Walk status: Off-lead
If you haven't been to Waiatarua Reserve, then you're missing out on one of the best dog parks in Auckland.
The entire park has a pathway to follow in a large loop. It's not a particularly long walk, but you can make it longer by taking some of the side paths and doing a couple of different loops. Be aware, in Winter this pathway is still quite muddy, so you'll want to wear suitable footwear.
There are ample wide open spaces that you can have a game of fetch, or just allow your dog to go exploring. What really makes this park special is the perfectly positioned dog pond. If you turn right at the entrance to the off lead area it becomes one of your first stops on the walk, allowing your dog a chance to have a quick cool off in the summer heat before heading round the rest of the walk.
In winter however, if you turn left at the entrance, it gives your dog a chance to roll in the many mud puddles (and there are lots here in Winter!) and then take a dip in the pond before heading back to the car. You do have to keep a close eye on them on the return to the car if they are the type that can smell a mud puddle a mile off....they will find it and then you'll be back to the pond like some other poor owners we've seen on many of our winter walks out here!
There are other areas of water along the walk, and this is something you need to be aware of as these are wildlife areas and dogs are prohibited from entering the wetland areas. If you have a dog that takes too much interest in wildlife, you should put them on a lead in this area and also consider walking the bush path which takes you further away from the wetland area.
The bush path is off the main path and just a short detour. A nice respite from the heat of the summer sun and a chance for the dogs to explore some new smells. This also moves them away from the wetland area on one side of the park, so consider using this route if you're worried about your dog wandering when off lead. The bush is positioned just past the pond if you're coming from the right, if you're coming from the left its about 3/4 of the way around.
Location: Waiatarua Reserve, Remuera, Auckland
The main carpark entrance is located off Grand Drive (off Abbots Way)
Things to know:
There are toilets at the main carpark, but nothing once you get past the main entrance
There is a children's playground at the entrance, so dogs should be kept on lead until you get to the off lead area
The main carpark is fairly small, but you can usually still get a park. If you do have an issue parking here, there is another carpark further along Abbots Way that will bring you into the park closer to the pond (turn right for the pond from here).