Best Dog Friendly Trails

There’s nothing like getting out in nature with your doggo and here’s our pick of the trails that you’ll both enjoy. To ensure that other users of the trail have a good time too, please familiarise yourself with doggie trail etiquette and note when dogs are required to be on leash and when the trails are shared with horse riders.

1. Northern Walkway including Mt Kaukau and Khandallah Park

Doggies are welcome to join you (on leash) on the Northern Walkway, a half-day journey along Wellington’s outer Green Belt, from Johnsonville to the Botanic Gardens via Te Ahumairangi Hill (Tinakori Hill) and Mount Kaukau. Discover abandoned railway tunnels and explore the city’s oldest scenic reserve. There is an off-leash exercise area at the top of Te Ahumairangi.

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Northern Walkway_Mount Kaukau lookout lookout
Remutaka Cycle Trail and Hutt River Trail_ people mountain biking

2. Remutaka Cycle Trail including the Hutt River

It’s on your bucket list and it can be on your dog’s bucket list, too! The trails comprising the Remutaka Cycle Trail are dog-friendly as long as your pooch is kept on leash. Please note that no dogs permitted on the South Coast beyond Cross Creek around to Orongorongo Station.

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3. Masterton Recreation Trails

Grab the whole family (including the dog!) and for a walk along the Masterton Recreation Trails. The trails wind their way through the township’s stunning parks and recreation areas, and past Henley lake and the nearby wetlands and offer expansive off-leash exercise areas for dogs. Please note that dogs must be on-leash at the Henley Lake Wetlands between 1 August and 30 December.

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Masterton Recreation Trails_women walking along the trail with a dog
Masterton recreational trails_people walking past Henley Lake with a black dog
Masterton Recreational Trails_group of people walking with a dog
Wakanae River Trail_flat and easy walk

4. Waikanae River Trail

Take a stroll along the banks of the Waikanae River on the Kāpiti Coast. It’s a flat and easy 10km walk or the trail can be broken down into small loop tracks. In the warmer months, pack your swimming togs to take advantage of the opportunity to stop and take a dip in the Waikanae River (you know that your dog will be jumping in!) This is a busy shared trail, dogs must stay on leash and on the track at all times.

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5. Te Ara o Whareroa

Take your dog for a walk along the wavy dune lands of the Kāpiti Coast, from Raumati South to Paekakariki. Te Ara o Whareroa is an easy 6km trail that traverses the dunes of the Kāpiti Coast, just one hour’s drive or a train ride from Wellington. The trail extends from Queen Elizabeth Park in Paraparaumu all the way through to Tilley Road in Paekakariki with stunning ocean views along the way. This popular shared route is used by locals for recreational walking, biking and horse-riding, so dogs must be on-leash at all times.

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Queen Elizabeth Park_two people walking on the dune lands of the Kapiti Coast

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