Walk status: On-lead and restricted to certain walks only
We've walked the Karangahake Gorge twice now, and its one of the most beautiful walks in the North Island. If you haven't been before, I highly recommend it!
Our first walk here was a stopover on our adventure to Taupo in December 2015. Doing my research prior to our holiday, I discovered there were only a few walks that dogs are allowed. Dogs are allowed on the Historic Walkway and the Crown Track to Dickey Flat. Dogs must be kept on leads.
For our first trip we walked along the Crown Track, although not all the way to Dickey Flat. You'll reach an area of the walk that takes you through a tunnel - which you'll need a torch for. We cut the walk at that point and headed back, from memory it was just over an hour all up. George did enjoy a quick cool off in the water at that point which marks a good spot to stop for a breather before turning back if you need to. It's a fairly easy walk, although be aware you do need to cross a swing bridge to enter the walks through the Gorge so some dogs may be fearful of this.
Our second trip to the Gorge was on our trip to Tauranga with my mum and her dog Maisy (also affectionately known as The Spaz). I had planned to take mum along the Crown Track, unfortunately though it was closed due to rockfall. You can check for track closures prior to visiting, so worth checking the website if you're making a special trip there.
We chanced a walk along what I believe to be Windows Walk, which I think we weren't technically meant to have dogs on! It was a walk along the old railway track and through a few tunnels. We reached one that we could barely see where we were walking so decided to turn back at that point. I'd recommend doing the Crown Track over this one, as for one its a 'dogs allowed' walk, and two its a better length and walk for you and your dog.
Location: Karangahake Gorge, State Highway 2
Large carpark with plenty of parking.
Things to know:
There are toilets here
Tracks can be closed off at times, so check the website before making a special trip
Dogs only allowed on lead, and limited to the Historic Walkway and Crown Track