We all know how big a part our dogs play in our lives and local councils are recognising this by creating amazing spaces for dogs and their owners to meet, mingle, play and spend quality time. Here are some of the best examples…
Hawthorne Canal Reserve, Leichhardt, NSW
This hip inner city off-leash dog park is the place to be for Sydney dogs and their owners. Groups of dog-walkers regularly meet there, and there are monthly breed get-togethers, where your dog can frolic with his doppelgangers. Best of all, it has an onsite outdoor coffee shop with seating! Café Bones, open from 7am to 7pm and will satisfy your coffee and cake cravings while your pooch enjoys his (stock-based) pupaccinos. They’ve even released a new range of gourmet dog biscuits under the Café Bones™ label. Visit www.cafebones.com.au.
Albert Park, Melbourne, Vic
Home of the annual RSPCA Million Paws Walk, this bustling inner city park with its beautiful lake and network of trails offers a variety of off-lead areas where there is seating, water and bins. While you need to keep your dog on the leash in the rest of the park, there are lovely picnic and barbecue areas, playgrounds, restaurants and a 5km walking track.
Tuckeroo Park, Nudgee Beach, Qld
A favourite of Brisbane residents, this is known as an “adventure park” for canines. The large, fenced off-leash area next to the beach has water access so your dog can swim, as well as a “Doggy World” obstacle course. The Nudgee Fishing Platform is right next to it, and you can also take your leashed dog onto the tidal section of Nudgee Beach.
Tedder Reserve Pooch Park, Flinders Park, SA
This well-maintained reserve in Adelaide's western suburbs features a giant doggie sandpit and obstacle courses, including jumps, tunnels, logs, weaving poles and a ramp. The 0.4ha park is surrounded by 1.5m high black mesh so that even the most determined escapee will be kept safe inside, while the large gum trees provide plenty of shade for the park benches dotted beneath. There is also an undercover area with benches and a table for people to sit while they watch their dog enjoy the facilities, and a dual human-canine water fountain where everyone can refresh themselves. Best of all, LED lighting means you can use the park until 11pm.
Minkarra Dog Park, Flagstaff Hill, SA
Just opened in August last year, this large, fully fenced, landscaped off-leash park features seating, weather shelters, drinking fountains, walking paths, dog exercise equipment such as hoops and hurdles, toilet facilities and signage that details code of conduct requirements for all park users.
Yarralumla Dog Playground, Yarralumla, ACT
Located in Weston Park, the fenced-off dog playground is a lovely, tree-filled space for canines and their owners to exercise and socialize in central Canberra. For those wary of their Chihuahua being bowled over by enthusiastic Labradors, there are separate enclosures for small and big dogs. The park also has walking paths, seating, bubblers and water sources for dogs. It even has a Facebook page! Just search for “Yarralumla Dog Park”.
Marlow Lagoon Pet Park, Marlow Lagoon, NT
The only 24-hour, 7-day a week dog park on the list, it was specially designed by Palmerston City Council in conjunction with Pedigree pet foods and other sponsors for use by dogs and their owners. It features eight obstacles, drinking troughs, lighting from 7pm to 11pm, shaded benches, a separate “beginners” off-leash area, poo bags and bins for easy disposal.
Whiteman Dog Park, Whiteman, WA
In the midst of the wonderful Whiteman Park -- which also has a wildlife park and water playground -- is this 2.5 hectare fenced area where dogs can roam freely off their lead and caper on the obstacle course designed especially in colours that only canines can see! “Pooch Pouches” for cleaning up after your dog are available free of charge at the Visitor Information Centre in the Village and at the park, which is handily located next to car park 23.