This beautiful bush reserve is in the Whakamarama area, between Tauranga and Katikati. It was donated to the Tauranga County by a Mr H.H. Sharplin in 1926. The tracks are well maintained, with the Short Loop Track being gravel, while the Long Loop Track generally has a good dry surface to it. It is one bush reserve where you are allowed to take your dogs. There are some great streams for them to swim in. However, I strongly advise you to keep your dog on a long lead as there are poison bait traps dotted throughout the reserve.
Directions to the reserve:
To get to it from Tauranga, drive north until you reach the Whakamarama shops - and turn left into Barretts Rd, immediately before the shops. Coming from Katikati, you will need to turn right just past the shops.
At the next intersection (only a short distance) turn left and then right another few hundred metres along. This is now Whakamarama Road and wends its way past farms and lifestyle blocks, climbing all the way. Some pleasant views of the Bay of Plenty and Kaimai Range can be seen on a clear day.
Approximately 6 km from the main road you will drive past a school. After another 1.5 km there is a road going to the left, Odey's Road, and a signpost to Puketoki Reserve. Take this road, and after about 800m, you will see the parking area for the reserve. There is a toilet to the right of the track entrance.
A lovely loop or figure of eight walk down this wooded valley, with streams and paths to explore and open fields for a run around too. Park at end of McFetridge Lane, Ohauiti.
Kulim Park, Otumoetai
A concrete harbour walkway that stretches north up to Fergusson Park. Dogs have regular access to the water/beach. Narrow path in places popular with cyclists, plus private houses along the path. Suggest you keep your dog under close control for this one.
Fergusson Park, Matua
A large playing field with water access and some shade from a few trees along the waterfront. Great place to take your dog for a game of ball or Frisbee!
The Lakes, Tauriko/Pyes Pa
20kms of cycleways and pathways to explore. As the name suggests they are based around a series of lakes where the dogs can swim.
Carlton Street Reserve, Otumoetai
A large playing field off Ngatai Road but cross over the road to enjoy a wetland walk round the ponds too.
Kopurererua Reserve, Tauranga
A fantastic reserve with cycle paths, boardwalks, grassy walkways, bush tracks, streams, lakes, ponds and fields to explore. So few use it or know about it that you can have the whole place to yourself sometimes.
Go to the bottom of 17th Ave by the Historic Village and start from there.
Esplanade Reserve, Maungatapu
A short harbour wetland walk from Hammond Street in Welcome Bay or Taipari Street in Maungatapu.
Tye Park, Welcome Bay
A small park with access to the water and a small sandy beach. Ideal for a quick walk with your dog. Off Forrrester Drive.
Marine Park, Sulphur Point
A small park with access to the water for the dogs to have a swim and then a large field to explore. Quiet with not many other doggy visitors. On left along Keith Allen Drive – gate locked at night
Waikareao Estuary Loop Track, Otumoetai
A 9km route for walking or cycling. Includes a formed gravel pathway that follows the shoreline through some pretty bush, grass and wetland areas. Great for biking with your dog. Various access points either from Chapel Street at the Daisy Hardwick end of the track or off Coach Drive.
Waipuna Park/Johnson Reserve, Welcome Bay
A great mix of open grass areas, 100 year old walnut trees, streams, wetland and pockets of native bush.
Follow one of the loop walks through the area and make it a short or long as you want.
The main reserve car park is off Kaitemako Road in Welcome Bay
Gordon Carmichael Reserve Walkway, Bethlehem
A series of paths through a wetland area, with numerous ponds with lots of ducks. Do as much or as little as you like. Main car park is off Carmichael Road, with toilets on site.
Harrison’s Cut Beach & Dune Walk, Papamoa Beach
Wonderful loop walk along the beach towards the Mount, through the dunes and back along the fields to the car park. This car park is off Papamoa Beach Road and is sign posted. It’s opposite house 444 Papamoa Beach Road.
If you want to make it longer you can include the Papamoa Beach Reserve with it’s ponds on the other side off the road off Palm Beach Boulevard.
Papamoa East Dunes & Beach Walk
Soak up the sea air and let the dogs have fun down at the beach, no doubt they'll take a swim or two.Do a loop walk along the beach from Taylor's Reserve down at Papamoa East and back through the dunes.
Park at the Taylor's Reserve car park off Papamoa Beach Road. Allow about 40 minutes for the walk
Papamoa East Reserve
A series of ponds with a pathway to follow through the area. You can make this in to a longer loop walk if you want by including the beach too.
Start from Golden Sands Drive. The reserve goes either side of this road.
Gordon Spratt Reserve, Papamoa
Fields, pathways and a stream to explore between Parton Road and Longview Drive. Parking in the main car park off Parton Road by the sports club.
I’Anson Reserve, Te Puna
A pretty short loop walk that has a scenic pond as it's centrepiece ( be warned there are many ducks!) Tucked down Loop Road off the main SH2 in Te Puna, it's amazing how many people don't know it exists and is dog friendly.
Park at the I'Anson Reserve car park. Turn in to Loop Road off the SH2 and the car park is just on your right
Te Puna Quarry Park
Dogs allowed on lead only. Beautiful gardens with a wonderful array of plants. A choice of various routes, some steep in places but with amazing views over the Tauranga Harbour.
Kaiate Falls, off Kaiate Falls Road which is left off Waitao Road in Welcome Bay (*one of my favourites)
A chance for the dogs to explore and swim and for us to enjoy the views, the triple falls and main waterfall and the native bush. There are steep steps to contend with on this walk so bring a bottle of water and some comfy shoes. It's about an hours walk.
Yatton Park, Fraser Street
Take an enjoyable short walk with your hound along the Waimapu River and through Yatton Park near Greerton. A lovely park with manicured grounds, huge trees and a section of bush too.
Park at the carpark at the main entrance of Yatton Park on Fraser Street.
Discover this pleasant loop walk in Ohauiti with a stream, wooded paths, fields and avocados to pick. Parking available at the end of Mcfetridge Lane off Ohauiti Road
TECT All Terrain Park, Pyes Pa, Tauranga
This huge park offers various places to walk or bike with your dog plus the only fully enclosed, purpose built dog exercise area in Tauranga. At a hectare in size it offers dog owners the opportunity for off-lead exercise for their dogs in the safe knowledge they are contained. Find it off the SH36 Pyes Pa Road.
Huhurua Harbour Park, Plummers Point
Wonderful harbour views from this reserve which offers access to beaches at low tide, wetland and grassy field areas and walkways which you can do in a loop. It has a historic Pa site too but dogs are not allowed to enter this specific area and one area has dogs on lead only because of the nesting birds. Toilets on site and a variety of citrus and avocado trees to collect free bounty!
Go to the very end of Plummers Point Road to find it.
Pahoia Beach Reserve, Pahoia
A harbour beach walk only accessible at low tide, along the Pahoia peninsular. Can be a bit muddy so best in either bare feet or gumboots. A few rock features to climb if you like or you can go round them. Car park reserve is at the end of Pahoia Beach Road, off Pahoia Road. Toilets on site.
Matahui Road Harbour Access
The traditional access point for the horse run over to Matakana Island when the tide is very low. You can walk for km’s on the open sand flats along the edge or over towards Matakana with little or no-one in sight. Please check the tide times otherwise you could get caught out and get in to trouble. Parking at the very end of Matahui Road by the public horse stalls.
Hikau Pathway, Katikati
A pleasant riverside walk that stretches from the centre of Katikati all the way along the Uretara River and out in to the harbour. Start the trail from the carpark behind Robert Harris coffee shop (you will see a brown signpost for the Hikau Path). Follow the concrete & gravel path north along the river. You will cross over the main highway at the bridge and then rejoin it on the other side. A lovely setting, with the opportunity to check out some lovely waterfront properties along the way.
Kauri Point Reserve, Katikati
A beautiful, headland walk in a loop, along the edge of the harbour with stunning views from one end of the harbour to the other. Check out the historic wharf first or let the dogs go for a swim at the small beach. Then follow the track through the bush and through the fields at the top, following the signs. You will loop back to the car park by the toilets.
Go to the end of Kauri Point Road and turn right in to Chelmsford Street and follow the road down to the toilets. Park here and then continue to walk down the road to the wharf and the start of the track on your left.
Tuapiro Reserve, Katikati
One of the best harbour walks in the area, and one not many know about. It features large grassy areas, white sandy harbour beaches, pine woodland and heaps of opportunities for the dogs to swim in shallow or deep water. Various loop walks along the beaches, through the woods and along the edge of the Tuapiro Creek. Take a picnic and enjoy a day there if you wish. Plenty of parking and toilets on site. Horses are allowed here so please keep your dog under control or out of their way if they are present.
Bowentown Domain, near Waihi Beach (*One of my favourites)
A beautiful reserve of 128 hectares on a rocky headland at the northern entrance of Tauranga Harbour. Figure of 8 loop walk with access to beautiful sandy white beaches. You make this walk as long or short as you like. The views are spectacular.
Octopus Bay, Onemana, Coromandel
Cliff top walk to secluded beaches including the white sandy Octopus Bay and others beyond. Stunning views. Definitely take your swim stuff and a picnic. Very steep in places so only for those that are fit enough. Walk starts from the top of Onemana Drive. Nice village atmosphere with café, beach (dogs allowed on northern end once passed the nesting birds) and tennis courts.
Heaps in this area but these are two of my favourites:
Redwoods – a specific dog walking area plus other tracks to explore through beautiful forest.
Hamurana Springs – on lead through woods along the most stunning clear stream to the head of the spring. Look for the Rainbow Trout all in the stream. Short loop walk.