About Waglands

Where dogs love to be dogs and us humans love to love them for it. Creating the best stay ever doesn’t come easy. Over the years we’ve watched, listened, trialled and adopted the ideal practices to make Waglands the place dogs love to stay.
We take pride in what we do – our location, our premises, our facilities, our team and the wholesome experience we share with our guests.

Our Story

In 2009, high on the hill tops overlooking the Hutt Valley sat a rickety old dog-stay. To most people, it looked tired, run down and almost forgotten. But not to us.
We saw past the buildings and material objects. What we saw was the most fun, most attentive and the most sought after dogs’ holiday retreat in the Wellington region.
We saw how the spectacular hill-top destination could transform into a place where dogs’ owners would love to let their companions stay and where dogs would never want to leave.

Miniature Poodle at Waglands
Owners of Waglands Ben and Arlene Adams Family Business

Ben and Arlene Adams

With a background in Engineering and Health Science, Ben is co-owner and the brains behind the constant improvements at Waglands. He can’t help himself! His love of animals brims over too. Along with his passion for Waglands he finds time to lecture at Weltec Animal Care and Vet Nursing school and be an advocate for animals within the NZ Companion Animal Council. 

Arlene grew up in a dog mad family. Breeding, nurturing, and performance training were combined with co-running the family Pet Shop. Then a career as a Business Analyst and Project Management set her up with the business skills she needed to build the Waglands dream with Ben. Arlene is also one of NZ’s few fully qualified NZ & Inter. master groomers, an international award winner, and previous NZ Groomteam member .

Accredited Living Wage Employer

Who takes care of our guests?

Each member of our team is an absolute hero, working really hard behind the scene. We employ permanent, experienced people rather than casuals, always looking to get to know returning guests better from holiday to holiday. We specifically look for maturity, drive, dedication and collaboration in our team members.

Meet our dog loving heroes here:

Our Team - Tinni - Dog Care Specialist


Dog Care Specialist
Joined Waglands 2011

Tinni’s passion for dogs started early, growing up on a property in her native Sweden with many dogs of various breeds. Waglands provided Tinni with her first opportunity to combine her love for dogs and work. In addition to her time at Waglands she is also a part-time administrator in Wellington. Since moving to NZ in 1995 she has been heavily involved in community work.

Our Team - Sue - Dog Care Specialist


Dog Care Specialist
Joined Waglands 2012

Sue moved over from the UK in 2007 and after a series of jobs in hospitality, joined Waglands. She grew up in households that always had dogs and cats and enjoys nothing more than long bush walks with her dogs. Sue’s family now has two cats an assortment of chickens and her two dogs – Gypsy the heading dog and  Kizzi, a HUHA special.

Our Team - Lumas - Dog Specialist


Dog Specialist
Joined Waglands 2014

From an early age, Lumas made himself quite at home at Waglands. His generous and outgoing nature is shared between the recreation areas and grooming room, where he fulfils his important role of delighting four legged arrivals with his enthusiasm. He is also Arlene’s grooming creative Muse and amazingly, still finds time to update his Facebook page occasionally. He can virtually be befriended as “Lumas Waglands”.


Customer Specialist
Joined Waglands 2015

Jane is a native organiser, and her wonderful thoroughness and organising skills worked alongside families to help clean and raise children while her family was also young. While Jane joined us to help us cope with combining family and Waglands, she soon found her talents were so well suited to welcoming and fare welling our guests with warmth and care. Jane is a keen gardener, organiser, and wonderful Mother when she isn’t helping our furry community. Jane’s new baby –  the four legged kind  – is called Archie.

Waglands dog tag logo


Yard Specialist
Joined Waglands 2017

Joining us as a young school student to help with lawn mowing and ground keeping, Annabel is one of our key support people, magically appearing and tackling an astonishing amount of lawn mowing and ground repairs, allowing us to give our guests a play surface that is simply the best for them. Annabel’s other interests are competitive yachting, and dance.

Our Team - Ruth- Dog Care Specialist


Dog Care Specialist
Joined Waglands 2017

Ruth joined us fresh from Yorkshire in the UK. She is Beagle mad, loving all things Canine from a very young age. Coming from a high pressure background as a chef in the UK, she loves being immersed in each busy day of caring for all our guests up at Waglands. She shares her house with Baxter her Beagle.

Our Team - Mandy- Customer Specialist


Customer Specialist
Joined Waglands 2018

Mandy is usually seen welcoming our guests and their owners with her calm and genuine presence. With qualifications in zoology and vet nursing, she comes from a strong dog and family background, sparing so much of her precious time and skill having been a president of her local Playcentre, and the librarian at the local toy library while bringing up her young family. Amazing!

She lives with her dog, Coach, three kids and husband Mark.

Zoe with her dog


Dog Care Specialist
Joined Waglands 2019

Zoe grew up with all sorts of dogs, and was a magnet for anything lost and looking for a home. Her working life took her away from animals into childcare, then working up to being a front line duty manager at a restaurant. But the call of her animals brought her full circle, finding out about Waglands while studying Animal Care at Weltec in 2019.

Fitting in as much work around her studies is Zoe’s idea of a break, and her remarkable energy and attentions are most appreciated supporting our guests and team. Zoe has a gorgeous cross-breed called Munter

Waglands dog tag logo


Dog Care Specialist
Joined Waglands 2019

Ellen’s heart and determination to work with animals took her straight to Otago University to study a rich combination of her certificate in Veterinary Nursing, as well as a degree in Theatre and Zoology. Basing herself in Dunedin, she applied her skills and training to working as a vet Nurse, and within the University, taking on the care and needs of hundreds of rats and mice, and helping at the Otago SPCA and Dunedin Cat Rescue, before the availability of hospitality work gradually moved her from her initial calling.
In Waglands, Ellen found a return to all things animal, and her wealth of organisation is now combined with all of her health and wellness skills from her Zoological and Animal Nursing background. We love seeing that knowledge and personal gifts of hers puts into practice at every opportunity for our guests.


Dog Care Specialist
Joined Waglands 2019

Growing up on the family farm, Lauren was absolutely hands on and surrounded by all manner of animals while also surf lifeguarding and volunteering at the SPCA. Choosing to be a vet was just logical for her, which began with her Honours degree majoring in genetics, and continues through term-time at Massey.
Choosing to come to Waglands to support her studies was a golden chance for Lauren to spend all of that ‘vacation’ period actively looking after the health, happiness and wellness of our diverse furry community, applying and honing all that knowledge and skill, and abundant hands-on talent.

Our Team member Izzy


Waglands Support
Joined Waglands 2019

Izzy grew up with a cat and a ‘Westy’ called Archie, and absolutely loved her animals. Volunteering and fostering dogs at the SPCA cemented her drive to make dogs her working life. She embarked on studying Animal Care and Vet Nursing locally through Weltec, and then worked in Daycare and Grooming.
Izzy’s idea of great downtime from her busy role caring for Waglands guests is taking a family or friend’s dog for hiking escapades around Wellington. In the years to come, she hopes to travel through third world countries, and finding ways to help their local dogs.

Waglands dog tag logo


Dog Care Specialist
Joined Waglands 2020

Erika came to New Zealand from her native Italy, where she studied Canine Behaviour and Interaction, and has spent most of a decade since working with dogs, doing grooming, training, pet sitting, and walking, as well as some work within the boarding Industry.
The needs of life and income however took her across to hospitality management, but this was only ever a means to an end until she could get back to igniting her caring nature, and getting back on track with studying dog behaviour and training, which made Waglands a really interesting place to immerse her talents into. Erika has a Standard Poodle which will be making the journey to NZ soon.

Waglands dog tag logo

Would you like to join us?

Email us on Arlene@waglands.co.nz

Our place

Imagine a spectacular place, 10 minutes from Petone, that transports you into the countryside. Where dogs can enjoy a lovely holiday, with space, privacy, good company and delicious food. Fully engaged owners live right there on site, cultivating the most attentive team of active and observant dog-loving people– together creating standards of excellence that win them awards.

And next time, your dog gets excited just coming back up the driveway, as … they know very well … it is all about them.

This is the dream we had in 2009, transforming a dilapidated ‘boarding kennel’ into Waglands, Dogs’ Holiday Retreat.

Our professional affiliations


Dog Groomers of New Zealand

International Professional Groomers

The Dog Gurus [International pet services training]

Fetch Find Approved [International pet services training]

NZ Companion Animal Council Member and Active Participant

Accredited Living Wage Employer

Member of Dogs NZ

Member of Hutt Chamber of Commerce


We enter awards because we aspire to be the best at what we do, and the discipline of entering helps us keep thinking about constant improvement and pausing to recognise just how far we have come from such humble roots. We get great feedback from judges who are well placed to share improvement insights. And also because we are so proud of what we do – we want our team and our clients to see what hard work and passion can achieve. Here are just some of the awards we’ve received.


Click on each image below to view the articles.