park (also commonly referred to as the Bayview dog park), is fairly centrally located for those living in Glenfield, Takapuna & Beach Haven.
The dog park consists of large open playing areas, and bush walks around the perimeter. But the best bit? A fun agility exercise area for dogs! This is by far one of the best places to walk dogs in the northern suburbs, and your dogs will love exploring all the sights and smells.
The only area that’s off-limits for dogs is the immediate vicinity around the playground, but that’s located to one side, so easily avoided.
Park at the end of Manuka Road where you’ll find toilets, the playground, and a path leading to the dog park. Bins and poop bags are provided.
Sanders Reserve Dog Park, Albany
Sanders Reserve in Albany is one of the few fenced dog parks Auckland has to offer. The entire reserve is very large, allowing for mixed usage – including mountain biking, horse riding, and of course the off-leash dog park.
While the designated dog area isn’t huge, it does allow for a good run and play, and you can relax knowing your pet isn’t going to get lost! And because of the park’s relatively secluded location, it’s not a dog park that gets overrun.
Take care when exploring outside of the fenced area and be respectful of the other activities in the park. Those wanting to cool off could walk their dog (on-lead) down to the headland where you’ll find a small swampy bay suitable for dogs to have a splash in.
Parking is available within the park, in a designated lot, and there are public toilets there too.
Off-Leash Dog Parks South Auckland
Although fenced dogs parks are harder to come by in South Auckland, there are still a good number of off-leash areas to explore. Our favourites are listed below, including Auckland’s most popular garden – that attracts visitors from all over the region!
Auckland Botanic Gardens Dog Park, Manurewa
Perhaps unexpectedly, the Botanic Gardens are home to one of the biggest dog parks in Auckland. The entire gardens are dog-friendly, providing your pooch is on the lead, but there’s also a large area that’s been designated for off-leash dog walking.
You’ll find this area at the Northern end of the gardens and its the perfect place for zoomies. Large open fields, bushy areas, streams for water play and always plenty of four-legged friends to play with.
Go straight to the Everglade entrance of the gardens where you’ll find a car park. This way you’re much closer to the off-leash area and can avoid the crowds in the main car park. There are bins and toilets in the gardens, as well as an onsite cafe for that post-walk coffee!
Te Tauranga (Onehunga Bay Reserve) Dog Park, Onehunga
A great dog walk in Auckland for water-loving pups, Te Tauranga is encompassed by a circular walkway that’s been designated as an off-leash zone. You’ll be able to enjoy the fabulous grassy banks, as well as the calm waters of the lagoon itself.
It’s not the most peaceful walk, being right beside the motorway, but it’s a neat place for a stroll nonetheless. The addition of trees for shelter on hot days and open spaces for a game of fetch secure its place as one of the best off-leash dog’s areas in Auckland.
Park at the car park on Beachcroft Ave and follow the path. There are public toilets and bins at this dog park too.
After years of owning and walking dogs in Auckland, I’m sure we’re yet to discover all of the best off-leash dog parks. Feel free to add more suggestions in the comment box below!