New South Wales

Dog Beaches in Sydney: The Complete Guide

Dog Beaches Sydney

Sydney is home to a lot of beautiful beaches. However, if you have a dog, unfortunately dogs are prohibited from most of them. So, if you do want to head to the beach with your dog, whether for zoomies on the sand or a swim in the water, what are your options for dog-friendly beaches in Sydney? Choose between these 21 dog beaches in Sydney, after checking the hours of course… 

Dog Beaches in Sydney’s North

Sydney’s northern suburbs are home to the highest number of dog-friendly beaches in Sydney. However, none of these dog beaches are ocean facing beaches. Instead head north to Pittwater, south to the edge of Sydney Harbour, or check out some of the dog-friendly lagoon options. From north to south, here’s every dog-friendly beach in Sydney’s North… 

Station Beach, Palm Beach

Not surprisingly, popular Palm Beach, also known as the home of Home & Away, is off limits to pups. However, head to the other side of the peninsula to the southern end of Station Beach and dogs are permitted, albeit with a lot of restrictions. 

The dog-friendly section of Station Beach is located adjacent to the golf club, in between Beach Road and the wharf. On Google Maps, it’s best to search for “Barrenjoey Beach”. 

Dogs are only allowed on-leash and the hours are quite limited. Over the winter months, outside of daylight saving time, dogs are permitted before 10:30am and after 4pm. However, during daylight saving time, dogs are not allowed on the beach over the weekend, only before 10:30am and after 5:30pm on weekdays. 

The dog-friendly The Boathouse Palm Beach is located at the northern end of the off-leash section. So perhaps consider heading here on a sunny day in winter, firstly for a walk with your pup along the beach, followed by brunch.  

Mackerel Beach, Great Mackerel Beach

Tucked away on the western shores of Pittwater, surrounded by national park, is the small waterside enclave of Great Mackerel Beach. The only access is via ferry from Palm Beach (with dogs allowed outside on a leash), or of course your own private boat. 

Dogs are permitted off-leash at the Mackerel Beach Dog Area between the hours of 6:30am and 9:30am and again between 5pm and sunset, every day of the week. Outside of these hours, they are permitted on the beach but must remain on-leash. 

Dogs are only permitted on the stretch of beach between the jetty and the northernmost houses. Strangely, dogs are not permitted below the hide water mark or in the water, so don’t head here with your dog for a swim. 

Rowland Reserve, Bayview

For a dog-friendly outing to the far northern reaches of Sydney, any time of day, any time of year, instead head to Rowland Reserve Dog Park in Bayview. (Search for “Bayview Dog Park” on Google Maps).  

Dog beaches Sydney
Rowland Reserve Dog Park is located on Pittwater

This grassy reserve and the adjacent waters of Pittwater is fully off-leash all day long, with no pesky restrictions. No wonder people drive here with their pup from all over Sydney! 

As the beach is located on Pittwater, it’s relatively calm, with not far to swim to deeper waters further out for more confident doggie swimmers. Often a dog washing van is handily parked up nearby. 

Dog beach Sydney
Dogs swimming at the Bayview Dog Beach in winter

Try to nab one of the designated one-hour parking spots next to the off-leash area, if you’re not staying too long, otherwise parking can be expensive. Afterwards, consider driving around the bay to enjoy a drink in the large dog-friendly beer garden of The Newport.  

McCarrs Creek Reserve, Church Point

Tucked in behind the suburb of Bayview on the edge of Pittwater is the McCarrs Creek Reserve. Recently, the reserve has been trialling an off-leash area for dogs on weekdays. 

Dogs are allowed off-leash from Monday to Friday, all day long, in the signposted area west of the main access road into the reserve. While it’s not a proper beach by some definitions, there is a small beach area along the start of the creek, offering the chance for water-loving dogs to have a swim.  

Curl Curl Lagoon, Curl Curl

While none of the many proper Northern Beaches is dog-friendly, there are some dog-friendly areas next to the lagoons behind the beaches. The northernmost of these is at Curl Curl Lagoon. 

Curl Curl dog beach
The dog-friendly Curl Curl Lagoon

Head to the Flora and Ritchie Roberts Reserve on the southern side of Curl Curl Lagoon, where dogs are permitted off-leash and many dogs enjoy a swim in the lagoon. (Adam Street Reserve on the western side of Griffin Road also allows dogs off-leash and is adjacent to the lagoon, but lacks a sandy beach.)

Just be warned that the lagoons can be polluted, particularly after heavy rain, so use caution, particularly if your dog heads out into the deeper water. Also note that dogs are prohibited from going onto the sand of Curl Curl Beach, adjacent to the Flora and Ritchie Roberts Reserve. Parking at the reserve is paid, but free parking is available close by.

Dog friendly beaches northern beaches
A sign warning of the unknown water quality at Curl Curl Lagoon

Manly Lagoon, Queenscliff

Not further south is another lagoon where dogs are welcome to swim. Manly Lagoon is located at the northern end of Manly Beach, in the suburb of Queenscliff. 

Both Manly Lagoon Park and Lagoon Park West, also referred to as “Lagoon Reserve” on Google Maps, are designated off-leash dog parks. And of course there’s no stopping many of the off-leash dogs from heading to the waters of the lagoon.  

Manly dog beach
Dogs enjoying Manly Lagoon on a sunny day in winter

Just as for Curl Curl Lagoon, be aware that the water quality may not be the best, particularly for a few days after heavy rainfall. In this case, perhaps keep your dog on a leash if you don’t want them swimming in the lagoon. 

For an on-leash walk before or after, consider walking with your dog along the footpath that runs behind Queenscliff Beach and Manly Beach, down as far south as the Fairy Bower and Shelly Beach. It’s a wonderful beachside walk, but just be aware that pups aren’t permitted onto the sand of any of these beaches. There’s also plenty of cafes with dog-friendly outdoor seating along the way. 

Sandy Bay, Clontarf

Back when I used to live on the North Shore of Sydney, Sandy Bay in Clontarf was my favourite off-leash dog beach to visit in Sydney. Confusingly there’s no signs about whether dogs are allowed, but according to the council website it’s officially an off-leash dog area, with no time restrictions.

We love to visit Sandy Cove in Clontarf with Schnitzel

It’s no wonder then that it’s so popular with many dog owners, particularly on sunny days during the warmer months. It’s situated conveniently close to the centre of Sydney, and the water is beautifully clean and quite shallow, great for smaller, less-confident dogs. Just be warned that it’s best to visit close to low tide, as during high tide much of the beach can disappear beneath the water. 

Clontarf dog beach
The shallow waters of Sandy Cove, albeit approaching high tide

Note that dogs are not permitted on the beach at Clontarf Reserve, back at the start of Sandy Bay Road. Dogs are however permitted to walk on leash through the reserve, where most of the parking is located, albeit at an expensive rate. (A few unticketed parks are available right next to Sandy Bay, but there’re quickly snapped up.) At the marina, The Sandy Bear welcomes dogs at their outdoor seating. 

Spit Reserve East & West, Mosman

Just across the water and the Spit Bridge are located the two Spit Reserves, Spit West Reserve and Spit East Reserve, separated by the busy Spit Road. Both of these reserves are dog-friendly, albeit with some rules specified by Mosman Council.  

The dog-friendly Spit West Reserve in Mosman

Both of the reserves allow dogs to be exercised off-leash in them all day long, except between 8:30am and 2:30pm on Saturdays in Spit West Reserve. When it comes to heading onto the beach and going for a swim, dogs are permitted all day long on weekdays, but only before 9am or after 4pm on Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays.  

Check out the map on the page linked above for the exact boundaries of the two reserves. Spit East Reserve is quite small, only between Sydney Harbour Kayaks and the restaurants to the south. Spit West Reserve is quite large, extending around into Pearl Bay, but doesn’t always have a beach. Make sure you keep your dog well away from the busy roads, plus be aware that parking can be expensive.

Steps into the water at Spit West Reserve when the beach is covered by water

Clifton Gardens, Mosman

Another dog-friendly beach in the large suburb of Mosman is located at Clifton Gardens Reserve, also known as Chowder Bay. 

As specified on this website, dogs are only permitted off-leash on the beach and in the water to the east of the Clifton Gardens jetty. They are only permitted on the beach on weekdays, either before 9am or after 4pm in winter. During daylight savings over the summer, they are only allowed on the beach before 9am or after 6pm.  

The section of beach at Clifton Gardens where dogs are permitted during certain hours

The rules for dogs on the adjacent grassy reserve are more relaxed, with dogs permitted off-leash all day long on weekdays, plus before 9am and after 4pm on Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays. At other hours they need to remain on-leash. (It’s a popular picnic spot.) 

Parking is quite expensive at Clifton Gardens, although it’s possible to park further up the hill for free then walk down.  Alternatively, combine a visit to the beach with a walk through the adjacent bushland. If you park at Frenchy’s Cafe or Georges Head Lookout, just off Middle Head Road, there’s a bush walk down to Chowder Bay that just skirts the national park, with dogs permitted on-leash. 

Sirius Cove, Mosman

Probably the most popular dog-friendly beach to visit in the Mosman area is Sirius Cove, a quiet cove tucked away just west of Taronga Zoo. 

There are some restrictions in place, as detailed here. While dogs are permitted off-leash on the beach and in the water all day long on weekdays, come Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays they are only permitted before 9am and after 4pm.  

Mosman dog beach
Enjoying the beach at Sirius Cove

The same off-leash hours apply for the grassy reserve adjacent, although luckily dogs are still permitted to join you on leash for a picnic in the shady park during the day on weekends. Both the reserve and the beach are quiet and calm, well away from roads, with easy and free parking.  

Dog Beaches in Sydney’s East

Not surprisingly, dogs are prohibited from virtually every beach in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs, including popular beaches such as Bondi Beach and Coogee Beach. Dogs are strictly not allowed on any beach in the Waverley and Randwick council areas, even on a leash. However, there are some harbour beaches in the Woollahra council area that do permit dogs… 

Rose Bay Foreshore, Rose Bay

The most dog-friendly beach in Sydney’s East is the Rose Bay Foreshore at Rose Bay. Also known as “Rose Bay Beach” on Google Maps, dogs are allowed off-leash on the beach between Percival Park and Dumaresq Reserve. 

Rose Bay dog beach
Enjoying the sand at Rose Bay Foreshore

There are no time restrictions on dogs being allowed off-leash, with dogs allowed off-leash on the beach all day long. However, at the adjacent Dumaresq Reserve, dogs are only allowed off-leash before 8:30am or after 4:30pm. For more information, check this page

Rose Bay Beach is fairly calm, a great spot to head out on a SUP with your pup. It’s best to enter from the end of Caledonian Road, as sometimes the sand in front of Dumaresq Reserve is covered by the water.  There’s a carpark nearby on Dover Road.

Rose Bay Park, Rose Bay

On the western side of Rose Bay, dogs are also allowed at Rose Bay Park and on the adjacent beach, also known as “Bellamy Beach” on Google Maps. The small beach is in between the Rose Bay and Point Piper marinas. 

Note however that dogs are officially meant to stay on leash, although reportedly this is not always enforced, with many locals allowing their dogs off leash. This is also a calm harbour beach. 

Bellamy Beach at Rose Bay Park

Kutti Beach, Vaucluse

Like most people, I had never heard of Kutti Beach in Vaucluse. Located just south of Watsons Bay, a 10 minute walk from the ferry wharf, it’s tucked away at the end of Wharf Road. It’s easy to miss the step and narrow wooden steps down to the beach, which smaller, less agile dogs might need to be carried down. The easiest parking is back up on Hopetoun Avenue.

Kutti Beach is a gem of a harbour beach, small but calm and pretty. While dogs are also meant to stay on leash on this beach, dogs are often let off leash, including when I visited. However, the local council rangers often pop by, so be warned.

The gorgeous Kutti Beach, where dogs are allowed on-leash

Lady Martin Beach, Point Piper

The final dog-friendly beach located in the Woollahra local government area in Sydney’s East is Lady Martin Beach. 

Lady Martin Bech is located at the tip of the exclusive suburb of Point Piper. The beach is fairly small, with parking tricky, making it not the best option in the area. Dogs are also required to stay on leash on this beach. 

Glebe Foreshore, Glebe

Okay, this spot definitely isn’t in the Eastern Suburbs, and most humans wouldn’t consider swimming here. But it’s a popular doggie paddle spot for local dog owners and deserves a mention somewhere in this list.  

A number of sections of the Glebe Foreshore Parks permits dogs off-leash, including the section of the Glebe Foreshore Walk between the tip of Glebe Point Road and Ferry Road. In the middle of the walkway there’s a section that overlooks a small beach, which is exposed at lower tides and is a popular swimming spot for dogs. 

Further along the foreshore both Bicentennial and Federal Parks west of the Canal allow dogs off-leash, with further chances for dogs to have a dip in Blackwattle Bay. 

Dog Beaches in Sydney’s South

For some more great dog-friendly beaches in Sydney, head to the southern suburbs of Sydney. There are multiple dog beaches in the Sutherland council area, including the only dog-friendly ocean-facing beach in Sydney, plus two options closer to the city. 

Port Botany Foreshore, Botany

Tucked in between the Sydney Airport runways and the container port in Botany is the Port Botany Foreshore (also known as “Foreshore Beach” on Google). It’s looked after by the Port Authority rather than a local council, so I nearly missed finding out about this dog-friendly beach close to the city.

Dogs are allowed on the beach all day long, as long as they are on a leash. Access is from Foreshore Road, look for the signs for the boat ramp, where there is a large carpark. It’s not the most scenic spot, with its industrial location, but it’s a fairly large area.

Lady Robinsons Beach, Kyeemagh

The off-leash dog exercise area at Lady Robinsons Beach in Kyeemagh is one of the newest off-leash dog beaches in Sydney, only established by the Bayside Council in 2018.   

The off-leash area of Lady Robinsons Beach is at the far northern tip, about 150m north of the fenced off baths and adjacent to the carpark, designated as “Kyeemagh Off Leash Dog Area” on Google Maps. It’s just south of Sydney Airport.  

The entrance to the Kyeemagh dog beach

Dogs aren’t permitted on the beach all day long, just before 10am and after 4pm. Note that dogs should be kept on leash while accessing the beach along the walkways, and kept off the sensitive dune areas, which are fenced off.

The carpark is only accessible to southbound traffic. If you are coming from the south and Brighton-Le-Sands, turn off onto Kyeemagh Avenue just north of the bridge and loop around.

Sydney dog beaches
Enjoying the off-leash section of Lady Robinsons Beach

Silver Beach, Kurnell

At the southern side of Botany Bay is the off-leash dog beach at Silver Beach. Located in Kurnell, it’s a 35-minute drive around the bay from Kyeemagh via the Captain Cook Bridge.  

Kurnell dog beach
The beautiful white sand of Silver Beach

The off-leash dog section is located adjacent to the Bonna Point Reserve carpark, in between the third and fourth rock groynes. Alternatively, just search for “Kurnell Dog Beach” on Google Maps. There’s no time restrictions, with dogs permitted on the sand all day long. Just keep in mind that dogs are not permitted at all on the rest of the beach. 

Being located on Botany Bay, the water at Silver Beach is relatively calm and shallow, great for less confident doggie swimmers. There’s a handy water fountain for both humans and dogs, or head to the nearby Cook @ Kurnell Cafe, a popular spot with local dog owners.

The calm waters of Silver Beach

Greenhills Beach, Cronulla

On the other side of the Kurnell Peninsula, on the northern edge Cronulla, is Greenhills Beach, the only ocean-facing dog beach in the entire Sydney region. No wonder then it’s very popular with both locals and dog owners all over Sydney, especially larger more adventurous dogs.

Greenhills Beach is the only dog-friendly ocean-facing beach in Sydney

The off-leash dog area is just north of Wanda Beach, between Gate 5 and Gate 1. Dogs are permitted on the beach seven days a week, before 10am and after 4pm. There is also a trial extension of hours over the current winter, with access starting at 3pm up until the start of October. 

Note that dogs are prohibited on the beach outside of these hours, during the middle of the day. Dogs are also prohibited from Wanda Beach and must be kept on leash on Wanda Reserve, the grassy area next to the car park. It’s best to park at the northern end of the car park, closest to Gate 5.

This beach is unpatrolled and as such swimming by humans is not recommended. Make sure you keep a close eye on your pups in the water, which is often rough. 

Cronulla dog beach
Lots of dogs on Greenhills Beach on a sunny winter’s day

Horderns Beach, Bundeena

The two southernmost dog beaches in Sydney are located in Bundeena, the small quiet suburb nestled between Port Hacking and the Royal National Park. The larger of the two beaches is Horderns Beach.  

Horderns Bech is located immediately west of the ferry wharf in Bundeena. It’s possible to take the ferry across from Cronulla with your dog, with dogs allowed on Cronulla Ferries as long as they are on a leash.  

Ferry from Cronulla to Bundeena
Catch the dog-friendly ferry from Cronulla to Bundeena

The best time to visit this dog beach is during the cooler months of the year. Between May and August, dogs are allowed off leash all day long, seven days a week.  

Unfortunately, from September to April, dogs are prohibited on Horderns Beach on the weekend and public holidays. On weekdays dogs are allowed off-leash before 8:30am and after 4:30pm, or on-leash only during the middle of the day. 

Gunyah Beach, Bundeena

Dogs are also permitted on Gunyah Beach, a small beach tucked away on the eastern side of Bundeena, although the rules are a lot more restrictive. 

Dogs are only permitted on-leash on the beach, never off-leash. And while dogs are permitted all day long during the cooler months from May to August, in between September and April dogs are only permitted on the beach before 8:30am and after 4:30pm. During the middle of the day in the warmer months, both on weekdays and weekends, dogs are prohibited from the beach. 

Dog Beaches Close to Sydney

Once your head out of Sydney, either to the north or south, there’s plenty more dog beaches, including ocean-facing beaches. For some great dog-friendly beaches to visit on day trips, consider these options. 

Patonga Beach, Patonga

The small community of Patonga lies on the northern side of the Hawkesbury River, just past the northern reaches of Sydney. Most of Patonga Beach has been designated as a 24-hour off-leash dog beach, in between the jetty and the Meroo Avenue boundary sign. 

Thanks to the long loop that you need to drive to reach the spot via the outskirts of Gosford, it’s a long 90-minute drive from Sydney, but well worth the drive. The beach is idyllic and clam, and just opposite is dog-friendly The Boathouse Hotel Patonga.  

Idyllic Patonga Beach on the Hawkesbury River

North Shelly Beach, Toowoon Bay

There’s plenty more dog-friendly beaches on the Central Coast, many of them ocean-facing, great for adventurous dogs that love to swim. One of the best options is North Shelly Beach at Toowoon Bay, just south of The Entrance. 

Also a 90-minute drive north of Sydney, head to the spot marked “North Shelly Beach Dog Beach” on Google Maps. The off-leash section extends from the beach access stairs, where there’s plenty of free parking, south along the golf course to the northern beach access walkway off Shelly Beach Road.  

Shelly Beach is one of many off-leash dog beaches on the Central Coast

Sharkey’s Beach, Coledale

The Wollongong City Council has designated many of their beaches as off-leash or on-leash dog beaches, with Sharkey’s Beach (also known as Sharkies Beach) at Coledale one of the closest off-leash options to Sydney. 

A 75-minute drive south from the centre of Sydney, there’s plenty of parking alongside Sharkey’s Beach, plus some great options for coffee just a short walk up the hill. Note that the beach is unpatrolled and the surf can be rough.  

Read more tips for a dog-friendly day trip to Wollongong

McCauley’s Beach, Thirroul/Bulli

Another great dog-friendly beach not much further south is McCauley’s Beach, in between Thirroul and Bulli. The off-leash section of the beach starts at the steps at Corbett Avenue and extends south to the rock platform at Sandon Point. It is also unpatrolled.  

The largest carpark is at Sandon Point, although your dog will need to stay on leash until they reach the beach. There’s also a small carpark at Corbett Avenue, closer to the beach. A few creeks lie along the beach that sometimes form lagoons, which are popular with dogs the prefer calmer water. 

Checking out the surf at McCauley’s Beach, south of Sydney

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2 Comments

  • Reply
    Seana Smith
    September 9, 2020 at 11:46 am

    This article is so great Shandos, what a useful resource. I’ve popped into the Hello Sydney Kids social media library so it will go out a few times. My readers often ask for more dog-friendly info, and for me to add info about dogs to all the places described but we have never had a dog (boo hoo) and so I feel quite useless. Great to point them in your direction.

    • Reply
      Shandos
      September 10, 2020 at 8:13 am

      Thanks so much Seana! I’ll be sure to share some links back to your page in return.

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