It's true, dogs love the beach! They love fetching sticks, rolling in the sand and running for hours on end. Here's what's on the cards at some of the best dog-friendly off-leash beaches that I have found in Wollongong, (only 45 minutes from Sydney CBD). Can you add any more to this list?
Sharkey's Beach: Located a few minutes from Lawrence Hargrave Drive from Coledale Beach and Campground. Beware of the signs though, it is an unpatrolled beach and has a lot of rip activity. Wading on calm days would be fine. There is a picturesque grassy area perfect for a picnic nearby.
Little Austinmer Beach: Located directly to the north of Austinmer Beach. Take care with your dogs when walking on the rock platforms as there are threatened bird habitats here to be aware of.
McCauley's Beach: Located on Corbett Avenue, Thirroul. Many locals and city-dwellers alike claim that this is the best dog beach of all of Wollongong's beaches, but you be the judge of that. McCauley's Beach is accessed from Corbett Avenue, Thirroul and makes a perfect area to play fetch or go for a splash in the shallows. The great thing about McCauley's is that it has creeks that are perfect for a younger dog who may be just learning to swim and not yet ready for big waves.
East Corrimal: The off-leash area extends from the carpark and creek at the end of Murray Road, around as far as the Bellambi boat ramp. You can have a swim at the southern end, however, it's not patrolled so take care and stay alert.
Puckey's Beach: Located near the surf club on Elliott's Road. Swimming isn't advised at this beach, due to the hidden rock shelves and rips. Add this to the fact that it's unpatrolled, make Puckey's a more suitable beach for experienced dogs who will heed your calls (or the treats in your pocket!)
Coniston: Head to Swan Street, Coniston and enjoy an off-leash area that extends south of Bank Street. This beach isn't the best for swimming due to the strong rip activity, so enjoy the waves or a game of catch from the safety of the sand.
MM Beach (North Port Kembla Beach): Located at Gloucester Boulevard, Port Kembla. This beach is pretty long, which is perfect for dogs to run around and cover themselves in sand. It has some rocky areas with water pools for dogs who don't like the waves. It is unpatrolled, so remember to keep a close watch on your fur-baby.
Visit wollongong.nsw.gov.au to view the Council's Dogs on Beaches and Parks Policy as they are subject to change. Don't forget your doggie bags, treats and collapsible water bowls, to make sure you and your dog have a great day at the beach.
In your opinion, where are the best off-leash beaches in Wollongong?