If you’re looking for a walk that is a bit more challenging and adventurous, drive 25 minutes out of the city, behind Massey University and up the Kahuterawa Valley. The Sledge Track follows the Kahuterawa Stream and provides you and your pooch with a 2-3 hour return walk through lush native bush.
On a hot day, there are great swimming holes along the way for your dog to take a dip. Make a full day of it and cross the stream via a sturdy swing bridge and climb up to the Arapuke Mountain Bike Park, following shared trails back down to the carpark, an excellent four-hour loop. Keep your dog on a leash for these walks.
Looking for a good stretch of the legs while walking the dog? The Manawatū River Pathway stretches for almost 10km and is a shared use path used by cyclists, runners and walkers – lots of friendly pats await! Much of the path is a dog off-leash area and now you can complete a loop by exploring the new He Ara Kotahi bridge and pathway, and back over the Fitzherbert Bridge (just over 3km). Or, for a longer adventure you can carry on from all the way to Linton and back (14km return).
Heading across the Fitzherbert Bridge and up to the left to Summerhill Drive takes you to a treasure map of reserves and walks throughout the area.
A series of pathways link the reserves together making this a dogwalker’s dream, and most of the reserves are off-leash throughout, so offer plenty of sniffing opportunities for our canine friends. Being one of the hillier parts of the city, the tracks and trails are a great way to get your sweat on.
Keep the kids and the dog busy with the city’s longest dual flying fox, a bike pump track and a swing bridge. Bring a picnic and test your pup’s tricks on the dog agility course – you can really make a day of it at Linklater Reserve. Wander through the wetlands on the boardwalks and look up to the skies for a bit of plane spotting – the park is right beneath the airport’s flight path. There’s even a Cessna plane in the park for budding pilots to play in.
This clay pit and brick-making empire-turned-wetlands area is now a favourite off-leash dog-walking spot amongst locals. Lovingly restored by a committed group of local volunteers, Edwards Pit Park is a beautifully revegetated quarry pit, with limestone paths snaking through a native wetland and meadow. The nearby set of steps to Skoglund Park are a gutbuster, but you’ll be greeted with a panoramic view out to the park and beyond.
If your dog is ready to make some new fluffy friends, then Ahimate Reserve is the ulti-mutt place to go. A fenced-in area with agility obstacles and a couple of bench seats, this park offers a relaxed way to exercise your dog with others, while enjoying a chat with like-minded dog owners. For clever canines, a more extensive dog agility course runs alongside it, with multiple pathways to explore and sniff. Located alongside the Manawatū River, and connected to the Manawatū River Pathway, a post-run cool off is never too far away.