As the weather begins to heat up, everyone is itching to get in the water and dogs are no exception. There’s nothing quite like a day at the beach spent splashing in the shallows and chasing sticks to wear your canine companions out.
It’s no secret that Sydney is fringed by beautiful beaches but how many stretches of sand are welcoming to pups? Read on to discover some of the best dog-friendly beaches in Sydney and when they can enjoy them off-leash.
Best Dog Friendly Beaches in Sydney
#1. Clifton Gardens Reserve, Mosman
This Mosman favourite is the perfect place to start or end the day with your pooch, with dogs allowed off-leash before 9 am and after 4 pm on weekdays from April to September (or after 6 pm October to May). Outside of those times, it’s a deservedly popular destination for families to relax thanks to its netted swimming enclosure, fenced playground and barbecue facilities. Clifton Gardens Reserve is located along the Taronga Zoo to Balmoral Beach walking trail, a 6.5-kilometre-long route that your dog can accompany you on the leash.
#2. Spit West And East Reserves, Mosman
Another popular local haunt for Mosman dog owners is the Spit Reserve where unleashed pups can play and swim all day from Monday to Friday and before 9 am or after 4 pm on Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays. Kids will love the boat-themed playground in the Spit West Reserve while early risers can grab a coffee and breakfast roll from the Plonk Beach Cafe. With scenic views across the water, it’s understandable why this is considered one of the best dog-friendly beaches in Sydney.
#3. Clontarf Reserve, Clontarf
Directly opposite the Spit is the Clontarf Reserve, just one of many spots to uncover along the Spit to Manly walking trail. This recreational reserve boasts picnic and barbecue facilities, a children’s playground and lots of shady trees, plus a small stretch of sand where humans and canines alike can frolic. That being said, dogs are only allowed in the reserve between 10 am and 6 pm AND they must be kept on a leash. If you want to allow them a run-around off-leash, make the short stroll north to Sandy Beach, which is dog-friendly 24 hours a day.
#4. Sirius Cove, Manly
Hidden away on Sydney’s lower north shore is this doggie paradise, a protected stretch of sand with lots of space to run around. It’s often referred to as Little Sirius Cove, with its wide beach backed by a sandstone wall and overlooking a deep bay. That being said, the water directly offshore is relatively shallow – perfect for pups to enjoy a swim and chase sticks. The adjacent reserve has a children’s playground and picnic areas so you can bring the whole family. Dogs are allowed off-leash at Sirius Cove Reserve all day from Monday through to Friday and before 9 am or after 4 pm on Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays.
#5. Manly Lagoon, Manly
If you’re looking for a dog-friendly beach in Manly that’s off-leash 24 hours a day, seven days a week, then the Manly Lagoon is your best bet. Stretching all the way to the Queenscliff Beach bike path, it is a great spot for cooling off in the summer months. While it’s technically not a beach, it does offer plenty of open space and water to do all the things that dogs love doing at the beach.
#6. Rowland Reserve, Bayview
With a large, grassy area to run around in and direct access to Pittwater, it’s understandable why the Rowland Reserve is one of the best dog-friendly beaches in Sydney’s north. It is off-leash accessible 24 hours a day, so your pups can run and swim whenever it suits you. Drinking water is available in the middle of the reserve and a mobile dog washing service is often parked there on weekends if your pooch needs a little pampering.
#7. Silver Beach, Kurnell
With sweeping views across Botany Bay, Silver Beach lies on the Kurnell Peninsula in Sydney’s south. Dogs are permitted off-leash between the third and fourth rock groynes but are prohibited on Silver Beach in other areas, including the stretch of sand that fronts the netted Kurnell Tidal Baths. The off-leash area lies at the Bonna Point Reserve end of the beach and experiences calm waters that are ideal for splashing around in. There are several cafes where you can grab drinks and icecreams, with Cook @ Kurnell the closest to the Kurnell Dog Beach.
#8. Horderns Beach, Bundeena
Located west of the Bundeena Ferry Wharf, this stunning strip of sand boasts calm waters that are perfect for dogs and young children alike. Between September to April, dogs are allowed off-leash before 8:30 am and after 4:30 pm on weekdays only. But during the rest of the year, they have free reign 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It’s important to remember that dogs must be on their leash when entering and leaving the dog off-leash area, so check the signage on arrival as to where this applies.
#9. Greenhills Beach, Cronulla
North of Cronulla is Sydney’s only ocean-facing dog beach – Greenhills – where your four-legged friends can play off-leash before 10 am and after 4 pm Monday to Sunday. It’s important to remember that this stretch of sand is not patrolled, so swimming by humans isn’t encouraged. Dogs are NOT allowed off-leash in the Wanda Reserve (the grassy area near the carpark) or in the sand dunes behind the beach.
#10. Kutti Beach, Vaucluse
Kutti Beach in Vaucluse is often touted as one of Sydney’s best-hidden beaches and among the city’s most attractive spots for a swim. So it might come as a surprise that dogs are permitted here, although NOT off-leash. Tucked between Watsons Bay and Parsley Bay, this small stretch of sand is fringed by palm trees, making it an idyllic spot for you and your pup to enjoy a quiet day relaxing in the sunshine together. Kutti Beach is accessible via a narrow staircase beside the Vaucluse Amateur Sailing Club.
#11. Rosebay Beach, Rosebay
While you enjoy the beautiful views of Sydney Harbour, your dog can frolic freely on Rosebay Beach, which stretches between Percival Park and the Dumaresq Reserve. The shallow waters are safe for even the smallest canine companions, with the beach off-leash 24 hours a day, seven days a week. There are also plenty of eateries backing the beach where you can grab everything from coffee to sushi and fish and chips.
#12. Lady Robinsons Beach, Kyeemagh
One of the most recent additions to Sydney’s dog-friendly beaches scene is Lady Robinsons in Kyeemagh. Its northernmost section became a doggie playground in 2018 and despite being quite small, has become a bit hit with dog owners as a place to socialise with other pups. Current restrictions allow dogs off-leash between 4 pm and 10 am seven days a week, although the council has been trialling it as a 24-hour dog beach during the winter months.
#13. Flora and Ritchie Roberts Reserve, Curl Curl
Located where the Curl Curl Lagoon meets the Pacific Ocean, this is one of the best dog-friendly beaches in Sydney for a long run around. It boasts so much space for your canine companions to run free and great facilities that include dog waste bins, drinking facilities and public toilets. When sporting games aren’t being held, dogs can run around off-leash in the Adams Street Reserve or you can take them on the four-kilometre-long walk to Freshwater Beach (on the lead) to soak up the spectacular ocean views.
#14. Yarramundi Reserve, Agnes Banks
While not technically a beach, the Yarramundi Reserve is one of the best dog-friendly swimming spots in Sydney. Located at the confluence of the Grose and Nepean rivers, it boasts around 12 hectares of space for your pooch to run around off-leash, including a sand island where you can picnic on the beach. It might be a long trip to get there (it’s around 40 minutes northwest of Parramatta) but the adventure is worth it!
Popular Sydney walks to do with your dog
Don’t necessarily need to let your dog run around off the lead? These dog-friendly walks in Sydney are a great option for both of you to stretch your legs.
Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk
It might be one of Sydney’s most famous walks but that doesn’t mean your dog has to miss out. This six-kilometre-long trail offers spectacular coastal views as it winds its way between beaches and rocky pools, as well as past several dog-friendly cafes. At the end, your pooch can enjoy a run-around off-leash at the Trenerry Reserve on the southern headland of Coogee Bay.
Banksia Track, Lake Parramatta
Hugging the eastern edge of Lake Parramatta, this scenic trail takes in native Australian wildflowers and rare floral species. Dogs are more than welcome to join you along the 2.5-kilometre-long trail, provided they stay on the leash due to the native wildlife that calls the area “home”. Aside from the picnic and barbecue facilities in the reserve, there’s also a cafe where you can grab drinks and snacks.
Narrabeen Lagoon Trail
Winding its way along the shores of the Narrabeen Lagoon, this 8.6-kilometre-long trail is an easy walk along mostly flat terrain. It takes in bushland, leafy parks and several picnic grounds, with the opportunity to spot more than 190 different species of birds along the way. There are parking areas strategically placed around the lagoon so you can choose your start and end point, plus a cluster of cafes near the Berry Reserve.
Manly to Shelly Beach
Another dog-friendly coastal walk in Sydney connects from the Manly Beach Lifesaving Club to the historic Fairy Bower Pool before ending at Shelly Beach. At just 1.5 kilometres in length, it’s great if you’re after a short and easy option with magnificent ocean views.
Glebe Foreshore Walk
This four-kilometre-long walking trail connects from Bicentennial Park to the Sydney Fish Markets in Pyrmont and takes in several off-leash parks and reserves along the way. Aside from its incredible views across Sydney Harbour and the CBD, the walk takes in several remnants from the area’s early industrial years.
Dog-Friendly Beaches in Sydney: Frequently Asked Questions
Where are dogs not allowed in Sydney?
Compared to many other major cities around the globe, Sydney’s isn’t the most dog-friendly city. So the list of places where dogs are not allowed is much more extensive than a list of where they are permitted.
That being said, there are an increasing number of cafes, restaurants and accommodation providers who are making things easier for dog owners in Sydney. Several beaches and reserves can be accessed off-leash at select times of the day and/or year while some public transport services allow dogs if they are confined and don’t run a risk of impacting other passengers.
Can I take my dog on public transport in Sydney?
While assistance animals (with valid forms of accreditation) are allowed on all public transport in Sydney, dogs are only allowed to travel on buses, ferries and light rail services if they are confined to a box, basket or container. Unfortunately, dogs of all sizes are not permitted to travel on Sydney’s trains.
Is La Perouse beach dog-friendly?
Unfortunately, the beaches of La Perouse are not dog-friendly as they form part of Botany Bay National Park.
Can I take My dog to Bondi Beach?
No, dogs aren’t permitted on Bondi Beach. But you can enjoy views towards Bondi from Marks Park in Tamarama where dogs are allowed to exercise off the lead between 4:30 pm and 8:30 am daily.
Is Coogee Beach dog friendly?
No, unfortunately, dogs can not go to Coogee beach and are also prohibited from playgrounds and food preparation areas. There is an off-leash dog park approximately a 5-minute walk south of Coogee beach at Trenerry Reserve.