Ningaloo Station dog friendly beach WA

Our Top 10 Dog Friendly Beaches

We’d love to share with you our 10 favourite dog friendly beaches in Australia that we’ve visited on our travels so far.

We’ve visited so many that this was an almost impossible task and I’m sure that tomorrow we will change our minds re our preferences…..again.

We have limited this to 1 photo per beach, apart from the first one which is our absolute favourite so that deserves 2. The rest are in no particular order of preference.

They were all great!


We’ve also included some links as to where we stayed when we visited these beaches.

1. Five Finger Reef, Coral Bay, WA

Dog Friendly Five Fingers Reef, Coral Bay, WA

This is a magical place which we all loved. It’s about 5kms south of Coral Bay which can be accessed either by foot along the beach from town, which would be quite a tough walk on the soft sand.

Or, by vehicle on the 4WD track which starts close to the boat ramp.

The 4WD track is great fun.

Fishing at dog friendly Five Fingers Reef, Coral Bay, WA

The water is wonderfully clear and ideal for swimming and snorkelling. It’s best to get out there by 11am when you can get your pick of the beach to set up for the day, although it rarely gets very busy.

No restrictions with regard to having your furry friend with you.

We stayed at the only dog-friendly caravan park in Coral Bay which is called Ningaloo Coral Bay Bayview.


Strange fact for you – if you live permanently at Coral Bay you are not allowed to own a dog. How bizarre!!

2. Rainbow Beach, QLD

Dog Friendly Rainbow Beach QLD

The name Rainbow Beach applies to the small town as well as to the local beach and is situated just north of Noosa Heads on the Sunshine Coast of Queensland. 

The caravan park we stayed at was Rainbow Beach Holiday Village and is a stone’s throw to the beach.

The beach is huge and stretches for 23 kms, so there’s always a spot for you to set up on. Just be careful of all the 4X4’s that come onto the beach for a play.

There are restrictions with regard to dogs on this beach, so check the local council rulings on this one.

Having said that, we were there in Winter and the locals were constantly on the beach with their dogs off-leash.

3. Mills Beach, Mornington, VIC

dog friendly Mills Beach, Mornington, VIC

We all love this beach, as it was our local one when we first moved out to Australia.

We lived 5 minutes walk away and were there every day weather permitting. It’s very safe to swim and a great place to have fun with your dog. 


There are time restrictions that dogs are allowed dependant on the time of year.

4. Racecourse Beach, Ulladulla, NSW

Ash and Lucy on dog friendly Racecourse Beach, Ulladulla, NSW

Racecourse Beach was our local beach when we did a house sit for a great couple in Ulladulla.

They also put their trust in us to look after their gorgeous dog ‘Lucy’. I think that she enjoyed her beach visits with us 🙂

This is surfers territory and this beach gets a bit dumpy with quite a few strong rips, so paddling is really the order of the day as opposed to letting your paws leave the sand.


Check the council regs re dogs on the beach as there are some. However, lots of locals walking their dogs off-leash in the Winter months.

5. South Lefroy Bay, Ningaloo Station, WA

Dog Friendly South Lefroy Bay, Ningaloo Station, WA

We were very privileged to be able to set up and have this uninterrupted view when we camped at this beach. This really is a little bit of heaven if you like to get away from it all.

Absolutely idyllic.

Our nearest neighbours at Sth Lefroy Beach Campsite were about 40 metres away. Fantastic swimming, snorkelling and fishing for young and old and completely safe.

We didn’t take our van into the campsite as it was well off the main road, instead, we pitched our ARB Awning tent which did the trick.

This place is a steal at the princely sum of $5 person/night for your own little bit of paradise. 

As this is a station stay, you must be aware that 1080 poison bait exists on Defence land, so please be careful and keep an eye on your pooch.


The usual rules about being kept under control and not allowed to roam or chase livestock or wildlife, but ok to be off-leash otherwise.

6. Swimcart Beach, Bay Of Fires, TAS

dog friendly Swimcart Beach, Bay of Fires, TAS

How good is this view?

This is what we had to look at every day from the van.

What hardship :-).

We stayed here for 2 weeks. No power or water, but if you have solar, it’s all good. As long as it stays sunny that is.

You can refill your water carriers and empty your toilet cassette at the nearby town of St Helens.

The majority of the caravan sites at Swimcart Beach are along an access road that runs parallel with the beach, so every site is guaranteed a great view. Some are just a little bit more secluded than others.

To get a pitch, you generally have to be there no later than 11am as it’s first come, first served. We scooped a great spot as you can see, so were really fortunate.

Great fishing spot and ok for swimming if you choose your time and spot, as there are a few rips.


Restrictions re dogs at this one state that dogs should be on a lead. 

7. Darlington Beach, Arrawarra, NSW

dog friendly Arrawarra Beach, NSW

So good we stayed here twice!

The caravan park we used is called NRMA Darlington Beach Holiday Resort and is excellent. It has recently become ‘dog-friendly’ and unlike some parks, doesn’t push the dog owners into a corner, but allocates a central area where dogs can stay. 

The huge beach is accessed from the park and is rarely busy and completely off-leash.

Both times that we stayed, the water was relatively calm and ok for swimming, just not too far out, as there are drop offs and the odd rip.

8. Wharton Beach, Duke of Orleans Bay, WA

dog friendly Wharton Beach, Duke of Orleans Bay, WA

Wow, just wow.

This is an incredible beach. The pristine white sand and the crystal clear blue water gives a seriously tropical feel to this wonderful place.

Swimming, kicking back, beach fishing for some Aussie Salmon, or playing in the light surf with your furry friend will help you while away the time on this amazing piece of real estate.

It’s a favourite with the locals, with 4WD vehicles allowed access, so don’t be surprised to see a fleet of 4X4’s all parked up with the barbie’s smoking if it’s good weather.

At the time of our visit, we were staying in Esperance about 80 kms further west but felt that we couldn’t miss out on this gem.

9. Hat Head, NSW

Dog Friendly section of beach at Hat Head NSW

Hat Head Holiday Park is dog-friendly, albeit seasonal so always best to check availability with the park management. 

The beach itself is beautiful and for our stay, it was very calm and allowed Ash some safe swimming.

Dogs are only allowed off-leash between Beach Access 6 and 10.

You also have the river inlet, although dogs are not allowed off-leash outside of the area previously stated.

10. Red Rock Beach, Callala Bay, NSW

dog friendly Red Rock Beach, Callala Bay, NSW


Last, but by no means least is this beautiful beach, made better by the fact that we were catching up with great friends.

Plus their dog ‘Aero’, a gorgeous Labradoodle and BFF to Ash. 

Lots of great sand and being very sheltered within Callala Bay it’s great for play and a paddle with your pooch.

Untitled design (49)

More Articles

Join The Pack @