8 awesome places in Whangārei to take dogs this summer

Published on 23 November 2023

A collage photo of a dog having lots of fun all over Whangarei District.

We gave one dog the absolute best day of its life and made a list of awesome places to take yours for a walk. Dogs are not allowed on beaches from 9:00am - 5:00pm from 20 December 2023 until 31 January 2024, but this list will keep your pup living its best life.

Are you looking for new places to walk your furry friend? Locals love the Pohe Island Dog Park, Barge Park and the Hātea Loop walk, but here are some other hidden gems where dogs will love to walk, run, play, and socialise with other dogs. While beaches are restricted for dogs during Summer, the places on this list are open all year round. 

1: ANZAC Park, Morningside

A dog stands proudly at ANZAC Reserve in Morningside, a dog-friendly park in Whangārei

The highest point in Morningside: top of Anzac Road, Morningside, Whangārei. 

Map to ANZAC Park, Morningside (Google Maps)

What dogs love here:

  • Running around off-leash
  • Lots of sticks to throw and chew on
  • Shady areas and slopes
  • Views over the city
  • Interesting things to sniff

Come prepared:

  • Some areas can be muddy when wet
  • Some parts are steep
  • No formal paths in the main area
  • You will need to take rubbish away with you

2: Tarewa Park, central city

A dog sniffs around near pathways and a playground at Tarewa Park, a dog-friendly park in Whangārei.

Next to the Whangārei isite and the Raumanga stream, access from Otaika Road (State Highway 1)

Map to Tarewa Park, Whangārei (Google Maps)

What dogs love here:

  • Wide open area for zooming around off leash
  • Easily accessible
  • Not too close to traffic
  • Playground for kids (please keep dogs off the playground)
  • Drinking fountain with doggie-dish, rubbish bins
  • Interesting things to sniff

Come prepared:

  • This is a large and popular space – make sure your dog comes when it is called
  • No dogs on the playground

3. Beasley Reserve, Tikipunga

A dog explores the stream banks in Beasley Park, a dog-friendly park near Te Kamo, Whangārei

Little-known suburban park in Tikipunga, close to Beazley Crescent

Map to Beasley Park, Tikipunga (Google Maps)

What dogs love here:

  • A calm place to play off-leash
  • Good variety of shade, sun, slopes and flat spaces
  • Quiet neighbourhood park
  • Interesting central waterway
  • Interesting things to sniff

Come prepared:

  • Bring a picnic, a ball, or other park activities
  • You will need to take rubbish with you


4. Hātea River Walk - central city, Regent, Kensington, Tikipunga

A dog admires Otuihau (WhangāreiFalls) next to the Hatea River walkway, a dog-friendly place in Whangārei.

An on-leash forested walk passing through several parks and suburbs starting from Whangārei Falls and leading all the way to the central city at Riverside (about 6 kilometres)

Map to Otuihau / Whangārei Falls (Google Maps)

What dogs love here:

  • Lush and beautiful forest
  • Well-established pathways (you must stay on leash and stick to the paths)
  • Shady track next to the river
  • Interesting things to sniff

Come prepared:

  • Dogs must be on leash and stay to the paths
  • Expect lots of foot-traffic including kids

Hātea River Walkway webpage

5. Hodges Park, Te Kamo

A dog sits politely in Hodges Park, a dog-friendly park near Te Kamo in Whangārei.

Shady suburban park near Te Kamo

Map to Hodges Park in Te Kamo (Google Maps)

What dogs love here:

  • A beautiful natural area to explore off-leash
  • Beautiful shady park by the Otapapa Stream
  • Quiet, historical park
  • Grassy area for playing, sniffing

Come prepared:

  • Fairly small area, better for walking and sniffing than for intensive exercise
  • Some accessways include stairs
  • Bring a picnic! 


6. Waiarohia Reserve, Western Hills Drive, central city

A dog running with a ball in its mouth at Waiarohia Reserve, a dog-friendly park in Whangārei.

Just off the highway near Whangārei Boys High School - only accessible when heading South (towards the city) down Western Hills Drive (State Highway 1).

Map to Waiarohia Reserve, Whangārei (Google Maps)

What dogs love here:

  • Medium sized grass area for off-leash activities
  • Trees, picnic tables and the Waiarohia Stream
  • Close to the vehicle entrance of Whangarei Boys High School
  • Large trees for shade and a steady supply of sticks

Come prepared:

  • This park is next to a busy road – your dog will need good recall to be safe
  • This park is accessed directly from a turnoff on State Highway 1. The park can only be accessed by the footpath, or by turning off from the highway when heading south. 

7. Pah Road Reserve, Onerahi

A dog runs around at Pah Road Reserve, a dog-friendly park in Whangārei.

Little-known park on the west side of the Onerahi peninsula

Map to Pah Road Reserve, Onerahi (Google Maps)

What dogs love here:

  • Off-leash grassy area near the popular (on-leash) Waimahanga track
  • Unlikely to be busy - a good option if you and your dog don't want to be too close to others
  • Views down to the coastline and the surrounding neighbourhood

Come prepared:

  • Not much shade – be sun smart and bring water for your pooch!
  • Be extra careful around coastal cliffs (don't lose the ball!)
  • Not many other features – eg no rubbish bins.

8, 9 and more: don’t forget the favourites!

They’re popular for a reason – check out Barge Park (the Showgrounds) on Maunu Road and the fully fenced dog park on Pohe Island - there is also a smaller fully-fenced dog park on the south-west side of the Pohe Island carpark which is usually good for dogs who don't like crowds. For on-leash walks, visit the Hātea Loop! There are also two year-round dog exercise beaches in Bream Bay, and you can visit most other beaches after 5:00pm. Check out the full lists in the page below: 

Three dogs play together at the Pohe Island Dog Park, a dog-friendly place in Whangārei.