Australia is world famous for its beautiful beaches, with many of its beaches regularly appearing in lists of the top beaches of the world. But, is it possible to enjoy these top beaches with your dog? While many Australian beaches don’t allow dogs (including most city beaches, plus all in national park boundaries), there are many other gorgeous beaches that allow dogs to visit. Rules do vary at these beaches, from requiring your dog to remain on leash to having off-leash hours to being off-leash around the clock. But consider visiting one of these amazing dog-friendly beaches in Australia…
1. Hyams Beach, Jervis Bay, NSW
Hyams Beach is regularly touted as having the whitest sand in Australia. While this is up for debate, there’s no denying that it’s a gorgeous beach. Located within Jervis Bay, about 2 1/2 hours drive south of Sydney, it has calm and clear waters and is frequently visited by dolphins.
Dogs are only allowed on-leash at Hyams Beach. Also, it does get busy, so ideally visit during the week or outside of school holidays to best have a chance of parking and plenty of space on the sand. If you’re looking for a nearby off-leash beach, both Callala Beach and Nelsons Beach in Vincentia are off-leash during certain hours.
2. Cable Beach, Broome, WA
Head to northern Western Australia and you can’t miss stopping at Broome and its world famous Cable Beach. This huge stretch of sand has it all: from a patrolled section for swimming to camel rides on the beach to access for 4WD vehicles and even a nudist section.
There are different rules for different sections of the beach. There is an off-leash exercise area at the beach, as well as Riddell Beach and Entrance Point. However, dogs are not allowed on the section of the beach between the Surf Club and 1km north of the rocks. On other stretches, dogs must remain on-leash. Check the latest rules, and enjoy!
3. Four Mile Beach, Port Douglas, QLD
If you’re heading to Cairns in the tropical north of Queensland, make sure you head further north for access to beautiful, sandy beaches. (Unfortunately, it’s only mud flats within Cairns itself.) One of the most popular resort spots is Port Douglas, which is home to the long golden expanse of Four Mile Beach. Dogs are allowed along the entire stretch of the beach, as long as they’re on a leash. But head to the southern stretch, south of the Four Mile Park in Barrier Street, for a 400m section where dogs are allowed off leash. However, it is the tropics, with crocodiles and stingers a risk, so keep an eye out for any closure signs.
Check out more tips from the local tourism board for a dog-friendly stay.
4. Eagle Bay, Margaret River Region, WA
The Margaret River region of southwestern Western Australia is renowned for two things: its award-winning wineries, plus its legendary surf breaks. While most dogs aren’t up to surfing, they’re welcome to join in the fun at the beach. At Eagle Bay near Busselton, dogs are allowed along most of the beach without a leash, year round. (Just check the signage for the exact location.)
For more dog-friendly tips including dog-friendly wineries, check out this guide.
5. St Kilda, Melbourne, VIC
While Melbourne isn’t located on the coastline like most other Australian cities, it is still home to some beaches located along the shores of Port Phillip Bay. One of the most popular beaches is St Kilda Beach, just a short tram ride away from the city centre. Home to a bustling cafe scene, a popular weekend market and the Luna Park amusement park, it also welcomes dogs onto the beach.
At St Kilda Beach, dogs are allowed off-leash along Pier Road to the drainage channel at its north-western end, plus between Brooks Jetty and the northern end of the car park towards St Kilda Marina. Dogs are also allowed on West Beach at St Kilda West, but not in the sensitive dune area. Dogs are also allowed on the main stretch of St Kilda Beach during winter time, but not allowed at all between the summer months of November to March.
6. Rose Bay, Sydney, NSW
While the most famous beaches in Sydney unfortunately don’t allow dogs, the closest stretch of sand to the city that allows dogs is in the posh suburb of Rose Bay. Located next to Dumaresq Reserve, dogs are allowed off-leash on this stretch of sand after 4:30pm (perfect for summer evenings) or before 8:30am. It’s located on the calm waters of Sydney Harbour, so is great for smaller dogs who may be scared of the waves on other Sydney beaches.
Check out more recommendations for dog-friendly beaches in and near Sydney.
7. Currumbin Creek, Gold Coast, QLD
The Gold Coast is synonymous with beach culture in Australia. And one of the best stretches of coastline along the Coast to visit with your dog is Currumbin Creek. Located in the suburb of Palm Beach, the off-leash dog exercise area extends south from lifeguard tower 13 to the Currumbin Creek entrance, as indicated by the signs. And dogs are allowed off-leash around-the-clock! There’s plenty of surf for more adventurous dogs, but also the calmer surrounds of the lagoon. Perhaps share a SUP session with your pup?
8. Stumers Creek, Sunshine Coast, QLD
If you head north of Brisbane to the equally gorgeous Sunshine Coast, there’s also plenty of beaches to visit with your pup. One of the best to visit with your dog is Stumers Creek, at Coolum, as nominated in my round-up of favourite dog-friendly destinations. The section of beach where dogs are allowed off-leash is one kilometre either side of the creek itself. Facilities include a car park, amenities block and even a dog washing area.
9. Leighton Dog Beach, Perth, WA
The beaches of Perth are renowned for their beautiful views of the sun setting into the India Ocean. The beach and adjacent park at Cottesloe is also home to Sculpture by the Sea, in March each year. So it’s only fair that your dog is able to join in the fun. There’s multiple beaches that allow dogs, but the best is probably the white sands of Mosman Beach, known locally as Leighton Dog Beach. The stretch of beach where dogs are allowed stretches south from South Cottesloe to the railway overpass, as indicated by the signs.
10. Henley Beach, Adelaide, SA
The beaches of South Australia are more dog-friendly than most in Australia. Except for a handful of exceptions, dogs are allowed on all beaches, although most beaches require dogs to be on leash between 10am and 8pm during the summer (while daylight savings is in operation). The seaside suburb of Henley Beach is immediately west of the Adelaide CBD, a laidback area with plenty of dining options, especially seafood restaurants and humble fish’n’-chip shops. Enjoy the long stretch of beach here with your dog, but just remember to keep them on a leash during the day in summer.
11. Tallow Beach, Byron Bay, NSW
I couldn’t talk about the amazing beaches of Australia without mentioning Byron Bay. If you’re heading to Byron for a seaside vacation, head to Tallow Beach with your pup. This 6km long sandy beach starts just south of the famous Cape Byron Lighthouse (the most easterly point in Australia). While un-patrolled, so not ideal for human swimmers, the Suffolk Park section, from Jarman Street heading north to the boundary of Arakwal National Park, is a designated off-leash dog exercise area.