This large park is the place to take your dog in this university city
We bundled the dogs into the car and are off to their favourite place; Minogue Park in the Hamilton suburb of Forest Lake.
Minogue Park is a huge open area backing onto the Waterworld Complex. This park is used by many different groups, model aircraft enthusiasts, joggers, kite flyers and the Miniature Railway Club has its own delightful track running around the small lake. Of course, it is a fantastic place to walk your dog, too.
This park is the meeting place for many like-minded dog owners and we meet the regulars daily, stop and chat and watch the dogs play and run around the park. But the park is so large that if you want a quieter walk there is plenty of room to explore on your own.
There is a lovely boardwalk around parts of Lake Rotokaeo and dogs must remain on lead here. This is a lovely spot with plenty of shade and the native bush around the lake is quite accessible if you want to venture off the path. The lake is home to ducks, swans and other native wildlife.
The area around the miniature railway is another area where dogs should remain on lead but seldom are. There is a small man-made lake which dogs delight to swimming in – be warned though, the dogs smell disgusting after this and need to be hosed off when returning home. There is also an abundance of rabbits at the park and it is not unusual to see dogs charging after them.
There is a downside to Minogue Park. After a significant amount of rain most of the park is a swamp and gumboots are necessary for dog walkers especially in winter and the spring.
The dogs just love it here though; they love running through the trees, charging through the bush area (away from lake) and are adept at avoiding the many chestnuts lying on the ground beneath the trees on the hill. There is a natural amphitheatre area which is great for exercising the dogs: just stand at the top of the hill and throw the ball down. The park is quite isolated from the road and gives a sense of safety and I find I can relax with Brock racing around as there is no traffic passing by.
There are a couple of park benches on the hill overlooking the amphitheatre, but most days the wind is quite strong and you wouldn’t be tempted to linger long here.
Views from the hill include Waikato Racing Club racing track, Mt Pirongia to the west and the Hakiramatas to the north.
MinoguePark has my thumbs up as the most convenient and preferred place to take my dogs in Hamilton – a view shared by many Hamilton residents.
- Sue O’Neill
The dog box
Where: Numerous streets lead to the park: Walsh Street, Tui Ave,
Garnett Ave, Mitcham Ave.
Time: Up to 60min.
Off leash areas: Signposted.
Dog bins: Mitcham Avenue entrance, Walsh Street entrance, beside
the miniature railway.
What to take
For Rex: Water, though there are taps by Tui Avenue that dogs can