Explore 12 of the best dog-friendly beaches in Queensland
It’s not often that your pooch has a taste of freedom in public. But just this once, you’re welcome to forgo the leash, with a day spent frolicking in the sand and sea with pooch in tow. While not all of Queensland’s eye-catching beaches happily welcome dogs, there’s a significant few that do. Let us help guide you and your four-legged friend on your next day out, with our list to the best dog-friendly beaches in Queensland.
The Spit, Gold Coast
This Gold Coast icon on the northern end of the district is the gateway to the Broadwater and the open ocean. Luckily for dog-lovers, the local favourite doesn’t just accommodate your fishing and swimming cravings, but welcomes any four-legged friends too. Walk your way down to the far end of the spit and you’ll come across plenty of dogs frolicking off-leash. Muriel Henchman Avenue marks the start of this designated off-leash area, which stretches north to the sea wall.
Deception Bay, Moreton Bay
Neighbouring Deception Bay is just as enthusiastic about man’s best friend. Drive just 30 kilometres out of Brisbane’s borders and you’ll come across the growing residential area which offers access to both river and bay. With ample boating, fishing and picnicking available, it’s families who really prosper here. The kids can take to the skatepark or cycleway while dogs enjoy the stretch of off-leash space running between Seaview Parade and Windlass Street, and between Wallin Avenue and Joseph Crescent.
Red Beach, Bribie Island
Nestled within picturesque Moreton Bay you’ll find Bribie Island. Conveniently connected to the mainland by a bridge, this natural wonderland is an easy day trip from Brisbane CBD. Despite the many national parks fringing it, Red Beach is one of the state’s more dog-friendly beaches, and contains a designated off-leash area for the furry to run free across its dunes.
Warana Beach, Sunshine Coast
The Sunshine Coast’s 100-kilometres of famed beaches aren’t just suitable for the two-legged, but there’s plenty of sand throughout the ample stretch that are considered dog-friendly. Pooches have the entirety of Warana Beach at their disposal; the unpatrolled beach may not be suitable for swimming, but it’s ideal for throwing a stick around. Certain access points are required for dogs (points 229-238) and they are not permitted in the dunes or in the Warana Foreshore Bushland Reserve.
Home Beach, North Stradbroke Island
Slightly further afield, a short ferry trip away from Cleveland sits North Stradbroke Island. One of Queensland’s best-kept secrets, this island could well be paradise for both man and dog. The postcard-perfect area is awash with pristine sandy beaches, regular swell, and is considered largely to be off-leash (campgrounds included), though restrictions do apply around the popular precincts of Amity Point and Flinders Beach.
Sunshine Beach, Sunshine Coast
On the cusp of Noosa National Park sits a bountiful off-leash area that belongs to Sunshine Beach. The coastal hamlet is a favourite amongst locals, courtesy of its cluster of cafes, beachside surf club, wide beach, and dog-friendly atmosphere. If your dog still has plenty of energy to spare, and some board skills for that matter, neighbouring Noosa annually hosts the Noosa Festival of Surfing, where pooches are allowed to compete in specific events.
Burrum Heads and Dundowran Beach, Hervey Bay
Meandering your way along the idyllic Fraser Coast, just a short drive from the hub of Hervey Bay you’ll come to greet Burrum Heads. The quiet fishing village where river and ocean greet doesn’t just attract those who enjoy casting a line, but dog-lovers courtesy of the bounty of dog-friendly beaches (and holiday rentals) that call the area home. It’s along Riverview Drive and the Foreshore that you’ll find the majority of these.
Nudgee Beach Reserve, Brisbane
Brisbane itself is home to just as many dog-friendly beaches as the rest of the state. Make your way half an hour north from the city centre and you’ll find Nudgee Beach Reserve. Instead of a golden sand welcome though, expect mudflats, so a visit is best avoided if your pooch has just been bathed. At low tide, dogs are free to roam and swim to their heart’s content. Nearby, Tuckeroo Park is a dedicated dog swimming area.
Urangan, Hervey Bay
Tucked into the Fraser Coast is little-known Urangan. The Hervey Bay precinct tends to attract whale watchers and fishermen by the truck-load thanks to its lengthy pier and ample marina, but that’s not to say it doesn’t cater well to families, dogs included. While not exactly free to roam without regulation, dogs are allowed within designated precincts. They can foray on the Urangan foreshore between Margaret Street and Churchill Street all-day. From 3pm, dogs can venture between Urangan’s famed pier and the aquarium.
Pallarenda Beach, Townsville
While fellow northern hub Townsville isn’t lacking in space, it boasts just one off-leash beach for dogs to enjoy, which means it can get rather busy at times. Concluding our list of best dog-friendly beaches in Queensland is Pallarenda Beach sits opposite Magnetic Island, with the dog-friendly section accessible between gates 9 and 10 off Cape Pallarenda Road. Conveniently it’s not just plenty of parking that’s provided here, but doggie bags at the entrance.
Ellis Beach, Cairns
Perhaps Queensland’s most pet-adoring precinct is Cairns, with Tropical North Queensland’s main city home to a total of 47 different dog-friendly walks and a fair handful of dog-friendly beaches. One of the district’s stand-outs is Ellis Beach, where pooches can explore from the rocks at the southern end. Slightly further afield, there’s plenty more including Trinity Beach, Bramston Beach, Machans Beach, Buchans Point, Clifton Beach, Kewarra Beach and even the famed Four Mile Beach in Port Douglas included.
Shoal Point Beach, Mackay
To round up our list of best dog-friendly beaches in Queensland is Shoal Point. Nestled in amongst the beaches and rainforest within the city of Mackay, Shoal Point is home to a stunning stretch of sand which is ideal for photo opportunities at low tide. You’ll also find an off-leash dog beach with access available from Williams Avenue.