Just over three hours south of Sydney, the neighbouring seaside towns of Mollymook and Ulladulla, and the surrounding coastal region, is a great place to head for a dog-friendly holiday on the South Coast of NSW.
Along with plenty of dog-friendly accommodation options, the Ulladulla region also offers beautiful dog-friendly beaches, terrific dog-friendly dining and some great short walks, ideal for a relaxing getaway with your pup.
Dog-Friendly Beaches in Ulladulla & Mollymook
The Ulladulla and Mollymook area has a great selection of dog-friendly beaches. Beaches in the area have been grouped into on-leash beaches, off-leash beaches and a handful of beaches where dogs are prohibited. The latest details and maps are provided on the council website.
The closest off-leash beach to the centre of Ulladulla is Ulladulla Harbour North Beach. Adjacent to the boat ramp on the north side of the harbour, it’s a small and sheltered beach. There’s lots of smells for your dog to sniff out from the fish cleaning station.
A little further north is Collers Beach in Mollymook. This small and calm beach is fairly quiet and isolated, great for off-leash romps. Access the beach from the steps down from Shipton Crescent.
For a more typical surf beach head to Mollymook Beach. The centre section of the beach, between the northern end of Donlan Road and Mollymook Creek, allows dogs all day, but they need to be kept on leash. Make sure to keep a close eye on your dog near the water, as the surf can be quite rough, and note dogs are prohibited from the northern and southern ends of the beach.
Just north of Mollymook is Narrawallee Beach. Note that dogs are only permitted on the beach during limited hours. From October to April, dogs are permitted before 8am and after 4pm, while over the winter dogs are permitted before 10am and after 3pm.
Dogs are also limited to the section in between the beach access steps off Victor Avenue and the un-named island off the coast, although dogs are allowed to access the beach on-leash from Surfers Avenue, along a 10m wide access way. Dogs are not permitted at Narrawallee Lagoon.
Heading further afield, dogs are also allowed off-leash at Washerwomans Beach at Bendalong, on the north side of Lake Conjola. I loved this beautiful calm beach, close to the Holiday Haven Bendalong park where we stayed. I even spotted kangaroo prints on the sand early in the morning!
South of Ulladulla, dogs are allowed off-leash at Cormorant Beach at Bawley Point. It’s about 25 minutes drive south of Ulladulla. This is the closest off-leash beach to the dog-friendly caravan parks at Kioloa Beach and Merry Beach.
For more dog-friendly fun on the water, consider heading out in a boat or kayak on the many lakes around Ulladulla, perhaps going fishing. There’s Lake Conjola to the north, plus Burrill Lake and Lake Tabourie south of town.
Dog-Friendly Walks in Ulladulla & Mollymook
There’s some great options for dog-friendly walks around Ulladulla, although dogs need to stay on leash for each of these walks.
On the northern side of Ulladulla Harbour at Ulladulla Head, complete the One Track for All Aboriginal Cultural Trail. There’s two 1km loops available, that can be walked separately or together. Along the way are beautiful carved signs with information on the local wildlife and Aboriginal history.
Extend the walk by taking the Geological Time Walk down to Ulladulla Harbour North Beach, where dogs are allowed off-leash. The walking trails are an easy grade, either gravel or paved.
On the southern side of Ulladulla Harbour head to Warden Head. There’s a variety of walking trails available on the headland, including the Coomee Nulunga Cultural Trail. A highlight is the Ulladulla Lighthouse, which is also the best place around to spot whales during their annual migration.
There’s multiple carparks along Deering Street, including at the lighthouse. Note that some of these trails are a medium grade, with some stairs.
Another option for a dog-friendly walk around Ulladulla is at the Ulladulla Wildflower Reserve. Starting on Green Street there are a number of nature walks, ranging in length from 900m to 1.5km. The walks are best appreciate during wildflower season.
Dog-Friendly Parks in Ulladulla & Mollymook
While most of the off-leash locations around Ulladulla are beaches, there are also a pair of off-leash parks available.
At Mollymook, head to Mollymook Oval Reserve (listed as “Bill Andriske Oval” on Google Maps). Dogs are permitted off-leash in the area southeast of the buildings and playing fields, next to Mitchell Parade. However, they are only allowed off-leash between 4pm and 8am from October to April, or between 3pm and 10am the rest of the year.
In Milton, just to the north, head to the Milton Showground Precinct, which also includes an agility area used by the local dog club. The area is off-leash 24 hours, except when major events are on.
Dog-Friendly Dining in Ulladulla & Mollymook
Ulladulla is renown for its seafood, with the town home to the largest commercial fishing fleet on the entire South Coast, plus the annual Blessing of the Fleet festival. You should definitely try some of the local catch while in town. Perhaps grab some takeaway fish’n’chips at the Fisherman’s Wharf Seafood and eat them on a picnic bench around the harbour.
Not far away from the harbour is Treehouse Cafe, one block back from the main street in a renovated cottage, where we enjoyed a tasty lunch. There’s lots of seating outside on the deck, with dogs welcome.
Highlights on the menu include their bowls such as the Mexican Naked Taco Bowl, with plenty of vegetarian choices, along with a long list of cakes. At the moment the cafe is just open for breakfast and lunch, but it sometimes offers monthly themed dinners as well.
Unfortunately, we missed out on trying in person Milk Haus, a wholefoods cafe situated in the old Cheese Factory at Woodstock, near Milton. The cafe is open for lunch from Thursday to Monday, with a focus on home grown produce from their gardens. Dogs are allowed in the courtyard.
The historic village of Milton also offers more great cafes, most with some dog-friendly outdoor tables. Check out options like Pilgrims and Peach Milton. Afterwards, take a stroll and check out the shops along and just off the main street.
Another great option just inland from Ulladulla is Cupitt’s Estate. As well as a cellar door, Cupitt’s also has a brewery, fine dining restaurant and a garden bar onsite, overlooking their plantings of Sauvignon Blanc.
While dogs are not allowed in the restaurant or the cellar door, well-behaved dogs on a leash are welcome to join you at Dusty’s Garden Bar, in the Garden section. Note that this alfresco section is weather dependent.
Order from the casual dining menu seven days a week at lunchtime, plus in the evenings from Tuesday to Saturday. It’s also possible to add on a wine or beer flight. And I highly recommend picking up some of their wine or beer for later!
Dog-Friendly Accommodation in Ulladulla & Mollymook
No matter what your accommodation preference, whether you’d prefer a luxury hotel stay, a relaxed holiday rental or plan to bring your own caravan or tent, there’s plenty of pet-friendly accommodation options in the Ulladulla and Mollymook area.
Dog-Friendly Hotels in Ulladulla & Mollymook
If it’s a luxurious stay that you’re after, Bannisters at Mollymook offers pet-friendly options, situated just a short stroll from the on-leash stretch of Mollymook Beach.
At Bannisters Pavilion, there are two pet-friendly classic rooms available, with pets up to 25kg welcome. Plus up on the Rooftop, there are two pet-friendly tables in a separate area of the main restaurant for guests to dine at. (Note that the Rick Steins restaurant is not pet-friendly, but sitting can be arranged.)
Alternatively, select to stay at the nearby Bannisters Beach House with up to 11 of your best friends, with a pet-friendly option available for an additional cleaning fee.
Dog-Friendly Holiday Rentals in Ulladulla & Mollymook
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There’s plenty of holiday homes located around Ulladulla and the surrounding towns, with quite a few of them permitting dogs, although always double check the rules, including whether dogs are allowed inside.
The Burrill Lake View Holiday Cottage is located next to Burrill Lake, just south of Ulladulla. A classic holiday home, but recently renovated with a new kitchen and bathroom, it has two bedrooms and can sleep four. Small pets are welcome, with many recent guests with pups leaving glowing reviews, especially about the large fenced yard.
Alternatively, head to Narrawallee, adjacent to Mollymook, and stay at Sage Coastal Cottage. This cottage also has two bedrooms and a fully enclosed yard, perfect for kids and dogs. Pets are allowed inside, although an additional cleaning fee will be charged for muddy footprints on furniture and linen. Most of Narrawallee Beach, starting just near the cottage, permits dogs off-leash all day long.
Dog-Friendly Caravan Parks in Ulladulla & Mollymook
While there are plenty of “dog-friendly” caravan parks around Ulladulla and the surrounding lakes, a growing number of the parks only permit dogs seasonally. Often no pets are allowed in parks during the peak periods, such as the Summer and Easter school holidays.
Some of the few caravan parks in the area that allow dogs year round include:
- Mollymook Tourist Park
- Kioloa Beach Holiday Park
- Ingenia Holidays Merry Beach
- Rustic Caravan Park at Bendalong
Another alternative for camping with a pet during the peak seasons is to stay at Milton Showground, which offers affordable rates year round, plus is adjacent to the off-leash dog park and agility club. While temporarily closed for renovations at the moment, it should re-open in July.
One of my favourite pet-friendly caravan parks in the region is Holiday Haven Bendalong. Note however that the park only allows pets on selected powered sites, during standard season (i.e. outside of peak, shoulder and school holiday periods).
What I love about this park is its peaceful location, particularly outside of the summer months. Bendalong is just a small village and the park is next to beaches, including the off-leash Washerwomans Beach, which is lovely and calm and a delight for dog walks.
The Holiday Haven parks at Lake Conjola, Ulladulla Headland, Burrill Lake and Lake Tabourie are also dog-friendly, on selected sites and in selected cabins, but with the same date range exclusion. It’s best to call up and chat directly to make a booking.
We have also previously stayed with our dog at Ingenia Parks Ulladulla, back when it was known as Kings Point Retreat. Since becoming an Ingenia Park it no longer allows pets year round, but there are still pet-friendly cottages available, some with fenced balconies. It’s best to call or email the park directly if you wish to stay with a pet, and find out the latest regulations.
While the caravan park isn’t beachfront, it’s still walking distance from multiple beaches (where dogs are allowed on a leash). Plus the park has plenty of facilities to keep you entertained, including two swimming pools, a magnificent children’s playground and waterslides, a fire pit and more. Everything is brand new and the sites during our stay were beautifully grassed.
For a more rustic experience, head south than inland to Shallow Crossing Camping Ground. The camping ground is situated next to the Clyde River, surrounded by three different state forests, perfect for dog-friendly hiking, swimming and nights by a fire.
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