If you’re looking for somewhere to head along the NSW coast with plenty of dog-friendly beaches, look no further than Batemans Bay! Along the stretch of coastline north and south of the town, from South Durras to the Moruya River, there’s twelve 24-hour off-leash beaches, plus plenty more timeshare options. With a wide range of dog-friendly accommodation, Batemans Bay makes for a great dog-friendly getaway from Canberra (only 2 hours away) or Sydney (under 4 hours drive).
Dog-Friendly Beaches in Batemans Bay
There’s no shortage of dog-friendly beaches in the Batemans Bay area: the 40km stretch of coastline from South Durras to the Moruya River has no less than twelve 24-hour off-leash beaches!
There’s even more dog-friendly beaches if you want to count the timeshare beaches. With the timeshare beaches in the Batemans Bay area, during the summer months dogs are not allowed on the beach between 9am and 5pm. But between 1st May and 31st October, dogs are allowed on the beach all day long.
As we visited during the winter, there was a huge number of off-leash beaches we could have visited. But we decided to stick to the year-round off-leash beaches, comparing them all to determine which ones are the best. Our favourite beaches included, from north to south:
Durras Main Beach: A long and wide beach with golden sand about 20 minutes drive north of Batemans Bay in South Durras. The surf can be rather rough, but it’s a lovely stretch for off-leash frolics. The dog-friendly section starts from south of the caravan park, north to the headland. (If you want to stay longer, the Big4 South Durras Holiday Park allows small dogs, generally under 10kg, on a handful of sites.)
Sunshine Bay Beach: About 5km south of Batemans Bay, look out for the sign “Sunshine Cove” while driving along Beach Road. A beautiful and tranquil spot, the beach is fairly small, but big enough for some off-leash explorations and a calm spot for swimming. (A couple went snorkelling during our visit.) Our dog, Schnitzel, loved sniffing along the shoreline.
Wimbie Beach: One of my favourite beaches in the Batemans Bay area, this is a gorgeous and very calm beach. It’s also well removed from the road, so you can feel safe about allowing your dog off leash. Dogs are also allowed off-leash on the adjacent reserve and headland.
Circuit Beach: This beautiful and secluded beach at Lilli Pilli is surrounded by bush, which luckily escaped the recent bushfires. However, there’s very limited parking, so it’s probably best to head elsewhere on busy days.
Tomaga River Beach: The off-leash area is very large, extending to both the ocean beach and river beach on either side of the long spit. Park near the boat ramp and then take your pick between the two, or walk all the way around the spit. Note that dogs are not allowed on Cove Beach north of the headland.
Broulee Beach: A lovely wide beach, especially at low tide, that was quite calm when we visited. Dogs are allowed in between the Frances Street access point and the nature reserve around Broulee Island. (Dogs are not permitted to join you in venturing across to the island.)
Bengello Beach: This is one of the largest off-leash beaches around, stretching for over 6km! Dogs aren’t allowed on the northernmost section, but are allowed from McNee Street south to the North Head campground. Just one caveat – if horses are being ridden on the beach, dogs need to stay on leash nearby.
Dog-Friendly Accommodation in Batemans Bay
No matter what your preferred accomodation style, there’s plenty of dog-friendly accommodation options in Batemans Bay. For starters, the Abode hotel chain, which also has multiple pet-friendly properties around Canberra, recently opened the dog-friendly Abode Malua Bay. The hotel is located 15 minutes south of the centre of Batemans Bay, near the timeshare off-leash Malua Bay Beach.
When booking, select the “Pet Package” option. As well as booking you into a pet-friendly room, your dog will also be spoilt with a selection of treats, a toy, and pet shampoo and conditioner. All rooms are self-contained with their own kitchenette, and up to two pets are permitted per room.
While some caravan parks only allow dogs during off-peak periods or not at all, luckily some of the caravan parks around Batemans Bay allow dogs all year round. This is the case at the pet-friendly BIG4 Batemans Bay Beach Resort, where we stayed for the night. The park allows dogs both on camping sites and in selected cabins. To find the pet-friendly options, just set the filter to Pets on the accommodation page. Always ring up to book, with only selected sites allowing pets during the peak Christmas and Easter periods, plus some other rules applying.
What we loved about the BIG4 Batemans Bay Beach Resort is that it’s located next to the off-leash Corrigans Beach, with direct access from the campsites. It’s not my favourite dog beach around, but it’s close to town so a popular spot during the morning and evening. The caravan parks also has lots of facilities for all the family, including a pool and mini golf. If just passing through town, note that the two-night minimum booking period during the off peak season (when we visited) is waived for walk-ins.
Two other caravan parks just south of Batemans Bay that allow dogs year round are the Barlings Beach Holiday Park (according to the Pet Policy, pets are allowed on camping and caravan sites, plus in selected Beach Comber Cabins, Islander Cabins and Tomakin House, although generally only small to medium size dogs are permitted) and Ingenia Holidays BIG4 Broulee (both pet-friendly sites and cabins are available, although call to check on availability and possible black out dates).
One fabulous looking holiday home (well, pair of homes) in the area is Mutley’s and Patches Holiday Homes at Tomakin. Mutley’s Home is 4-bedrooms, while Patches is 3-bedrooms. Pets are welcome inside and both food and water bowls are provided. Just bring your dog’s bedding. Out of the nearby beaches, avoid Cove Beach where dogs are not allowed, but Tomaga River Beach is 24-hour off-leash and Barlings Beach is off-leash on a timeshare basis.
Dog-Friendly Cafes in Batemans Bay
One of the most dog-friendly cafes around Batemans Bay is Grumpy & Sweethearts, on the main street of Mogo. There’s a huge outdoor area (just ask the staff to let you through if the outdoor gate is closed). Water bowls are provided and there’s lots of attention and sometimes even treats from the staff members. We enjoyed some cake and coffee in the afternoon sun, but there’s also plenty of reasonably priced toasties and sandwiches, as well as more substantial lunch options.
In Batemans Bay itself, head to JJ’s at the Marina for a waterfront seafood restaurant and bar. There’s plenty of outdoor tables out on the deck. Or else head to the adjacent Southern Catch seafood outlet for more casual offerings or takeaway, to enjoy next to the bay.
A great option for coffee, smoothies, breakfast and more in the heart of Batemans Bay is Nourish on North. Many previous customers have reported that the cafe provides water bowls for dogs.
Further south in Moruya, the Moruya Waterfront Hotel is truly waterfront, it’s dog-friendly beer garden on the banks of the Moruya River. It’s a tranquil spot to enjoy a meal or just a drink. It’s also right next down to the dog-friendly Riverbreeze Caravan Park.
Dog-Friendly Parks in Batemans Bay
Around Batemans Bay dogs are allowed off-leash at four reserves. Dogs are allowed off leash at:
- The grass reserve in Nelligen next to the tennis courts
- Surf Beach Reserve in Surf Beach, except during Pony Club and authorised events. (Although dogs are prohibited from the actual beach, as well as the playground area.)
- Tomaga River Reserve in Mossy Point, on the southern side of the Tomaga River, from the boat ramp west to Connells Close
- Ryans Creek Reserve in Moruya, east of Riverside Park (past the cattle grid)
For further details, see the maps on this page.
Dog-Friendly Sightseeing Around Batemans Bay
While visiting Batemans Bay, there’s a few extra spots I recommend you check out.
The small historic town of Mogo is located about 10 minutes south of Batemans Bay and is a great stop. The bushfires of 2019/2020 swept through the northern end of town and I was worried that much was lost, but luckily most of the town was saved.
Go for a wander along the main street and check out the shops selling a mix of lollies, homewares, crafts, vintage wares and gifts. (Stick to browsing the racks outside with your dog, unless you have the go ahead from staff to enter.) Plus make sure you stop by the dog-friendly Grumpy & Sweethearts cafe, that I mentioned above.
(If you’re happy with getting a pet-sitter for the day, also consider heading to Mogo Zoo. This privately owned zoo is a magnificent attraction, with an impressive collection of exotic animals, including white lions and many primates, that were kept safe from the bushfires engulfing the area.)
If you’re driving in between Canberra and Batemans Bay, a great place to stop about halfway in between the two is the town of Braidwood. This historic town has a great selection of cafes, antiques stores and galleries in its old buildings lining the main street.
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