Where you can take your dog and access rules
IntroductionDifferent areas have different rules on if you can take your dog there or not. Some areas allow dogs, others require a permit, and some do not allow dogs at all.
You can take your dog to public conservation land that DOC has approved for dog access. You may require a permit to do so.
It is an offence for dogs to visit any other conservation land area, shore or foreshore even briefly, unless DOC has provided written approval or your dog is a certified disability assist dog aiding you.
Find places to take your dog
To find out if you can take your dog to a track, facility or hunting area on conservation land, check its webpage on the DOC website or local signage.
Dog access and conditions are at the top of DOC’s track and facility webpages with further advice under the ‘know before you go’ section if available.
Search for tracks, camps and hunting areas that allow dogs using the links below:
If you need more information, contact the DOC office closest to the place or area you plan to visit.
Access rules for areas dogs can visit
Your dog must stay under control while you visit any conservation land area. You may be held legally responsible if your dog is a nuisance, causes damage or injures protected wildlife.
You must also follow any access conditions for where you want to visit:
- Some places require dogs to be on a leash – where required, you must leash your dog at all times throughout your visit.
- Other places require dogs to have a permit. To visit these, apply for a permit at the closest DOC visitor centre or office, and keep it with you on your visit.
- Hunting areas that require dogs to have a permit can include special conditions. More about dog permits for hunting areas.
- DOC may limit dog access when native wildlife is vulnerable. Respect all boundaries, or your dog could injure protected wildlife and you could be held legally responsible.
Most dog permits take up to 5 days to process. However, certified disability assist dogs do not require a permit unless the area requires one for a person to enter.
Rules for huts, lodges, cottages or cabins
Dogs can go to huts, lodges, cottages, or cabins in areas that allow dog access but must not enter. Dog owners are responsible for their shelter and for securing them outside.
Sometimes, there may be a kennel beside the hut. If this is not the case, find somewhere suitable outside to tie your dog.
Rules for campsites
Some campsites managed by DOC allow dogs if they stay under control and abide by any access rules – such as having a permit, staying on a leash and not making excessive noise after 10 pm.
If your dog does not stay under control or abide by the rules, we may ask you to leave. If you are asked to leave, you will probably not receive a refund or a return of deposit if you have paid one.
Rules for disability assist dogs
Dogs certified to assist with a disability can visit any area of conservation land if they are there to assist or train with someone.
This includes any place that usually does not allow dogs, and the dog will only require a permit if the area requires a person to have one. Contact the DOC office closest to the area to apply.
The Department of Internal Affairs authorises organisations to certify these dogs under the Dog Control Act. See the list of authorised organisations.
Dogs on boats
If you are on a boat with your dog, you cannot take your dog ashore or be within the foreshore of conservation land areas that do not allow dogs. This includes all national parks and wildlife reserves.
The foreshore includes the entire beach area down to the low tide level.
It is an offence to let your dog relieve itself in these areas. Make sure your travel plans do not require such a stop or provide somewhere onboard where your dog can relieve itself.
Why we control dog access on conservation land
By managing dog access and keeping them out of protected spaces, we can make sure our endangered species thrive and our pets are safe. This is because:
- The sight, sound and smell of dogs can distress wild animals. It may even cause them to leave their homes and their young unprotected.
- Dogs may hunt, maim and kill threatened wildlife – even well-fed dogs can cause harm.
- Predator control traps and poisons can harm dogs. Some poisons cannot be remedied once consumed.
- Dogs can spread diseases wildlife have not been exposed to and cannot be protected from. These can devastate our taonga and the ecosystems they depend on.
- Dogs can increase the risk of spreading kauri disease where it is present.
If you ignore dog access rules or conditions
You may be issued an infringement fine or prosecuted if you take your dogs into no access areas, controlled areas without a permit, or breach the conditions of your permit.
A dog may be seized and impounded or destroyed if it is found in a national park or controlled dog area without a permit.
About DOC's enforcement tools.
If you are unsure about dog access in a particular area, check with the nearest DOC office or visitor centre before you set out.
If you find a dog where dogs are not allowed
Report dogs where they are not allowed to Animal Control or DOC:
- Animal Control: +64 7 348 4199
- 0800 DOC HOT (0800 362 468)