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TUX reveals the recipe for the ideal Kiwi dog walk

Show me the walks

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 our new research1 – but unfortunately, more than half of dog owners are not loving their current walks.

With years of experience fueling active Kiwi dogs, we know the role a good walk can play in connecting you with your canine companions and have taken on the challenge of finding out exactly what makes the perfect Kiwi dog walk.

The results are in…drum roll please…and we can officially reveal the ideal Kiwi dog walk takes place at either the park (56%) or beach (48%), is around an hour in length and 3km long. But, most importantly the ideal walk must take place where they can be off leash (88%), giving them the freedom to run amuck and have some fun.

We also found:

  • Over a third (36%) go on walks to spend quality time with their canine best mate.

  • Half of walkers (48%) want their dog to be able to socialize with other dogs on their walks, yet just one in three do (33%).

  • More than a third (37%) think a swim is an essential component but just 15% of the nation’s dogs have the chance on their regular walk.

Currently, the nation is rating its dog walks as an average 7.9 out of 10 and, to be honest, we won’t be happy until we’re at 10 out of 10. Hopefully we’ve inspired you to get out and explore the beautiful dog walks this country has to offer. While we have done our best to check the most up-to-date advice on these walks, please be safe, double check any rules prior to visiting, and adhere to any dog walking rules as advised by the local authorities.

We’ve compiled a few walks that could fit the bill for you:

  • Northland

    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

    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.

    Auckland, Orakei BasinThe Orakei Basin is a go-to spot for a relaxing walk through native plant life, with on and off-leash zones available.

    Auckland, Waiatarua Reserve Enjoy this off-leash dog park with a 2.4km path that doubles as an urban wetland project.

    Auckland, Kauri Point Domain.Enjoy an off-leash walk along the edge of coastal bush trees with views over the Upper Waitematā Harbour.

  • Waikato

    Raglan, Ngarunui Beach Dogs and owners can enjoy quality time along the black sand beach in the 1.5km off-leash area.

  • Bay of Plenty

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

  • Gisborne

    Gisborne, Wainui Beach One of the most popular summer spots in the region, take your dog for some off-leash fun.

  • Hawke’s Bay

    Hawke’s Bay, Waimarama Beach A popular hot spot over summer for locals and tourists, enjoy a walk along the beach north of Puhokio stream.

  • Taranaki

    New Plymouth, Taranaki Backs 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 – Whanganui

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

  • Wellington

    Wellington, Seton Nossitier ParkExplore 30ha of protected natural bush off leash with plenty of water and things to look at along the way.

  • Tasman

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

  • Marlborough

    Blenheim, Dillions 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

    Barrytown, Motukieke Beach Known as a jewel in the West Coast crown, Motukiekie beach is the perfect place to run free, or pop on your togs and go for a doggy paddle with your best mate.

  • Canterbury

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

  • Otago

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

  • Southland

    Invercargill, Waihopai Walkway Become one with nature as you and your dog walk along the riverbed at Waihopai Walkway starting at Stead Street Wharf, the best place to get a taste of nature.

*All data and insights from Juice NZ Dog Walking Behaviour & Attitudes Study prepared for TUX, August 2020. The study was conducted among a representative sample of 306 dog walkers across New Zealand.

1 Juice NZ Dog Walking Behaviour & Attitudes Study prepared for TUX, August 2020. The study was conducted among a representative sample of 306 dog walkers across New Zealand