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Pet-friendly holidays in NSW: Leave no dog behind!

7 Apr 2022

If you’re a dog owner/parent, you know that leaving part of the family behind on vacation isn’t an option.

Fortunately, there is no shortage of things to do with your dog in New South Wales, and plenty of places to stay that love having you and your best furry friend!

Things to with your dog in nsw banner

Dog-friendly beaches, off-leash hiking trails, long coastal walks, dog-friendly wineries, camper vans, camp sites, botanic gardens and much more await in New South Wales, all happily catering to your four-legged bestie!

We know that planning is key when travelling with your pet. So to help you out, we’ve compiled the what, when and where of the best dog-friendly locations in New South Wales!

North Coast | South Coast | Wallamba River | Murray Shire | Snowy Mountains | Albury-Wodonga 

Things to do with your dog on the North Coast of NSW

Things to with your dog in nsw

The world-famous tourist hotspot, Byron Bay, provides a warm welcome to canine companions via a host of pet-friendly activities, beaches and restaurants that ensure the whole family can enjoy an action-packed holiday.

While national parks are off-limits, there is a fantastic choice of dog-friendly beaches in the area. Both on-leash and off-leash exercise areas are available on some of the region’s most stunning sands.

Things to with your dog in nsw cafe byron

For those seeking a more rugged alternative, the Rocky Creek Dam Rainforest and Water Reserve provides a variety of spectacular trails and terrain that offers something for hikers and pooches of all experience levels.

Choose your path and don’t forget to pack your picnic! The Farm is also a popular day out with fun workshops, activities and tours for the whole family.

After a day strolling along the beach, splashing in the sea and mixing with new canine friends, there are a host of restaurants and breweries well-prepared to accommodate pets in the area. Enjoy some al fresco dining at Byron Fresh Cafe, Foxy Luu’s or Mexican food and happy hour at Miss Margarita

Just down the road in Ballina, you can check out the Ballina’s Farmers Market from 7 am -11 am every Sunday and the East Ballina Community Markets on the 3rd Sunday of every month (leash required).

Pet-Friendly Accommodation on the North Coast of NSW

Things to with your dog in nsw forster

Discovery Parks - Ballina is the perfect base for your family’s coastal adventure. Situated close to Byron Bay and surrounded by treks, trails and water-based fun in the Richmond River, there is something here for everyone. 

Some cabins are dog-friendly depending on the season and all sites are too, but please confirm when making your booking. There is an off-leash park at the beginning of the street and you can check out the local councils recommended dog exercise areas here.

Things to with your dog in nsw ballina pool

Discovery Parks - Casino is an hours drive west from Ballina and offers a genuine taste of rural Australian charm.

Dogs are welcome on sites all year round, and the park is surrounded by national parks and sun-soaked beaches - a surefire winner for those wanting to explore the great outdoors.


Things to do with your dog on the South Coast of NSW

Things to with your dog in nsw pack

You know that your dog loves nothing more than getting off-leash and exploring a new place at full speed! This is why the south coast of New South Wales is such a great playground for travelling pets, who are spoiled for choice here. 

Explore the golden sands of Seven Mile Beach which has a 24-hour dog-friendly area at Shoalhaven Heads, just north of the Surf Life Saving Club. 

Things to with your dog in nsw beach walk alaskan

Three hours south of Sydney, Ulladulla and Mollymook have several dedicated dog-friendly beaches for your pooch to open up their legs. There are also some dog parks nearby, like the Milton Showground Precinct with its own agility area for more energetic visitors.

Eden is another coastal gem that caters to furry travellers and their families, with jaw-dropping clifftops and coastline paving the way for memorable days out in the sun. In the centre of town, browse Sprout Eden and grab coffee with other dog parents before checking out Ollie Mason’s Bistro for dinner, both popular pet-friendly establishments.

Things to with your dog in nsw brewery

Longstocking Brewery has an impressive array of beers on offer for a leisurely afternoon in nearby Pambula, plus cocktails and woodfired pizza. Dogs are more than welcome as long as they can handle the resident kitty!

Pet-friendly Accommodation on the South Coast of NSW

Things to with your dog in nsw emeral beach

Discovery Parks - Eden The majestic Sapphire Coast provides a picturesque backdrop for a family-friendly holiday to remember. The park offers its own fun factor with a bouncing pillow, playground and sports facilities. Dogs are welcome on all sites except at Easter and between December 15th and January 31st.

Discovery Parks - Emerald Beach is pet-friendly on all sites and offers action-packed family fun with its water park, movie room and tennis courts. Note that dogs are not permitted between December 20th and January 10th and over the Easter period.

Things to with your dog in nsw cafe

Discovery Parks - Ulladulla spreads out across lush greenery and is just a stone's throw from Dolphin Beach, making it a prime spot for a relaxing family getaway. Four-legged guests are welcome in selected cabins and sites, except on long weekends and school holidays.


Things to do with your dog in Wallamba River

Things to with your dog in nsw walks

Dog lovers are in abundance on the Barrington Coast! You will find an incredible amount of cafes and restaurants that are more than accommodating to our non-human buddies. 

Grab some healthy fuel for the fam at Kembali Cafe on Bluey Beach or catch some live music at Flow Bar’s family-friendly restaurant and cafe. Check out the delicious bakes and cakes at Cafe Toscano in Forster before finding peace, quiet and yet more food offerings at Paradise Marina.

Forster and neighbouring Tuncurry are also home to some pristine dog-friendly beaches and off-leash dog parks, including an agility park at Beach Street Reserve. The course is full of slaloms, tunnels, twists and turns, promising a stimulating day for your doggo’s mind and body. 

Of course, there is also endless fun and frolics on the river with family and dog-friendly activities all along its banks.

Pet-friendly Accommodation in Wallamba River

Things to with your dog in nsw forster dog wash

Discovery Parks - Forster - It doesn’t get much more pet-friendly than this, boasting its own off-leash dog park and dog wash facilities. There’s also a host of activities for kids, Mums and Dads that will leave lasting memories. Selected cabins and sites (fees may apply) are available for pet owners.


Things to do with your dog in the Murray Shire

Things to with your dog in nsw lake hume

You know there’s nothing your pooch loves more than walk-time and the options are endless along the Murray River. If you’re after a slightly more unusual mode of transport, head to Port of Echuca Discovery Centre and ask about the paddle steamers. And yes, it is dog-friendly too!

Echuca Moama has lots of treks and trails to explore, with BBQ and picnic areas dotted along the way, providing a chance to unwind. There are sheltered areas and well-maintained paths, allowing you to take in the area’s natural beauty all year round.

Things to with your dog in nsw catch

To cut loose, head to Moama’s off-leash dog park and meet some other holidaying pups in a safely fenced-off but spacious area. Moama high street has several pet-friendly cafes and restaurants to reward weary explorers after a long day of river fun. 

Down the road in Mildura, wine buffs and their pets can venture to the winery at Trentham Estate and its Cellar Door restaurant. Or, for the gin-lovers, visit the wonderful garden at Fossey’s Distillery. Choose your tipple and tonic before settling down in a nice spot in the shade.

Pet-friendly accommodation in the Murray Shire

Things to with your dog in nsw caravan

Discovery Parks - Horseshoe Lagoon sits along the picturesque Murray River, making it the perfect base to explore nearby Echuca. Make the most of  water-based activities and pet-friendly facilities on-site. Dogs are welcome but must be kept on a lead at all times.

Discovery Parks - Maiden’s Inn Moama is a dog-friendly park on all sites that offers excitement for energetic kids and four-legged family members. A classic Australian family holiday on the mighty Murray River awaits.

Things to with your dog in nsw hire equipment

Discovery Parks - Mildura offers river views, leisurely cruises and ample park space on your doorstep. Get into nature with a comfortable base to retreat for those long evenings. All sites and selected cabins are dog-friendly here!


Things to do with your dog in the Snowy Mountains

Things to with your dog in nsw jindabyne

Kosciuszko National Park and the mountains’ ski resorts may be off-limits for dogs but there is plenty of snowy fun in the region for your family and its furrier members.  

Jindabyne is a popular winter destination and receives its share of snow during the colder months. A perfect opportunity to get some paws in the snow and create some unique memories from a not-so-traditional Australian holiday.   

In the centre of town you'll find Banjo Patterson Park, with an easily navigated, well-paved path stretching 3.5km into the nearby countryside. This route is perfect for young cyclists and passes one of the area’s only off-leash exercise spaces.

Things to with your dog in nsw parks

During the summer months, fishing is a popular pursuit on Lake Jindabyne, with boats and fishing gear available for hire. With your four-legged fishing assistant  by your side, it’s sure to be an exciting day on the water for all involved.

Celebrate a successful day’s catch with your crew at Jindabyne Brewing (usually open Wednesday-Sunday) and grab a bite to eat if fish is not your thing. There are other breweries in the area worth exploring and plenty of bars with outdoor seating where dogs are always welcome.

Pet-friendly accommodation in the Snowy Mountains

Things to with your dog in nsw jindabyne pillow

Credit: @m.murrayyy

Discovery Parks - Jindabyne A stunning location overlooking the lake, Discovery Parks - Jindabyne is just a short drive from the national park and only 30 minutes from the popular ski slopes. Take in the delights of Jindabyne where dogs are welcome on all sites depending on the season.


Things to do with your dog in Albury-Wodonga

Things to with your dog in nsw albury wodonga

The Albury Wodonga region is a hive of cultural treasure troves, offbeat eateries, parks, pools and adventure playgrounds. It is also one of the most dog-friendly holiday destinations in NSW.

The outdoor foodie scene in Albury is very welcoming to the pooches, pups and pawed patrons who post up in their outside seating areas. Take a stroll and find the perfect spot to watch the world go by while enjoying some of the eclectic street food offerings on offer.

For the culturally curious doggo and their parents, a taste of culture beckons at the Albury Historic Walking Tour or why not explore our Indigenous history on the Wagirra Trail and Yindyamarra Sculpture Walk.

Things to with your dog in nsw off leash

If your dog isn’t much of a culture vulture, a dip in Lake Hume will liven up the day, as should a visit to one of the large selection of local off-leash dog areas. The jewel in the crown is Oddie’s Creek which is sure to be a big hit with the kids. 

Pet-friendly accommodation in Albury-Wodonga

Things to with your dog in nsw stick

Discovery Parks - Lake Hume NSW sits on the banks of Lake Hume and is just 15 minutes outside of Albury. Dogs are welcome on sites here all year round. Lakeside views, beach access and a range of water-based activities are sure to keep the whole family entertained. 


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