News | 6 October 2023
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Get those tails wagging: Best off-leash dog parks in Pōneke

Who let the dogs out? With a total of 66 off-leash exercise areas, we’ve put together a guide featuring some of the most popular off-leash spots in Pōneke, as rated by dog owners through a 2022 survey!

Two border collies getting excited and jumping.

Remember, when it comes to exercising dogs off-leash, owners and handlers must always maintain control over their dogs. Be alert and make sure that your dog isn't behaving aggressively towards other dogs or people. Dog owners are responsible for cleaning up after their pets so everyone can enjoy these spaces.

Trelissick Park, Ngaio

One of the top-rated spots for walkers and doggos alike, this walk follows the Kaiwharawhara stream and passes the old powder magazine store that has been a feature of the gorge for over 130 years. Puppers can frolic in the grass, bush, stream or just go for a lengthy stroll. 

Features: Free street parking (limited), three bins, poo bag dispensers, heaps of benches, long track.

Two dogs running down a path surrounded by bush.
Trelissick Park in Ngaio.

Wahinahina Park, Newlands

Offering panoramic views over the Hutt Valley, Petone and Wellington Harbour, this open grassed area is bordered on three sides by hill covered with regenerating bush with some of the best views of the city - a secret haven for your pup to run free! A stream flows around the southern and western sides, with a few small ponds.  

Features: Free parking, bins, poo bag dispenser, 2 benches, park has partial fencing. 

Tawatawa Reserve, Island Bay

This popular reserve has plenty of great tracks for humans, but also a large flat grassed area below the hills that makes a wonderful place for dogs to do zoomies! You can get to this area off Murchison Street or Quebec Street.

Features: Free parking, dog bowl and water fountain, fenced area near car park, poo bag dispenser, two benches.

Lyall bay beach.
Lyall Bay Beach.

Lyall Bay Beach, Lyall Bay

Sand and surf – it doesn’t get much better than that for a doggo. The eastern end of Lyall Bay Beach (by the airport) is one of Wellington’s most popular off-leash areas. There’s plenty to do and see in the area, often with lots of furry friends for your dog to interact with. 

Features: Flat beach, free parking, lots of bins and benches nearby, poo bag dispenser, toilets nearby, cafes and play area nearby.

Seton Nossiter Park, Grenada Village/Newlands 

Nestled in Belmont Gully, Seton Nossiter Park is a 1.6km-long, 30ha bush-clad reserve, with a dog exercise area starting halfway up the valley. Immerse yourself and your pup in nature here! The entrance can be found in Mark Avenue in Grenada Village or Colchester Crescent in Newlands.

Fun fact: Seton Nossiter Park contains the concrete abutments (arch or bridge) of the viaduct built in 1885 by the Wellington and Manawatu Railway Company. At the time it was New Zealand’s biggest timber viaduct. Two of the abutments can be seen in regenerating bush near the main entrance at Mark Avenue, Grenada Village.

Features: Free parking start of track, benches, trail to exercise yourself and your dog.

Close up of black and white border collie.

Mount Albert, Melrose

Views for days! This area has great views of the Cook Strait and Miramar Peninsula and makes for a wonderful spot to snap a pic of your doggo out in the city. Found at the southern end of the Mount Victoria ridgeline in Melrose, you can find an off-leash spot half-way up the hill (be warned, it can be a bit steep!).

Features: Free parking, fully fenced, free poo bag dispenser. 

Ohiro Park, Brooklyn

This is a well-loved community spot, with flat areas of the park being used as a sports field and bowling green, as well as a dog exercise area and a community vegetable garden! 

Features: Free parking, bins, benches.

On the shores of Makara Beach.
Makara beach.

Makara Beach, Makara

This pebbly beach offers a unique experience for dogs, as the stony textures create a sensory experience for them to roam and explore. The cooler surface of the stones makes Makara Beach a great choice for those warmer days.

Features: Free parking, bins and benches, toilets nearby, car park is fenced.

For more information, you can check out inland exercise areas or beach exercise areas.

We are currently consulting on the Animal Bylaw, Dog Policy, and Domestic Animal Policy, which includes proposals around 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, please visit Let's Talk by 5pm, Wednesday 18 October.