With over 10,000 dogs registered in the Wellington region it is no surprise that New Zealand's capital city is taking the lead in dog friendliness. The 2016 dog policy changes make the city more welcoming then ever before for resident and visiting dogs alike. Whether it's a long weekend or a stop before crossing the Cook Strait there is plenty of dog friendly activities and places on offer. Check out our guide below to help you enjoy a weekend in windy Wellington with your favourite pooch.
Where to stay?
Ohtel - look no further than Ohtel for your dog friendly accommodation. They offer one room in their boutique hotel for guests and their four-legged family member. Due to the beautiful collection of original mid-century furniture they charge a $60 one-off fee per stay.
Where to play?
Oriental Bay Beach - this very popular beach is now available to dogs off-leash during the winter months 1 May to 31 October. It's fitting given the location to one of the most dog-friendly cafes in town, Beach Babylon (see below).
Cog Park - a few bays over from Oriental Bay Beach is one of the only two fenced dog parks in Wellington. There is a water bowl and a poop bag dispenser. Greta Point Cafe is right next door to grab a coffee and a treat.
Mt. Victoria - take some time to explore the trails of Mount Victoria and take in the views. The majority of Mount Victoria is on-lead only, however Charles Plimmer Park and Ellice Street Quarry are the two off-lead dog exercise areas for your dogs to play.
Botanic Gardens - want to meet the local dogs? Then join the fortnightly Saturday morning dog walking group, Walkies. You'll explore the beautiful flora and fauna the garden has to offer, while learning about the great places to take your dog.
Weka Bay - for those dogs that like to play on their own, especially if water is involved, then look no further to Weka Bay. The single set of stairs to access the bay makes it safe for your dogs as it is close to a main road. Watch out for high tide, you might not even reach the bottom stair.
Waitangi Park - pack a long lead in your dog's travel bag for you both to enjoy a romp on this waterfront wonderland.
Where to eat & drink?
Beach Babylon - quite possibly the first dog friendly cafe in Wellington, this is a definite stop on your dog-full weekend. Dogs are allowed in two areas of the cafe, an uncovered and covered section. There are dog beds, water bowls and a dog specific menu, which include treats like pupsicles and dogaccinos.
Golding's Free Dive - you can't get more dog friendly than Golding's. They are supporters and hosts of the Wellington SPCA's annual fundraiser, Pints for Pooches. They also serve Mashbone dog treats by Garage Project. Dogs are allowed inside and outside.
Rogoue and Vagabound - whether the sun is shinning or not this is a great place to bring your dog to enjoy a pint, a feed and local music. There's plenty of grass for your dog to sniff around or if they prefer they can laze about on one of the couches inside.
Chocolate Fish Cafe - if Wellington puts on beautiful day during your visit then it is well worth the drive out to this Wellington institution. Plenty of outdoor space for you and your dog to enjoy a bite to eat. There are a few places over that way where dogs can play off lead, like Maupuia Walkway (Old Prison Road).
Other places to visit
Wellington SPCA Dog Wash- Give your dog a bath, while supporting the Wellington SPCA. Their dog wash facilities are open 24/7. If you time it right, you might be able to sneak in a quick puppy cuddle or two.
Aqua Hounds - is a purpose built canine hydrotherapy centre.
Canine Solutions - offers a private dog park service on Saturdays, 10am to 1pm, for $5 a dog.
Harbourside Market - on Sunday mornings stroll through the market for the freshest vegetables and fruits, along with local artisan treats, both savoury and sweet.
We are always interested in adding to our guides. If you know of a great dog-friendly place in Wellington let us know.
Dog rules to note:
- Dogs are not allowed to be left unattended in any public place, including the Central Area of the city. Dog must be on-lead and with their owners at all times. Dogs under the control of their owner may stop in public places, including the Central Area of the city
- In general dogs are not allowed on public transport in Wellington, with the exception of disability assist dogs.
- Disability assist dogs are exempt from all public place restrictions specified in this (dog) policy. They do not need to be on-leash in controlled or prohibited public places. Disability assist dog exemptions require written authorisation from the appropriate organisation. Working dogs will also be exempt from the restrictions specified, if they are working at the time.