Change in Dog Rules to Protect Wildlife at Snells Beach

Change in Dog Rules to Protect Wildlife at Snells Beach

The northern end of Snells Beach, New Zealand shall be off limits to dogs for a number of months to permit few of the space’s much-loved as well as endangered shorebirds to breed securely.

The short-term change to Auckland Council’s dog entry guidelines will apply between 28 August to 31 March. Throughout that period dogs shall be:

  • prohibited from all beach areas north of the Sunburst Avenue boat ramp
  • on leash always alongside Snells Beach Esplanade Reserve, north of the boat ramp.

Auckland Council’s Natural Environment Team Manager Andrew Nelson says this space is a crucial habitat for a lot of native shorebird species such as NZ dotterel, variable oystercatchers, and bar tailed godwits.

The short-term guidelines assist the nice work the group are doing to guard local native shorebirds.

“For the most part, these short-term modifications had been properly obtained by the group last 12 months. We heard there was much less disturbance to shorebirds, as well as the birds appeared to be more settled.

“Two dotterel chicks successfully fledged and also there have been frequent visits from the NZ fairy tern, our most endangered bird, says Andrew.

“Now it’s again time to make sure that nesting dotterels and oystercatchers are protected, together with feeding and roosting godwits, who depart on their northward migration to Alaska in late March.”

Guidelines south of reserve still apply

All beach areas south of the Sunburst Reserve boat ramp are nonetheless subject to present guidelines. That are:

  • Winter: Up till 30 November – dogs may be off leash however have to be under control.
  • Summer: Between 1 December and 1 March dogs may be off leash however have to be under control between 5pm and 10am and not allowed at all other times.

These guidelines are within the Auckland Council Policy on Dogs 2019 which are on the Auckland Council web site.

If you have any enquiries relating to the short-term change to dog entry, you can email to

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