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The most popular dog friendly beach in the area is Bagnalls Beach at Corlette which is ‘dog heaven’ – completely off the lead, full access all day, a great picnic area next to the beach, easy parking and a bonus as well that it is also a lovely spot for ‘humans’. It is best to swim at high tide and the waves are minimal so it is very safe for all.

A number of popular walking and bike trails lead to Bagnalls Beach and a favourite of ours is the walk from Nelson Bay through Dutchies to Bagnalls. There are a couple of staircases along the walk but they are not very difficult and the walk is worth it – the views across Nelson Bay from behind the houses along Thurlow Avenue are wonderful and Dutchies is a little oasis (lovely picnic spot and very popular with families).

The walk can be accessed from Apex Park at Nelson Bay – just head along the pathway (west or left when facing the Marina) and keep on walking! This is a dual pathway for bikes as well.

Another favourite cafe when in Nelson Bay

This is actually a great spot to start the walk to Dutchies or Bagnalls or to treat yourself to something delicious on the way back. The Little Nel Cafe is also popular with the locals and is dog friendly with dogs allowed outside on the front deck area.

The cafe is located in the Nelson Motel on the ground level; there is a council parking area just near it and the cafe can also by accessed from the car park in Donald Street next to Rivers. Walk down through the Cascade Arcade and then around the corner near the Seabreeze Hotel which is close by to Little Nel.

The cafe is open for breakfast and lunch and the menu is extensive – plenty of varied choice to suit everyone. If it is busy, just make sure you make yourself known to a waitress or catch their eye when you find a table.

On the weekends, it tends to get busy so book ahead for breakfast or brunch.

This image of The Little Nel Cafe is courtesy of Little Nel Cafe