Road trip! I may not understand the human language, but I certainly understand when the ute is packed full of my bedding, toys, leads and dog food. Roo, roo, roo! (that's dog for wahoooo!!!!) As I recently underwent surgery (nothing serious) it only seemed fair that my family and I go on holiday. What better place to travel to then Havelock North in the Hawke's Bay region of New Zealand. Excluding stops it's about a three hour car ride from our house in the Wairarapa. Check out our guide below on everything dog-friendly in Havelock North where you'll learn there is plenty of things to see and do with your pack.
Where to stay
The Potter's Cottage - A 15 minute drive from Havelock North will find you in a rural oasis for you and your two-legged family members. Situated on a lifestyle block with private access to the Tuki Tuki river, The Potter's Cottage is an amazing dog-friendly accommodation. The owners live on the property, along with their three dogs, horses and a menagerie of other animals. The owner’s dogs have full access to the property, but generally stick close to the main house. I made myself right at home lying in front of the fire, lifting my head up every now and again to see what was happening outside. With 2-bedrooms this is a great place for a family or 2 couples and their dogs. The views are spectacular. Plus, you and your guardians have access to the walking trails across the property and you can watch potterer Kim Morgan in action.
Where to play
Te Mata Park - Te Mata Peak is the centre of Havelock North. The 99 hecatare park is a magical wonderland for humans and dogs alike. You know a park is truly dog-friendly when their website states, “Dogs are very welcome in the Park and it is an off-lead area." Thanks Te Mata Park for making us feel so welcome. The park does ask that your guardians always carry a lead for us because there are sheep grazing in parts of the park. Of course don't forget to get your guardians to scoop your poop. They also offer “Tips for Keeping Your Dog Under Control.”
Dog Exercise Areas - If climbing a peak isn't yours or your guardians' thing, there’s a plethora of dog exercise areas to check-out.
- Tainui, Tanner and Hikanui Reserves
- Tauroa Road Reserve
- Te Mata and Arataki Road Reserve
- Kingsgate Reserve from Te Mata Road to Reeve Drive, Ritchie Place, Fulford Place and Durham Drive
- The banks of the Karamu Stream, from a point adjacent to the southern most edge of Anderson Park, Havelock North to the vehicle over bridge on Havelock Road
- The southern boundary walkway of Keirunga Gardens on Tanner Street, HavelockNorth
- James Cook Street Reserve
- Palmbrook Reserve
- Tuki Tuki River
Beaches - As I wasn’t allowed to swim yet post surgery, my humans were thoughtful enough to not tease me with a visit. Next time we road trip here I hope they take me to these two dog-friendly beaches. I'll be ready for an ocean swim.
- Waimarama Beach - Waimarama Beach north to the Puhokio Stream river mouth during daylight saving hours between 7.30pm and 7.30am the following day, and during the remainder of the year 6pm and 7am the following day
- Waimarama Beach north of the Puhokio Stream river mouth to Pututaranui Point at any time
- Ocean Beach - The beach front of the Ocean Beach settlement north to the surf club during daylight saving hours between 7.30pm and 7.30am the following day, and 6pm and 7am the following day during the remainder of the year
- Ocean Beach north of the surf life saving club to 100m south of the predator proof fence
Where to eat & drink?
It’s fair to say that Havelock North is pretty dog-friendly. There were a number of cafes that had water bowls out, along with a number of dogs sitting at outside tables with their guardians. Our first night my guardians ate delicious takeaway pizza from Pipi Cafe. We recommend when travelling with your four-legged family members to stay in the first night so you can help us settle in our temporary surroundings. Read about our road trip tips here. Below are a few of the places my guardians enjoyed a meal or a drink where I tagged along.
Maina - Located in the heart of Havelock North this delicicious cafe is as dog-friendly as they get. There’s plenty of space on the front patio for your guardians to sip their espresso, while you sniff at all the surrounding smells and try to get a few table scraps. You know you’re onto a good place when you hear that the chef even sometimes brings food out to the dogs and the staff love giving the dogs pets. When my guardians asked if they allowed dogs outside, they said, “of course!”
Black Barn Vineyards - The Hawke’s Bay is known for its vineyards and Black Barn Vineyards is one that must be on every visitors list, especially those with dogs. On beautiful sunny days you and your dogs can sit amongst the vines while enjoying a glass of their wine and amazing food from their bistro. Be sure to stroll among the vines and maybe play a game of hide and seek with your humans. Don’t forget to pick up after us if we leave anything behind (wink, wink, wink).
Trinity Hill - Not exactly in Havelock North, Trinity Hill is another dog-friendly vineyard in Gimblett Gravels wine making district of Hastings, about 25 minutes drive from Havelock North. Your humans may sit outside and sip their latest vintage while you roll around in the grass or your human tries to take heaps of photos of you. In addition to sampling the wines your humans may also enjoy a tasting platter.
Red Bridge Coffee - Located 10 minutes drive from Havelock North in the Tuki Tuki Valley this a must stop for all coffee afficianados and dog lovers. A repurposed container houses the cafe that serves coffee, along with delicious baking. There’s plenty of green space for your dog to wander on lead.
My family and I had a wonderful weekend away and we look forward to coming back. Especially me because there's lots of swimming and running I want to do next time around. We are always interested in adding to our guides. If you know of a great dog-friendly place in Havelock North let us know.
Dog rules to note:
All dogs must be on a lead in public urban areas.
Dogs are not permitted on sports fields or public playgrounds, either on lead or off-lead.
Please pick up your dog's droppings whether you are in an on-lead or an off-lead area. It is illegal to allow your dog to foul in public places without removing the droppings and disposing in a hygienic manner.