Dogs are not allowed in areas administered by DOC. This includes campsites, conservation areas, wildlife refuges and walking tracks and trails.


See specific information for Rotorua and Whakatane.

Why can’t I take my dog into a conservation area with me?

Dogs are not permitted in these areas under the Conservation Act, the Reserves Act and the Wildlife Act. Dogs have the potential to endanger both wildlife and the public. They also foul public areas.

What if my dog is on a lead?

Dogs are not permitted in conservation areas even if they are on a lead.

What happens if I take my dog to a campsite?

The camp managers will be unable to accept your fee if you turn up to a campsite with a dog. You will be asked to leave the site. Where public safety is an issue, a dog control officer or ranger will be called.

I brought my dog to this campsite previously. Why have the rules changed?

Legally, dogs have not been permitted in DOC areas for many years. DOC is aware there have been inconsistencies with the way dogs have been dealt within the past and are working through a transitional period to ensure full compliance with legislation.

How are the rules being publicised?

DOC is taking a proactive approach to communication relating to dogs. We are committed to providing consistent information through the DOC website, community newsletters and visitor information. Let us know if our information needs to be updated.

My dog is a disability assist dog. Can I take it into a reserve?

The Conservation Act permits certified disability assist dogs to be present in DOC areas.

I’ve noticed a dog in a reserve. What should I do?

Dogs pose a risk to public safety and can have devastating effects on our native wildlife. Call Animal Control on + 64 7 348 4199 or DOC on 0800 DOC HOT.

What about dogs used for hunting?

In areas designated Open Hunting Areas, hunting dogs serve a conservation purpose. Well trained dogs are effective at reducing populations of pigs and deer that damage native ecosystems. A DOC issued hunting permit is required to hunt in Open Hunting Areas. A valid permit allows a maximum of two dogs per hunter.

Dogs must be kept under control at all times and kiwi aversion training is strongly recommended. Hunting is not permitted within 100 m of any campground, public walking track or car park.

What happens if I take my dog into an area where dogs are not allowed?

A dog control officer or ranger may be called. In the case of an attack on protected wildlife or people, the dog could be seized, prosecution may result and the dog could be destroyed.


Where can I take my dog?

Dogs are allowed in designated dog exercise areas. These are administered by Rotorua Lakes Council. 

What about campsites?

All of the DOC campsites in the Rotorua District are no-dog areas. We are working closely with campground managers to ensure compliance with the rules.

Rotorua Lakes Council administer some camping areas which permit dogs under the dog control by-law. These include: Boyes Beach, Guy Roe Reserve and Lake Okaro. Restrictions apply - contact Rotorua Lakes Council for more information.

Who do I contact for further information?

  • Rotorua Lakes Council Animal Control - +64 7 348 4199
  • Rotorua District DOC office - +64 7 349 7400


Where can I take my dog?

  • Pikowai Camp Ground is located further along SH2 West towards Tauranga and is administered by Whakatane District Council.
  • Murphy's Camp ground is in the same location along the Matata Straights.

What about campsites?

The only DOC campsite in Whakatane is a no-dog area.

Who do I contact for further information?

  • Whakatane DOC Office - +64 7 307 2770
Back to top