Well, I have to admit that if we hadn’t accepted a one month house & pet sit in Old Bar, New South Wales, we might not have discovered this great dog friendly beach location.
About Old Bar
Old Bar is situated around 315 kms North of Sydney, with a long beach stretching all the way from Old Bar to Wallabi Point (and the Saltwater National Park), it’s a great location to holiday with your fur-buddies.
Old Bar beach is south of the mouth of the Manning River.
When we visited, the beach was 24 hours off lead all year round, however an update from a kind local has informed us that these regs have changed, so please check with the local council to verify.
The town is just a small village made up of residents and holiday makers with a few shops, supermarket, cafes, live music bar, caravan park and tavern.
We had the pleasure of caring for two beautiful cats whilst staying on a bush property 5 kms from the beach.
In true Follow You Nose style we enjoyed some great day trips out to other dog friendly locations in the surrounding areas.
We have included the details of those trips listed here for you also to enjoy.
This is Ellie & and her daughter, Kitten.
Two gorgeous girls that we looked after and they certainly reminded us how much we love pet-sitting all animals, not just dogs.
Iain, Ash & I had two cats back in the UK that were part of our family before we moved to Australia, so Ash is used to being kept in line by the feline variety!
Ellie was so vocal about demanding her food, I think Ash was even just a little impressed by her tactics to get food in to her bowl.
Unfortunately, being out in the bush meant that Ellie and Kitten would regularly arrive home with ticks feasting on them, so Iain and I would have to remove them.
You can read more about dealing with Ticks on the East Coast in our Blog post ‘A Ticky Problem’.
Fortunately though Ash has managed to avoid getting any Ticks.
We keep her away from the bush and long grass and she stays on her lead until she gets down to the sand and water on the beach.
This, along with a couple of drops of Rose Geranium Essential Oil on her fur every other day did the trick as a natural Tick preventative.
Where To Stay
There is one dog friendly Caravan Park right by the beach at Old Bar which is also walking distance to all the cafes.
Lanis On The Beach, Old Bar Road, Old Bar, NSW, 2430.
There are also plenty of holiday houses and apartments which allow dogs as well.
You can find these at the following websites which allow you to search for pet friendly options:
Dog Friendly Days Out
We were just out for a drive around the area and stumbled across this great off-leash dog-friendly beach at Manning Point.
You can even drive down on to this massive surf beach (as long as you set your tyres to 18 psi).
On the other side of the strip of land where this beach is, you have the mouth of the Manning River.
This is a lovely calm spot to fish, or enjoy a picnic in the park.
Just be aware however that in the bush and the dunes bordering this beach they lay 1080 bait for foxes, which is highly toxic for both domestic dogs and humans.
You can read more about this poison in our blog ‘1080 Bait – The Legal Killer’
We all enjoyed returning to Manning Point a second time to cast a line out in to the river from one of the small jetties.
However, no luck this time….
We didn’t catch any dinner, but we had a lovely time together enjoying the sunshine.
Harrington is a small village at the mouth of the Manning River, about a 25 minute drive north from old Bar.
It has a 3 km breakwall which is easy walking and a great spot at trying your luck with the local monster flathead.
If fishing isn’t your bag, then watching the local birdlife and the pelicans waiting for a fishy feast can lead to fantastic camera opportunities.
Plus, there is the obligatory beach visit to placate then needs of our furry daughter
On the outskirts of Harrington, situated on the banks of the Manning River you will find a Harrigan’s Irish Pub which draws quite a crowd, especially on the weekends.
They have a grass area out the back by the river with tables and chairs that accommodate those with dogs.
Dog Friendly Eating Out
Or if you fancy a few beers and some great music, then pop down for their ‘Sunday Sesh‘ where they have some great touring bands playing.
Blow Fish Cafe
The Blow Fish Cafe is practically on the beach at Old Bar and is a cracking spot for a coffee or take away.
They have. a pretty extensive menu, so you’re sure to be able to find something you like.
You can either set up for a picnic, or take away, on a rug on the grass, or at a picnic table.
Old Bar Tavern
The Old Bar Tavern is actually situated a couple of kms outside of Old Bar and is looks like your typical country pub.
Upon our visit the Tavern it had recently changed to new management.
They were busy making some changes to the look and feel of the hotel, including the menu.
We enjoyed a nice meal here and there is plenty of outdoor seating if you would like to visit with your fur-buddies.
Sai Thai Eatery
A great option for dog friendly eating out is grabbing a great Thai take-away.
You can then head down to the foreshore park at Old Bar.
This is a great spot to sit out on a warm evening at the picnic tables dotted around the park.
We can highly recommend Sai Thai Eatery where we enjoyed a delicious take-away of Massaman Beef and Green Chicken Curry.
A great little cafe just 5km from Old Bar is the Wallabi Point Coastal Cafe, serving great breakfasts and coffee.
You can then stroll down for a walk along the beautiful beach (which is dog friendly).
Just watch you don’t venture in to the Saltwater National Park if you have your pooch with you, as it is just down the road.
Art Cafe - Ghinni Ghinni Creek
We really loved this great quirky cafe and the surrounding art work and sculptures.
Set alongside the peaceful Ghinni Ghinni Creek with lots of shade from the surrounding trees to enjoy a great coffee.
It certainly was a very unique cafe which, for coffee lovers, has now unfortunately closed, although still remains open as ‘The Other Side Artists Retreat’ where art classes and workshops are run.
Wingham is a small historical town just 10 minutes drive from Taree and 25 minutes from Old Bar.
It is a lovely place to go for a drive and have lunch or a coffee out. We decided to visit the cafe Bent On Food in the main street.
The coffee is great and they also sell their own homemade jams, sauces and relishes.
We opted to sit at a table out the front of the cafe as it is a wide footpath and there wasn’t many cars in the main street when we were there.
It was Grand Final day and most folk seemed to be tucked away in the pubs watching the game.
You can however go through to the backyard of the cafe where it is dog-friendly and there are plenty of tables to choose from.
The staff are lovely and fussed over Ash and offered her a drink of water.
They specialise in sourcing local produce for their menu, so it is a great choice for sampling what’s on offer in the area.
On the 4th Sunday of every month you have the Old Bar Community Markets down at the beach promenade.
There are only a small range of stalls but a lot of variety ranging from bric-a-brac, crafts, woodwork, plants, fresh produce, homemade products and more.
The markets are open from 7am to 1pm.