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Where are the Best Dog Walks around Nelson Bay?

Home > Port Stephens > Beaches | Dog Friendly | Health and Fitness | Parks | Walks | Questions
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by Sue W (subscribe)
Lover of exploring, family, food and fun!
Published March 14th 2020
If you are visiting Nelson Bay with your pooch, or you are a local looking for a new place to walk your dog, then you are spoilt for choice with scenic areas around Nelson Bay.

Although I personally don't have a dog, my family has been "pooch-sitting" a friend's dog for the last couple of weeks and have been on the lookout for stimulating walks for her, whilst enjoying it ourselves. These are the walks that we have discovered, however, if you are a dog-owner and have your own local tips, please leave a comment at the top of this article. I'm sure that every dog owner in the area has discovered this scenic beauty...

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Bagnalls Beach - an off-leash dog beach


Bagnalls Beach is located less than 10 minutes from Nelson Bay and it is the most popular dog walk in the area. When you walk along the beach (with your dog off-leash) you will meet a wide variety of dogs and their owners, with many dogs enjoying a swim or chasing balls along the sand. There are usually swans who swim a little way offshore, who seem used to the dogs barking at them and swimming out to get a closer look. Behind Bagnalls Beach there are 3 reserves connected by a walking track and all of them are dog-friendly. See here for details.

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Have a paddle and stop for a chat at Bagnalls Beach


Birubi Beach at Anna Bay is located 15 minutes from Nelson Bay and is a stunning, 32 kilometre beach with the Stockton Sand Dunes which run behind. It is a popular tourist destination with sand boarding and quad bike tours through the dunes. Dogs are allowed off-leash on the beach outside of the most popular hours, before 9am and after 5pm, daylight savings times. See here for the Port Stephens Council map.

Fenced Dog Parks are located at Lancaster Park, Soldiers Point (open 7am - 7pm) and Fingal Bay, behind the beach. They are a safe place for your dog to run around with other dogs and to wear off some excess energy. If you are feeling tired and you don't feel like exercising yourself, you can relax on a bench and let your dog do all the work! See here for locations.

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A large area to run around at Fingal Bay, less than 10 minutes from Nelson Bay


The coastal walk between Bagnalls Beach and Little Beach has been our "go-to" walk for scenery and convenience. If you park on Laman Street on the headland overlooking the marina at Nelson Bay, the concrete pathway for the walk is right in front of your car. If you walk left it takes you to Dutchmans Beach and Bagnalls Beach (see article here), or if you turn right you walk down to the marina and along the Nelson Bay Foreshore until Little Beach (see article here). Either way is a scenic walk for you and sensory experience for your pooch.

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A cool walk under the trees between Nelson Bay and Bagnalls Beach (via Dutchmans Beach)


Where is your top dog walk around Nelson Bay? Can the dogs go off-leash, or do they need to stay on the lead? Please leave a comment at the top of this article.

We have found that looking after a dog has been good for our family - the pooch has become a part of our everyday life, forced us to go outside for walks, shown us the beauty of the area and we have met many friendly locals who have welcomed us to the dog-loving world - particularly at Bagnalls Beach. One thing is for sure - there will be tears (mainly mine!) when it's time to give her back!

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There's nothing more relaxing that walking a dog along the beach!

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