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To the beach? Yes there are so many options!

So the trip is planned and your dog is also getting excited for their holiday away. Toys are packed, bedding, blankets and maybe their favourite bowl and treats. All is set for a great break away in Port Stephens for you and your furry friends!

Luckily, Port Stephens has a range of fun and relaxed options for our fur-guests and so take the time to not only work out your plans but also what you will be able to enjoy with your dogs.

In a first of a number of feature articles, we will look at the options for our four-legged loved ones. 

For those not familiar with Port Stephens there are so many beautiful beaches and waterways in the area many of these have dog friendly access or completely dog-friendly 24hrs a day.

Bagnalls Beach

One of the top favourites for our fur-friends is Bagnalls Beach at Corlette. This beach is not only completely accessible to all including dogs but it is also a great location for family with safe swimming areas, parking areas, a great kids park, BBQ and picnic facilities.

Did you know that not all dogs can swim? Well if you want to introduce your favourite fur-kid to the beach, Bagnalls Beach is one of the best locations to introduce your dog to the water. Dogs can wade in the low tide in safety, explore among the sea grasses and simply enjoy the delights of their first time at the beach.  

Charlie at Bagnalls Beach (with thanks to Annique J Photography)

There are 3 easily accessible areas to Bagnalls Beach from the western to the eastern end, all with parking options. The easter area has the picnic areas and kids park mentioned above.

For a lot more information about Bagnalls Beach, read our article here:

Along with Bagnalls Beach there are many other beach areas for fur-friends that are accessible at various times of the day, either on lead or off lead. We have mentioned times for each of the beach areas but please check with us or the signs in the area, as these may change.

The cycle and walkway to Bagnalls Beach

Shoal Bay Beach

Completely off-lead from 5pm to 9am and so this magical area makes a wonderful spot for fur-family to enjoy the beach and for you to enjoy a picnic while enjoying the glorious sunsets and views of the bay. Fish and Chips anyone? A great spot to enjoy it, as well as the picnic areas closer to Shoal Bay.

There is a convenient and easy walk from Shoal Bay Village that hugs the bay – so many great views! – to the beach-accessible area of Shoal Bay, that sits next to the Tomaree Headland, and the village also offers many dog-friendly cafe and restaurant options.

Boat Harbour

Boat Harbour is one of our favourite areas to explore the headland areas, the many enticing rock pools, see the wonder of the whales from the whale lookout headland during migration period and also simply enjoy the hidden specialness of Boat Harbour. There are many walking trails around the headland and it is also off-leash for our fur-friends to wander, enjoy and explore! Dog friendly picnic areas nestle the coastline and near the beach too. 

An even more good news! Boat Harbour beach is also dog-friendly! Dogs are allowed off-lead on the beach from May to September (off-peak season) and allowed on the beach between 5pm and 9am (on-lead only) during the peak times, between October and April.

Read more about Boat Harbour in our post here:

The beauty of Boat Harbour is that it is slightly out of the way of the tourist trail and so always has a relaxed and easy care ambience.

Birubi Beach

This is a stunner and is such an amazing location! Everytime we visit, our breath is still taken away by the amazing views of the dunes and beach, that extends all the way to Stockton. 

Luckily for fur friends, Birubi Beach is also accessible both off lead and on lead at various times of the day and these periods are also seasonal. Check the Port Stephens dog parks sites for actual times and find the times at the beach too – it is well sign posted. Birubi Beach also enjoys rocky outcrops that your dog will also love to explore.

Courtesy Lee-Anne Russo

With Crest Cafe also at this location, it is a favourite of many to order some scrummy takeaway and sit on the headland area, while enjoying the magical views of Biribu Beach, with your fur-family. 

Other favourite beach locations around the Tomaree Peninsula

And there is more! 

Enjoy the beach locations at Salamander Bay, off Foreshore Drive and also accessible off Soldiers Point Road. These beach areas are hidden delights that are on-lead beaches for your dog to enjoy and also for you too! Safe swimming areas and picnic areas, with easily accessed grassed areas, for all to enjoy a day at the beach, or for long easy walks along the beach and grassed areas.

On lead beach area off Foreshore Drive at Salamander Bay

Other dog-friendly beach locations in Port Stephens

Slightly further afield from the Tomaree Peninsula area is Lemon Tree Passage at the end of the Tilligery Peninsula. We love to go there each year to explore, enjoy the walks and have breakfast or lunch at one of the cafes or a special lunch at The Poyer’s Restaurant.

Kooindah Park is off-lead and accessible all day

Kooindah Park is completely off-lead all day for our fur friends and is located adjacent to Henderson Park that has a fantastic children’s playground plus enclosed beach area for safe swimming.

Joe at Kooindah Park, courtesy Delia L

Lemon Tree Passage also has a fantastic boardwalk where dogs are also welcome to walk. It meanders through the mangroves with beautiful views through the trees, seeing people enjoy water sports such as kayaking, others fishing or boating. Try spotting a koala as the Tilligery Penisula is a safe-haven for them.

Read more about Lemon Tree Passage in our post here:

Tanilba Bay and Mallibula

Also at Tilligery Peninsula, is the dog-friendly beach at Mallibula, as part of Tanilba Bay, that is also off lead for our fur-family. This is also a good place to visit on a day trip to the Peninsula.

As part of this area, there is also the Tanilba Bay boardwalk that is also accessible for dogs. This forms part of the Tilligery Habitat and if you have time, visit the Habitat centre to learn more about the koalas in the area and the great work of the volunteers.

Bagnalls Beach Corlette, perfect for families and also dog-friendly

In Summary….

So, there a lot to do for our fur-friends and fur-guests in the beach areas of Port Stephens and we will follow this up with the best parks and walks, in our next article.

To keep abreast of pet-friendly areas (on and off lead) please check the Port Stephens Council website here: