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Join Coya as she shares all of her favourites: the dog friendly cafés, tail-wagging activities and woof-worthy scenic locations in one of New Zealand's most dog friendly region, Taupō!
At 6.00 am sharp, my usual morning consists of staring intensely at mum until she wakes up.
Finally, we go outside, and I casually do my morning sniff. At the same time, she impatiently performs two-legged hops like a newborn pup. Then we bike (I run beside her) to the office, where I have the important job of providing pets and comfort to the Love Taupō team.
May I emphasize...it’s very important...without me, I don’t know how they’d function, honestly.
But this morning, mum packed me in the car, and we drove what felt like ages...
When I hopped out, I was in this Jurassic world. I heard mum say a "geothermal park” (not like any other park we'd been to before).
We took a short ferryboat ride for this walk, unlike the ones we usually take back home. But I loved it! So many interesting smells coming from these steamy holes in the ground. And so many colours (even though I can’t see most of them), I could tell they were beautiful.
And because mum stopped and stared at the steaming ground, "geysers" is what they call it, I got ample time to sniff around. It was wonderful!
Paw-rent tip: Have your human bring a short lead to keep you safely on the pathway.
This is turning out to be the best day ever! We're closer back home near my favourite running trails. But mum turned, and I got so distracted by all the love people gave me that I almost missed the dam opening!
I had a front-row seat to the pretty water rushing below us (the Aratiatia Rapids).
Paw-rent tip: Insist on your human arriving 30 minutes early to the Huka Falls River Cruise to watch the Aratiatia Dam release at 12.00pm. Then lead your paw-rents to the lookout spot where you both watch one of Taupō's amazing natural attractions, the Aratiatia Rapids.
I saw a boat waiting for me. Once loaded up, mum and I travelled through the Waikato River for a bit. Luckily, I was preoccupied with all the people giving me pats. Due to my job, I was experienced in giving the people what they wanted.
Before I saw it, I heard a huge thunderous sound. Then so much water poured out – it could have filled 1000 dog bowls! I heard the man in the boat say, "Huka Falls".
It was legendary being so close to the falls! All the people petting me seemed to love it as much as I did.
Paw-rent tip: Mate, be ready for heaps of pats!
Mum needed a rest from our big morning, so we stopped in at Kefi at The Hub. This is a mecca for other dogs and their parents who like to walk or bike. Mum got a nice-looking latte (she didn't get me anything, but I'll forgive her in exchange for extra love).
While she sipped, I enjoyed sunbathing on the patio, and the fun smells coming from the café.
Paw-rent tip: Just across the road is the entrance to my mum and I's favourite park in Taupō, Craters Mountain Bike Park. There we ride the trails together! Well... I run next to her like the wind while she jumps and bikes the single-track trails. If your human likes to mountain bike, bark until they buy a Bike Taupō pass at FourB (next to Kefi) to get access for a whole week!
I love going into town as much as I love the trails around Taupō. There are so many friendly people and shops that let me inside! We went to this shop called Hamills Taupō, and the nice man pet me. Then he helped me find a new stylish leash that I can’t wait to show off around town.
In Gordon's Outdoor Equipment Taupō, I got to help mum pick some new hiking shoes for our upcoming hike in the Kaimanawa Forest Park. To be honest, I just picked the ones that smelled the best. And of course, more pats!
I could list all my favourite dog friendly cafés and shops below, but my mum beat me to it.
Paw-rent tip: Enjoy the smells at a café while your human gets a hot drink. Have them have a walkies with this self-guided tour by downloading the Graffiato: Taupō Street Art walking map here. It keeps mum walking a long time around town and staring at the street art, which is fine by me!
Mum and I had a sleepover right on the lakefront.
I got to stay inside the room with mum. And instead of staring intensely at her in the mornings, I stared at the lake and the birds and the people walking by from our lakeview room!
I could see one of my favorite walks, the Great Lake Pathway, and the beach just metres away.
Paw-rent tip: Bark for Unit 1. The lake views keep you occupied to allow your human to sleep later (just a little).
Another walk that both my mum and I love is called "Rangatira Point Track". We always take the longer route, but there are places to start later down the track.
What a day for it! I love the smell of the native bush and the small beaches along the way where I wet my paws.
When we pass the boat ramp, I know we’re close! My tail wags faster as I see Whakamoenga Point! I run and jump over the volcanic rocks. It makes me feel like a pup again.
On a sunny day, mum brings snacks. After splashing around, we sunbathe on the rocks and enjoy our time together.
Paw-rent tip: For some woof-worthy views of the Tongaririo National Park, go on a sunny day! Mum and I spotted some sailboats go by, and it was the perfect temperature (at least for me) for a quick jump in.
We made it to my absolute favourite walk (or run next to mum’s bike), the Great Lake Pathway! There’s 10 kilometers of pathway for me to run and sniff.
When mum stops, I bring her a prized stick. But then she has the audacity to throw it in the lake...So, I kindly go and retrieve it for her.
Paw-rent tip: For dog friendly areas, have your hooman check the "Ultimutt Travel Guide to Taupō" or have them use a long-line leash for us to safely explore.
Back at the motel, mum got hungry (no surprise there). Luckily Two Mile Bay Sailing Club was a short walk away along the Great Lake Pathway. I got a very lovely greeting from the staff and patrons – I felt like I was a celebrity. Mum got a glass of cold liquid, and I pounced onto the sand.
I brought her another beauty of a stick. But she threw it again! So, I jumped in the lake (which I didn’t mind) and brought it back. It was the pawfect evening together.
Paw-rent tip: Every first Saturday of each month, Two Mile Bay Sailing Club hosts "Dogs & Grog". When your paw-rents bring you, they get a free pizza when they buy a Peroni or wine (they might even share a piece with you)!
Please keep in mind that normal dog etiquette applies. My human kept me on a leash at all times in the designated areas to keep me and others safe.
Find yourself wondering if you should bring your four-legged friend with you on the Taupō region trails? Let the story and adventures of Alex & Coya inspire your next mountain biking trip.