More than 40% of Australians own a dog, and 85% of us live within 50kms from the beach. So it’s no surprise that togs and dogs are two of our favourite things. But they don’t always mix, with only a small portion of beaches being dog-friendly.

This article will make life a bit easier for dog lovers, by listing the very best dog friendly beaches in Sydney, as well as the best dog friendly beaches near Sydney! If you’re in another state, check out guides for dog beaches in Brisbane, Melbourne, and Adelaide.

Two large dogs on a dog friendly beach playing with a ball


Greenhills Beach – Cronulla

This is Sydney’s only dog-friendly ocean beach, but even then only at particular times! Dogs can run off leash before 10am and after 4pm each day. But outside those times, dogs are totally banned, not even on a leash ?

The beach is north of Wanda, north of the Track 5 entrance off Mitchell Ave. If you go through Wanda Reserve to get to the beach, remember the reserve is on leash.

Sydney's only ocean facing dog friendly beach, Cronulla Green Hills - here sand dunes covered in spinifex tower over the distant surf on a clear day

Flora and Richie Roberts Reserve – Curl Curl

This is an excellent place for dogs to get up to top speed! Featuring grass dunes and the meeting of Curl Curl Lagoon and the sea, there’s plenty for pups to get up to. The water quality definitely drops after rain though. Best of all, the reserve is off leash at all times!

Spit West and Spit East Reserves – Mosman

This is another great spot, but it does have a few negatives. Dogs can hit the beach off their leash all day on weekdays, but times are restricted on weekends and public holidays. On those day, off leash times are before 9am and after 4pm. Also, parking here is paid, so make sure you bring change or your credit card!

Sirius Cove – Mosman

As with the Spit reserves, parking is tough here, especially on weekends. But it is really worth it! Sirius Cove is an absolutely gorgeous protected beach, and there’s lots of shade on the grassed areas above the sand. Off leash times are the same as Spit Reserve – all day Monday – Friday, before 9am and after 4pm on weekends and public holidays.

Sirius Cove, a dog friendly beach in Sydney, on a sunny day, with green grass above it.

Manly Lagoon

We wouldn’t recommend humans swimming in the water, but the dogs don’t seem to mind. The part of the lagoon best for dogs borders Manly Lagoon Park, Aitkin and Hinkler Reserves, and is off leash at all times. Being Manly, parking can be tricky on weekends.

Bicentennial Park – Glebe

This ares has come a long way over the past decade or so. The 24/7 off leash area of the park is right by Blackwattle Bay, so pups have water access. The water quality is a lot better than it used to be, and the council has made a big effort to improve access for pedestrians and cyclists, to the water or otherwise.

Clontarf Reserve/Beach

This is more of a dog walking spot – the council doesn’t allow dogs off leash. But the reserve has a kid’s playground, barbeques and table seating, which makes it a great picnic spot. That’s despite it being a very popular spot for dog owners to frequent. Dogs are allowed on the beach (on a lead) between 10am and 6pm. You’ll find it just off Sandy Bay Road.

Fairlight Beach

This is another on leash spot you can visit with your dogs. It’s a gorgeous spot, and has one of Sydney’s best tidal swimming pools (maybe for when you don’t bring your pup!). Make sure you follow the on leash rule here though, Fairlight is home to one of Sydney’s last fairy penguin colonies.

Dumaresque Reserve – Rose Bay

This beach is mainly worth visiting at low tide, it gets very skinny when the water’s up. Dogs are allowed off their leash before 8.30am and after 4.30pm, and there’s limited parking in Dumaresq Road, so be sure to plan ahead

Bayview Reserve

This is one of the best beach areas in Sydney for dogs, and is worth travelling to on the weekend, even if you’re not from the Northern Beaches. With a large grassy area that normally has a coffee cart and mobile dog wash on weekends, it’s a very popular place of puppers. Get there off Pittwater Road, and be prepared to pay for parking.

Dog Friendly Beaches Near Sydney

North Shelly Beach – 100kms North of Sydney

As any dog parent knows, it can be really tough to find a nice dog friendly beach in Sydney. You know, one that can be enjoyed by the whole family. That’s why Shelly Beach is such a diamond in the rough; this is a veritable paradise for water-loving hounds and owners alike. Dogs can go off leash between North Shelly Beach and Toowoon Bay any time of day. 

The sand and scrub at Dog Friendly Beach North Shelly

Silver Beach at Kurnell – 24kms South of Sydney

There may be more picturesque beaches near Sydney, but this is easily one of the best all-day, every-day dog beaches under an hour from Sydney (that’s nice enough for you to enjoy too!). The farthest beach north of the break walls is a designated off-leash dog beach. Parking is easy, crowds manageable, with shallow waters, soft sand, and calm surf, this is a pooch paradise. If your pet is the chasing, barking type, please note Silver Beach is a popular kite surfing spot in the summer and may not be suitable for those cattle dogs who like a good pursuit.

Lakes Beach at Budgewoi – 116kms North of Sydney

This post-card perfect beach along the central coast makes for an awesome weekend trip from Sydney. With white sand and moderate surf, Lake Beach is great for swimming and water wading for the whole family. After you’re done at Lakes beach, head over to the dog friendly Muncha’s CafĂ© to enjoy some good food and relax with a couple of drinks.

Terrigal Beach – 87kms North of Sydney

Terrigal has, arguably, some of the most beautiful beaches on the central coast, with sections of it available for off-leash adventures. Free bbq facilities are available for those making a day of it, or stop off at the dog-friendly eatery Lotus Café before heading back home.

Pearl Beach – 50kms North of Sydney

Another dog beach for the furry and furless alike. Pearl Beach has unrestricted parking, cafes, shops, and very manageable crowds. This beach is both beautiful and serene, and all things considered, an easy morning drive from Sydney. The far North end of the beach is dog friendly (opposite end from the shops) and provides a boundless beach for romping. A note for smaller dogs: Pearl Beach has a wicked break when the winds get going, and the surf should be respected by those with two legs, and/or four. Don’t forget that GoGet has dog friendly vehicles all over Australia which can be found here.

The Dog Friendly Pearl Beach on a sunny day, with bright yellow sand and clear blue sky



About Tim Beau Bennett

Tim is an ex-journalist and radio presenter, and has been a professional writer for over a decade. He regularly writes about technology, lifestyle, and smart cities, and has written for news site including the ABC, SBS, and Australian Financial Review.