Dog friendly parks & off-leash areas

You can freely exercise your dog in most public places as long as you clean up any dog droppings.

Whenever your dog is outside your property or yard, it must be on a leash (or lead) and under the effective control of a competent person.

Restricted, dangerous and menacing dogs are not permitted in off-leash areas. Special restrictions also apply to the exercising of greyhounds

New arrangements from October 2021

New arrangements for off-leash areas will come into force from October 2021. Read about the new arrangements

Off-leash areas until October 2021

You can take your dog for exercise off the leash: 

  • at beaches that are designated off-leash areas 
  • inside an area of the south western corner of South Kempsey Park, between the Tourist Information Centre and the tennis courts
  • on the right-hand side of the boat ramp at Kempsey Riverside Park

You must collect your dog’s droppings and dispose of them in a red bin. Dog waste bag dispensers are located in many public places across the shire.

Maps of off-leash areas

Dogs are allowed in Goolawah Regional Park, Crescent Head, but must be kept on-leash at all times, except on Delicate Beach and Big Hill Beach, where they are allowed off-leash.

Dogs are no longer permitted on Back Beach, Crescent Head, from the vehicular entrance south to the end of the beach at Racecourse Headland. Dog owners are permitted to access the northern end of the beach, with their dogs on-leash, via the vehicle beach access and the walking track leading from the top car park. If using the vehicle access, dog owners must walk their dog down below the high tide mark (below the sand dunes) and then proceed north. The access to this area is through an ongoing agreement with New South Wales National Parks and Wildlife Services and may change when new Plans of Management for Goolawah National Park are released.

No dogs at all

You can’t take your dog:

Dogs are also prohibited from the following beaches: 

  • inside an area north from Killick Creek, Crescent Head to the national park boundary
  • inside an area from Saltwater Creek on the Main Beach, South West Rocks, east to ‘the wrecks’
  • Horseshoe Bay Beach, South West Rocks
  • inside an area from Korogora Creek at Hat Head to Pedestrian Access No. 6
  • inside an area from the headland at Grassy Head north to a point 250 metres past the beach access point from the day visitor area of the reserve
  • inside an area from the Big Nobby Crescent Head to the Goolawah Beach vehicular access

Regardless of the above, you can take your dog on a leash through a prohibited place, by the shortest possible route, to reach a permitted area.