While many visitors head to the Margaret River region for its fine wines, the region is also renown for its surfing beaches. And there’s no need to skip heading to the beach with your dog when visiting, with plenty of great dog-friendly beaches throughout the Margaret River region to choose from.
Prevelly Beach North, Prevelly
One of the best dog-friendly beaches in the Margaret River region is Prevelly Beach in Prevelly. This beach is also the closest off-leash beach to the town of Margaret River – it’s just a few kilometres west of the township, just south of popular Surfer’s Point.
The off-leash section of Prevelly Beach is at the northern end of the beach, north of the Georgette Way beach access footpath, and extends north to the cliff faces adjacent to Surfers Point Road. Dogs are prohibited on the beach south of the Georgette Way beach access footpath. Confusingly, this beach is tagged as “Gnarabup Beach” on Google Maps.
There’s multiple access points onto this stretch of the beach, plus carparks. Dogs are also allowed off-leash in Riflebutts Reserve behind the dunes, except in the playground, but need to be leashed when walking between the beach and the reserve.
Gnarabup Back Beach North, Gnarabup
Heading south of Prevelly, the next beach south of the headland is Gnarabup Back Beach, which is also the next closest off-leash dog beach to Margaret River.
Dogs are permitted off-leash along a 300m stretch of this beach, roughly from the cliff faces at the northern end of the sand to the point adjacent to the southern end of Reef Drive. Dogs are prohibited from the southern end of the beach between Reef Drive and Gas Bay.
For more clarification on the boundaries of this or other off-leash beaches between Gracetown and Augusta, check the details on the shire website.
Gracetown Beach South, Gracetown
Much of the coastline in the Margaret River region is enclosed within the Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park, which is strictly off limits to dogs. Heading north from Surfer’s Point, the next beach that you can visit with your dog is at the seaside town of Gracetown.
Dogs are welcome to be let off-leash on the southern end of the beach, from Cowaramup Brook south to the rocks adjacent to Percy Street. To park next to the dog beach, look for the dirt access road just before the turn-off into Percy Street. Or you can follow the track over from Percy Street.
Note that dogs are prohibited from the main swimming stretch at the northern end of the beach, adjacent to the main carpark, as far as the boat ramp.
Yallingup Beach North, Yallingup
North of Gracetown, there are two dog beaches around Yallingup, that have been designed as off-leash by the City of Busselton.
At Yallingup itself, dogs are allowed off-leash on the northern end of Yallingup Beach, north of the Dawson Drive beach access path. Dogs are prohibited from the beach south of the Dawson Drive beach access point, to the Slippery Point car park.
There’s a convenient carpark along the section of off-leash beach north of the Dawson Drive access point, next to the Yallingup Beach Lookout plus another access path to the beach.
Smiths Beach, Yallingup
South of Yallingup proper is the small enclave of Smiths Beach, with a resort adjacent to a wonderful stretch of beach. Dogs are allowed on Smiths Beach, between the rocks at the western end and Gunyulgup Brook, on a seasonal basis.
During the summer months, from 1st December to 28th February, dogs are only permitted off-leash on the beach before 9am or after 5pm, but are prohibited from the beach during the rest of the day. During other months dogs are allowed off-leash on the beach all day long.
Not far to the south of Smiths Beach is Canal Rocks, which is off-limits to dogs as it is within the Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park, and far too rough for swimming!
Eagle Bay and Bunker Bay Beaches
As you head further north and round Cape Naturaliste, where dogs are not allowed because it’s within the national park, you arrive at the calm waters of Geographe Bay. The bay is home to plenty of off-leash dog beaches, with one of the prettiest spots being Eagle Bay.
Accessed via the Eagle Bay Road and immediately north of the Meelup Regional Park, dogs are allowed off-leash along the sand between the public access way to the beach and 450m north of Jingarmup Brook.
Another off-leash dog beach along this section of coastline is at Bunker Bay, with dogs allowed off-leash in between the Bunker Bay Cafe access track and the border of the national park to the north.
Around the town of Dunsborough, about a 40 minute drive north of Margaret River, there’s plenty of calm off-leash dog beaches where your pup can enjoy a paddle or just a run on the sand.
For starters, dogs are allowed off-leash year round along these sections of the Dunsborough Foreshore:
- Between the beach access path west of Tulloh Street and the Centennial Park carpark beach access path
- Between the Gifford Road beach access path and the Burt Circuit beach access path
- Between the end of Vincent Street and the end of Bay View Crescent
Dogs are also seasonally allowed off-leash on the beach between the Burt Circuit beach access path and the end of Vincent Street, but are prohibited from the sand between 9am and 5pm over the summer, between 1st December and 28th February.
Note that dogs are prohibited year round from the beach in between the Gifford Road beach access path and the Centennial Park carpark beach access path.
For a clearer overview of these regulations, check out the map in this brochure. Alternatively, follow the rules on the local signs.
East of Dunsborough
To the east of Dunsborough, dogs are allowed off-leash year-round or at least seasonally along most of the foreshore, alongside Quindalup, Marybrook, Siesta Park, Abbey and Broadwater.
The one exception is along Locke Nature Reserve, where dogs are prohibited. See the local signs or the multiple maps in the local council brochure.
Heading further east along the shores of Geographe Bay, you’ll arrive at the small city of Busselton. Dogs are allowed along most of the beach to the west of the centre of Busselton, year-round. The one exception is a stretch near the Margaret Street carpark, where dogs are prohibited during the summer months.
Note also that dogs are prohibited from the beach next to the centre of Busselton, from the western beach access stairs to the extension of Brown Street, either side of the famous Busselton Jetty. Dogs are also not allowed to walk along the jetty.
Heading to the far south of the Margaret River region to Augusta, dogs are allowed off-leash along a long section of dog-friendly foreshore in Augusta. The off-leash area runs alongside Albany Terrace, from the river month to near the Flinders Bay Caravan Park.
The section immediately outside the caravan park is also referred to on the council website as the Flinders Bay Caravan Park Beach. Note that immediately south of the edge of the caravan park, next to the Ship Playground, dogs are not permitted on the beach.
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About the Author
Shandos Cleaver is the founder of Travelnuity: Dog-Friendly Travel. She has travelled extensively with her Miniature Dachshund, Schnitzel, including to 33 countries across Europe, every state and territory of Australia except Tasmania, and 10 of the United States. She’s passionate about providing inspiration and information to others wanting to travel with their dogs, whether close to home or internationally.