One of the best parts about owning a dog is that they get you outdoors more because they need exercise. Walking your dog in and around Wollongong means local dog owners can enjoy the variety of scenic neighbourhood and coastal routes on a leash or letting your dog run zoomies around one of the great off leash areas in the Illawarra. There are a number of off leash parks and dog friendly beaches in the Illawarra, but make sure you find out what the rules of using of leash spaces are, so you keep other members of the community happy and our beautiful environment and wildlife safe.

the best dog friendly beaches in the illawarra

Are dogs allowed on Wollongong beaches?

Beaches are classified by a colour coded, three zone system, which makes it easy for dog owners to identify where dogs are allowed to be walked, both on and off leash.

Red Zone:

No dogs are permitted on Red Zone areas at any time. Red zones include:

  • All rock platforms
  • Lifeguard patrolled areas with red and yellow flags and within 100 metres of a lifeguard patrol zone.
  • Any beaches that aren’t marked as orange or green zones.
illawarra dog beaches

Orange Zone:

Orange zones areas, mean dogs are permitted at certain times, but are required to be on a leash. The signs will specify what times are included, but generally state that dogs can be walked on the beach before 9am and after 4pm or 6pm, depending on the time of year.

dog beaches in wollongong

Green Zone:

Your dog can be off leash any time in a Green Zone area. There are still rules (common sense, really) such as you need to be able to control your dog at all times, pick up their poo and keep them off protected areas such as rock platforms

off leash beaches illawarra

Where can I take my dog off leash in Wollongong?

Dog owners are spoiled for choice when it comes to walking your dog in the Illawarra. There are several off leash parks to choose from if you prefer to keep the sand out of the car, but also a number of dog-friendly beaches. Remember, rock platforms are strictly prohibited for dogs, regardless of the Here’s a run down of the best dog-friendly beaches in and around Wollongong:

1. McCauleys Beach, Sandon Point

This spot is a hit with Northern suburbs dog owners. There’s a little inlet that fills with the high tide and makes a great swimming hole if your dog loved water, but is scared of the waves. The beach is Green Zoned from the southern end right up until Corbett Ave, where is technically becomes Thirroul Beach and a timed Orange Zone.

2. East Corrimal Beach

The Green Zone off leash section of Easties spans from the Bellambi Lagoon carpark to the boat ramp. It’s a lovely big stretch of sand, but is dotted with rock platforms along the way, so remember to keep your furry friend away from them to protect our wildlife (and avoid a fine from the rangers!)

3. Coniston Beach, Wollongong

Situated right behind the golf course, Coniston Beach can be access from either the walkway at the end of Bank St, or from the Swan St entrance, where you will find a tap for rinsing off sandy toes and paws.

4. MM Beach, Port Kembla

The addition of a proper staircase a few years ago has made MM Beach a whole lot more popular with dog walkers! The off leash area stretches from the main stairs to the northern end and a slow stroll up and back will cover a 30 minute walkie. Dogs aren’t allowed south of the stairs and rangers do come and monitor the situation, so be sure of where you let your dog wander.

These aren’t the only dog friendly beaches in Wollongong, but just a few of the most popular. Why not get out and explore to find the best fit for you and your doggo? If running on soft sand is problematic for your dog due to joint issues, there are also some great off leash dog parks in the Illawarra too.