Top Cities in New Zealand for Dog Lovers

Kelly Jones

There are more companion animals living in New Zealand than there are humans! Nearly a third of households have a dog, so it's not surprising to learn that Kiwi cities are pretty canine friendly. Here are the top cities in New Zealand for dog lovers:


Auckland benefits from plenty of great spots to let your pal off the leash, such as Waiatarua Reserve in the eastern suburbs and Western Park just off Ponsonby Road. There’s no doubt that dog walking is a great way to meet like minded animal lovers, and in Auckland, it's easy to get together thanks to the Social Dog Walking meet-up group. It’s a great way to discover new walks and make new friends.

You will be spoilt for choice if you want to grab a bite to eat with your pup, too. Orvieto Cafe is right on the doorstep of Big King Reserve and has plenty of outdoor seating and water bowls for four legged friends to slurp on. Bask Cafe on Browns Bay is also very dog friendly, and the staff have even been known to dole out treats to well behaved doggies.


This city also has some fab places for your pooch to run free, from the native forests of Otari-Wiltonas Bush to the off-leash areas of Lyall Bay. Like all great dog loving cities there are some great meet up groups to choose from in Wellington. Small dog owners can arrange playdates for their buddies through the Small Dog Social meet-up group, while active owners can get together and enjoy the great outdoors with the Walkies group. Both are a great way to socialise your pets, and meet some new two-legged friends into the bargain. When it comes to grabbing a bite to eat, there’s nowhere better than Beach Babylon. Your four legged friend can even order something to eat from their dedicated K-9 Menu: now thats service!


With nearly 1,200 likes on the Christchurch Dog Lovers Facebook page it’s clear that Christchurch is canine crazy! The Groynes Dog Park is the first place to head with your pup. There’s a river to swim in, trees to run through, and three agility courses (where you can get in some practice for next year’s Crufts). Radley Park goes one better, offering twice as many agility courses, while Bottle Lake Forest Park offers loads of great secluded swimming holes.


The biggest dog meet-up group in Hamilton is dog walkies and playtimes, and does just what it says on the tin. Of course you can easily meet other dog owners without joining a specific group. Just head down to the excellent dog friendly areas like Days Park, where your pal will enjoy splashing in the Waikato River, or to Pukete Farm Park where there are plenty of trees to sniff.

Pampered pooches are spoiled for choice when it comes to groomers, with the likes of Dappa Dogs and TLC Pet Grooming on hand to give your pup a brand new hair-do. Clean-a-Dog mobile groomers will even come to you, giving your pet a new look without them having to leave home.

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