One of my all time favourite places to visit is Ruapuke Beach. Located about an hour from Hamilton and 30 minutes from Raglan, this quiet beach is nestled between farm land and is one of the Waikato’s best kept secrets. I first discovered this beach while out on a horse trek with Wild Coast Ruapuke Horse Treks (I’ve done their treks many times now and highly recommend it if you’re ever wanting to go trekking in the Waikato!), and have returned on several occasions with the dogs. It’s super quiet with just the occasional horses or fishermen around, and has the most stunning sunsets.
Not safe for swimming, but perfect to dip your feet in and let the dogs paddle in the shallows on a calm day.
Sunset over the water – stunning!
Nixie Lix working the frisbee during her shoot!
There are some nice streams and rivers leading out to the beach. The dogs loved hopping in to cool off!
Getting there – The road to Ruapuke Beach is a narrow, winding and rough gravel road, often with limited cell phone reception. Be prepared for this! Parking – Lots of space available. Coming from Hamilton, go past the Ruapuke Motor Camp and you will see the turn off to the beach carpark on your left. There is also a carpark before the motorcamp but it is more difficult to access the beach from there.
Dogs allowed off lead – Yes
Bins – No. Take your rubbish away with you and leave only footprints.
Water available – There are streams etc, but take some fresh water with you for your dog.
Other notes – Make sure your dog is under control at all times and obey any signs. There may be protected birds, horses, other dogs and fishermen etc at the beach, so if in doubt keep your dog on lead. Be careful around the water as there are powerful currents – it is not considered a safe swimming beach.
Accommodation is available at Wild Coast Ruapuke, as well as the Ruapuke Motor Camp however you will need to check if they allow dogs or not before booking.
After you’ve had a play on the beach, I recommend heading in to Raglan to have a coffee at one of their dog friendly cafes.