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The South Coast: A Good Bet For Your Pet

The South Coast of New South Wales is one of Australia’s most pet-friendly holiday destinations, with numerous amenities to welcome your horse, dog, or cat. Discover a series of dog-friendly beaches with off-lead areas, spacious reserve and national parks with dedicated horse riding trails.

After action-packed days, unwind at a cafe or restaurant with your pet. The South Coast is home to a variety of eateries that accommodate animals, including several establishments listed in the Australian Good Food Guide.

When it comes to holiday rentals, you needn’t worry - there are ample self-contained, pet-friendly apartments and homes on the South Coast.

Dog-Friendly Beaches

Many beaches along the South Coast are dog-friendly, with designated off-leash sections at various times of the day, usually in the evening from 4pm to 8pm. Huskisson’s Main Beach is a great place to bring the whole family and let your dog off its lead. There are calm waters for swimming and opportunities to snorkel or fish close to shore. Locals jogging on the sand with their dogs are a common sight.

Cormorant Beach at Bawley Point is another popular dog-friendly beach, as well as a favourite surfing destination. Meanwhile, Culburra Beach offers an expansive off-leash area along its foreshore reserve. Let the kids swim in the calm waters of this patrolled beach while you walk the dog.

Off-Lead Parks and Reserves

Almost each town on the South Coast has an off-leash area where you can play with your furry friend. Let your dog run free on the shores of the Shoalhaven River within the River Road Reserve. The off-lead area, between the boat ramp and wharf, is accessible 24 hours a day.

If you are staying near Swan Lake, head to the lake’s foreshore. The stretch between two of the boat ramps is an off-leash zone, available to dogs and their owners from the early evening until the next morning. Times of use vary depending on the season, so make sure to check in advance.

If you’re holidaying further inland with your pet, you can go to the Berry Sporting Complex, which offers ample outdoor space for dogs to run around.

Pet-Friendly Cafes and Restaurants

There are numerous pet-friendly cafes and restaurants on the South Coast, most of which are located in Shoalhaven and Kiama. Several dining establishments listed in the Australian Good Food Guide welcome canine friends.

There are 9 AGFG restaurants in the Shoalhaven region and 6 in Kiama, ranging from family eateries to gourmet dining experiences. Visit the AGFG website’s pet-friendly offerings to choose a restaurant. Soon, you’ll be sitting on a terrace overlooking the water while your furry friend enjoys a refreshing bowl of water.

Horse Riding Trails on the South Coast

If you’re bringing your horse to the South Coast, you will be able to ride along an almost endless series of paths. Start off at South East Forest National Park. Navigate the park’s trails to discover the area’s changing scenery as you advance along the coast and further inland.

The horse riding paths go through forests and over rolling hills, stopping and scenic lookouts with views over neighbouring mountain peaks. Hop off your horse and have a picnic at one of the many clearings or designated picnic spots. Please note, some paths are shared with bushwalkers.

Kangaroo Valley also boasts a number of horse riding trails, which lead up mountains and through rainforests. Venture up to mountain peaks on horseback to take in 360 degree views over the South Coast’s hinterland.

Getting to the South Coast

Accessing your holiday accommodation on the South Coast is usually quite straightforward, even when you travel with your pet. If you are driving from Sydney, you can take the scenic route down the coast. Otherwise, you can fly in to one of the regional airports from most major Australian cities - just inquire about airline policies for bringing pets onboard.