Auckland has some amazing dog parks and beaches to spend some time hanging out with your dog. Here are 9 of our favourite places to spend time with your best friend.
2 weeks ago our dog Buster lost his best mate, Porter.
Porter was my sisters dog and Buster met Porter when he was just a few months old and he’s idolised him ever since. He follows him, he copies him and just generally loves him. Porter was quite frankly exhausted by Buster but none the less seemed to pretty much adore him too and together these two for almost 2 years went on some pretty epic adventures together to some amazing dog parks and beaches both in and out of Auckland. If we went together in the car the cacophony of excited barking would be almost unbearable by the time we arrived as the excitement built. If we arrived separately you could hear the barking from the other car as they excitedly scrambled out to meet each other and head off to explore together.
The saddest part is that Buster still doesn’t know he’s lost his best mate. He still stops what he’s doing when he hears Porter’s name. His ears peak, his tail wags and he looks to the door. I can’t even begin to imagine how it’s going to be when we go over there next and Porter is not there. I’m not sure even then that he’ll realise he’s not just off playing in a dog park somewhere. And maybe that’s the way it should be – just imagining Porter, running, playing excitedly through a dog park that Buster just hasn’t found yet.
So tears (a lot on my part in writing this post) paused. In honour of Porter, I want to share with you our favourite dog parks in Auckland that you should take your best friend to. Because if life is short as a human, its cruelly short as a dog so seize the day and go play today…
Kakamatua Inlet is just past Cornwallis beach and is a brilliant place to take your dog to play or learn to swim. Porter and Buster spent a day here with their 6 human children and it was great fun. With a shallow, calm river running down to the beach it’s perfect for cautious puppies learning to swim. There is loads of space to run and play for kids and dogs alike. It is quite far away from everything and they will get wet so bring a towel!
Meola Reef Dog Park
This was Busters first trip to a dog park and it’s perfect when they are puppies because part of it is fenced. Porter and Buster (and usually some assorted kids) loved storming through the long grass and there are always lots of other dogs to play with.
This is one of our favourite places to go. Located off Balmain Road in Birkenhead you’d be forgiven for not knowing this was here. It’s a 10 minute walk through tree lined paths before you get to a small, usually calm, beach with a grass field – perfect for throwing a ball around and digging. There are some caves for the kids to explore too.
This dog park on the North Shore comes with a dog agility course (not that Porter or Buster seemed particularly keen on using it) and some pretty epic views. Buster would rather be chasing balls down the hill and Porter doing what Porter does best, making sure no one messes with Buster or any of the kids under his watch.
Chelsea Sugarland Dog Park
Just up the road from the Chelsea Sugar Factory this dog park has loads of space to run around and a series of interconnecting bush walks that you can take your dog on. Our other favourite features of this dog park are the Stick Library and the amazing views of Auckland city.
Shepherd’s park in Beach Haven is another of our favourites. It has a big grassy area for playing and chasing a ball as well as some bush walks with some seriously great walks. There’s also loads of car parking and a park for the kids.
Auckland Botanical Gardens
We only found this out recently but Auckland Botanical Gardens has an amazing off lead space for dogs to play. They’re also welcome through the rest of the gardens too so you can check out all the flowers and have a walk at the same time.
It’s not a dog park but these amazing gardens are super dog friendly. For a small entry you can roam around these gardens (on lead) with your pup and check out all the seasonal beauty. There’s also a cafe on site.
Brick Bay Wines and Sculpture Trail
Also not a dog park but definitely somewhere you want to take your dog. Dogs are welcome (on lead) right throughout the sculpture gardens after paying a small entry fee (for humans). We absolutely adore the sculpture trail here and are regular visitors – and did we mention they have wine tastings too??
Play the Dogs Edition of the Getting Lost Game and see where you end up
We created a Dogs Edition of the Getting Lost Game just for dogs. It’s perfect for exploring new places with your pup or just changing up your regular dog walk. Your direction will be decided by the colour of other dogs you see, wags or woofs, cats, licks, the winner of a running race, your dogs name – plus a whole bunch of other directions we’ll give you. On the back of the cards you’ll find 15 Getting Lost dogs – including of course mates forever – Porter and Buster.
And Porter, I hope the dog parks are epic where you are! We miss you so much xx