Top picks for our regions' favourite dog walks

Walking dog in forest

Looking for an adventure close to home with your furry friend at your side?  Check out the top 5 dog friendly tracks around our region (plus there are loads more!)

  1. Tuhawaiki (Jack’s) Point

    This is a real local favourite! This walk follows the coastline past the historic Tuhawaiki (Jack’s) Point lighthouse offering spectacular coastal views.

    Keep your eyes peeled as you may be lucky enough to see penguins and seals on the rocky beach below. Please ensure that you dogs are under control to protect the wildlife.

    Duration: 1 hour one way

    Difficulty: Mostly flat with some gradual rises.

    How to get there: There are two starting points for this walk, either off Scarborough Road or Ellis Road. Note, there is more carparking space at the Ellis Road end. Follow the signposted track from each carpark.

  2. Dashing Rocks, Timaru

    Given its coastal views and proximity to the eateries and the CBD, the Dashing Rocks Coastal Walk is a favourite among Timaru locals.

    Explore the beauty of Timaru’s coastline, enjoying the panoramic views of Caroline Bay wandering around rocky cliffs over ancient lava flows. Stop at the historic Blackett’s Lighthouse and the site of ancient shipwrecks.

    Duration: 1 hour one way

    Difficulty: Mostly flat with some gradual rises

    How to get there: Signposted from Moore Street, follow the trees along the cliff top.

  3. Opihi Walkway, Temuka

    Explore the banks of the Opihi River. The flat walkway follows the stop bank among the willow trees with the view of the South Alps in the distance.

    As you approach Pleasant Point check out Parr’s waterwheel and the holiday cribs nestled in the trees. As this is quite a long walk it is a good idea to have a car at each end, otherwise, enjoy the return walk for a whole day trip.

    Duration: 3 hours one way

    Difficulty: Flat the whole way

    How to get there: Start at the entrance off Arowhenua Road about 100m off SH1. From the carpark go though the gate onto the stop bank, turn left and proceed along the stopbank.

  4. Centennial Park, Timaru

    In the heart of Timaru City, you’ll find Centennial Park. The park provides ample walking options for you and your dog. It has ample parking for cars, an expansive sheltered picnic area, BBQs, children’s playgrounds and toilet facilities. It's also the starting point for an orienteering course.

    It is a well maintained gravel track with plenty of areas to explore.

    Duration: 1.5 hour round trip with shorter options available.

    Difficulty: Mostly flat with some gradual rises

    How to get there: Start from the bridge by the boulder at the bottom of the zig zags off Otipua Road. From here, follow the track around the park, stopping for breaks along the way.

  5. Pekapeka Gully Track, Geraldine
  6. Named after the native long tailed bat that inhabits the forests of Geraldine, this walk is a little harder, but provides pretty views along the way. Immerse yourself in the flora under the pine plantation which provides great shelter on a hot day.

    Duration: 1 hour

    Difficulty: Moderate fitness required as there as some steep climbs

    How to get there: From Hislop Street, follow the track up over the ridge. It is an initial steep climb, however, you rewarded with a nice view over the plains at the top.

Whether you’re looking for quick, leisurely walk or something a bit more challenging, South Canterbury has lots of fantastic tracks for you and your pooch.

You can find out more about all of our great walking tracks here