Central Coast, NSW

Best dog-friendly beaches Central Coast NSW

By Ailsa Kemp

September 7, 2020 | 3 minute read

Regardless of whether you are travelling with your pooch or just out for a day trip, it can be very tempting to find a dog-friendly beach where your four-legged child can frolic in the waves, tongue lolling to the side and tail wagging. Many beaches in NSW have restrictions or outright bans on dogs so it pays to do some research before setting off so you know the rules (if any) of where you're going. 

* At the time of writing, activities and places mentioned in this guide are at varying stages of recovery from COVID-19. Please check government and business websites for specific details on opening times and any restrictions before you travel.

If you're heading to the Central Coast in the near future and want to take your pooch, here's a list of off-leash areas where your furbaby can fully enjoy themselves in the sand and waves. 

Avoca Beach

This is a beach that I personally love to take my cocker spaniel to. There's a strip of the main beach that is designated for dogs off-leash so if your dog loves to dive head first into the waves or just run laps catching their ball, it's amazing. I love it because you also have access to Avoca lake, which is only metres from the ocean but hasn't got the waves so if your pooch prefers to swim in calmer waters, this is ideal. 

Macmasters Beach

Macmasters Beach is the next inlet down from Avoca and they're almost identical with the ocean and lake. However, you're not meant to let your pooch in the lake here. Even so, the stretch of the off-leash area is more than enough for your dog to stretch his legs. 

Terrigal and Wamberal Beach

There are various areas around this beach where dogs can play off leash. The main one is in between the two beaches where your dog has a few kilometres to run free. There are some on-leash areas nearby so make sure you pay attention to the signs. 

Ettalong Beach

If you're going to be a little more inland, there are several beaches in the Woy Woy/ Ettalong Beach region that are well worth your trip. Ettalong Beach itself has a great stretch of sand that is off-leash and is a little calmer. Your dog will have a blast playing in the water and running along the sandbanks.

Long Arm Parade, St Hubert's Island

This stretch of land isn't for dogs who need a long run to stretch out. It's much better for dogs who just want to wade into calm waters and have a splash around. Since you're inland, there are pretty much no big waves unless a boat zips past. It's a great spot to relax with your pup and cool off together in the water. 

Putty Beach

Getting to Putty Beach is part of its appeal. Surrounded by bushland and national park, you need to have your dog secured until you reach the off-leash area but the walk through the bush is quite pretty. Once you reach the water, you'll find the gorgeous and secluded Putty Beach, where most of the houses are hidden by the trees. 

It's such a relaxing atmosphere and feels hundreds of miles from everything, especially in the northern end of the off-leash area. You can check out the Gosford council’s website for more details on other off-leash parks and beaches. 

We think you should know

The Weekender's travel guides are independently written by real travellers. We do not receive any money from, or have a sponsorship arrangement with, any of the entities listed in or referred to in this article.