News | 29 September 2023
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Friday Five: Spend one pawfect Spring day in the central city

Get out and explore muttropolitan Pōneke with your best four-legged friend. Follow this five-part itinerary for a full day of fun in dog-friendly Wellington central.

White dog with a black nose and delightful pink ears looking up at a bone shaped menu.

1. Order a dog’s breakfast 

Forget “No shoes, No shirt, No service”… Beach Babylon in Oriental Bay has a K9 menu that caters to customers covered in fur! With options like a doggoccino or a gourmet biscuit platter offer, you can be sure that your pup won’t feel left out during this week’s brunch date.  

Another dog-friendly café in Oriental Bay, Lola Stays, regularly features four-legged visitors on their Instagram Stories. If your dog is more interested in the spotlight than sharing a meal, consider Lola Stays for your next coffee break. Be sure to try out one of Mama Rose’s famous cheese scones as well. 

2. Indulge in some retail therapy 

Dogs are always welcome to walk through the central city, as long as they’re on-leash, so now it’s time to burn off some of that meal. Wander up to College Street in Te Aro, and you’ll find Smack Bang right across the road from Moore Wilson’s. This designer pet store and dog bakery has a large selection of goodies for dogs, cats and hoomans too.  

Roast chicken scented bubbles anyone?  

3. Put the fur in funicular 

After picking up a cute new collar or tasty treat, head along to Lambton Quay and find Cable Car Lane. In November 2021, the iconic Wellington Cable Car (or technically, the Wellington funicular) held a ‘Bark and Ride’ trial and had 157 dogs travel between Lambton Quay and Kelburn in one month.

Since then, the city’s coolest little form of public transport has permanently allowed pups of all shapes and sizes to come for a ride. An all-day doggie ticket costs $2 per dog, or they ride free with anyone who holds a Cable Car multi-trip or membership card. 

A white dog with a harness on riding in the cable car.
Mabel the dog on her first Cable Car trip!

4. Stop and sniff some… flowers 

Before exploring all that Kelburn has to offer, the Wellington Botanic Garden ki Paekākā is another beautiful dog-friendly destination in the central city. There are 25 hectares of themed gardens, walking tracks, and wooded areas for you and your pup to enjoy until dusk. If it’s a family day out, there’s also a children’s play area, and The Discovery Garden Te Kaapuia o Te Waoku, where tamariki can learn about the surprising uses of plants.  

When you’re wandering around the Wellington Botanic Garden ki Paekākā, make sure you keep two things in mind. Your dog should always be on-leash and supervised, and you must clean up after them, out of respect for the gardens and other visitors. 

5. Get RDO certified 

Did you know that you can be officially recognised as a responsible dog owner in Wellington? Every year, on September 1st, the Council opens applications for RDO status. If you meet six different conditions and pass a home inspection from one of our friendly Animal Control Officers, you’ll qualify for a discount on annual dog registration fees of over 50 percent! 

One of the requirements for RDO status is for your pooch to pass a Council-recognised obedience course. Just outside of the city centre (or a 30-minute walk from the Kelburn Station Cable Car stop) Central Allbreeds Dog Training School holds their approved practical canines courses on Sundays at Ian Galloway Park. Why not look into a class and have a doggy day out in the city every weekend? Plus, you’ll be able to save some cash when dog registration season rolls around again. 

We’re looking to create an even more "Dog-Friendly Wellington". Submissions are currently open for public consultation on the Animal Bylaw, Dog Policy, and Domestic Animal Policy, which includes outlining the Council's role in enhancing the provision of dog-friendly spaces while taking into account the varying comfort levels of the public concerning dogs. 

To find out more, and have your say visit by 5pm, Wednesday 18 October.