Does getting out of Auckland’s City Centre for a day with your dog sound appealing? Leaving behind the pedestrian clogged walkways and small dog parks for a breath of fresh air might just be what you and your furry friend need this weekend. With a few tips from us, it truly is as easy as jumping in your car, packing poop bags and trekking south to enjoy all that our beautiful city of sails has to offer.
Aucklanders, depending on where you’re based, driving to Clevedon might sound like a bit of a mission. We understand why but trust us when we say it’s worth it, especially if you let your dog join in on the ride. This rural town in South Auckland packs a punch on the dog friendly front, getting a big tick of approval from us! Explore the beaches, hike the hills, walk the paths and wander around the markets with our favourite finds for a day with your dog in Clevedon.
First up is tackling the one and only, Camp Sladdin in Clevedon’s Scenic Reserve. Jump into your activewear, grab the leash and get ready for walkies as you and your pup embark on South Auckland’s favourite forest walk. At just over 700 stairs to the summit, Camp Sladdin’s incline path will lead walkers through bush and grub, past Kauri Trees and over newly renovated boardwalks, passing like-minded individuals and plenty of active pups on the way. If the thought of a steep trek somewhat scares you, don’t be alarmed…just hear us out! There’s no doubting this track is designed for those wanting to get their heart rate up, but with benches planted along the path, take your time and sit down for a snack or just to enjoy the fresh air, native plants and bird song surrounding you. After all, there’s nothing better than a walk amongst nature to leave you feeling refreshed and revitalised. But don’t give up! We can guarantee climbing through the canopy of trees will all be worth it once you reach the summit. Met with 360-degree views, spanning farmland, the ocean, Clevedon Village and across to Auckland with the Sky Tower spotted in the distance, Clevedon’s infamous Camp Sladdin definitely won’t disappoint.
Clevedon Farmers Market
After a hard trek uphill, no doubt both you and your pup will be parched. If you’ve visited on a Sunday, lucky for you the famous Clevedon Farmers Markets will be on and in full swing as locals from far and wide stop by for a morning full of leisurely coffee, food sampling and stall strolling. And not only locals of the human kind, but our four legged, furry friends too. These markets are nothing but dog friendly and with stalls offering hot wood fired pizza, fresh whitebait fritters, decadent brownies, doggie treats and pastries of all kinds, both you and your pup will be nothing but spoilt for choice on the food front. So order a coffee and get comfy on a hay bale, listening to the live music and soaking in the sun rays whilst your pup has the time of their life, mixing and mingling with dogs of all shapes and sizes.
Omana Regional Park
With a walk out of the way and energy levels refueled via coffee and croissants, it’s time to hit the beach before heading on your journey home. After all, what’s a day out without a stop at one of New Zealand’s beautiful beaches? A brief 20 minute drive later and you’ll have arrived at the hidden gem that is the Omana Regional Park. Walk along the sand with water lapping at your feet, explore the rock pools and get a good look at the Auckland City skyline views in the distance, all with your furry friend strolling right by your side. And if there’s extra energy left in the tank, leash up your pup and set off on the Perimeter track that encircles the park at a short distance of only 2.7km. And must we say, this walk has it all! Concrete paved paths wind along the shore before merging into grass and gravel tracks surrounded by farmland, pohutukawa-fringed cliff edges, tidal estuaries and mangrove mudflats. Not to mention spectacular views of the Beachlands-Maraetai coastline, over the Hauraki Gulf and out to Waiheke, Rangitoto and Motuihe islands. With scenery pretty much as good as it gets, Omana Regional Park truly is South-East Auckland’s little piece of paradise that your dog will totally love exploring as much as you.
So next time you’re stuck on coming up with something to do with your Sunday, make the trip out to Clevedon. It may be the first time you visit, but we can guarantee it won’t be the last.