9 May 2024

A Kiama dog walker shares the region's best spots for a stroll with your pup

| Zoe Cartwright
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dog in a field

After somewhere spectacular to walk your best mate? Kiama dog walker Kerry Geen shares her top spots. Photo: Kerry Geen.

It’s not easy to find the perfect place to walk the dog.

From suburbs with nary a public bin in sight to sketchy narrow paths next to busy roads, dog owners who want a peaceful stroll with their best mate can be left frustrated.

Kerry Geen feels your pain – and has some solutions.

After leaving a corporate career in the UK to return to her home town, Kiama, Kerry decided to embrace her love of animals and start a dog-walking and sitting business, Toto and Otis.

“When I started, I thought it would be amazing if I could earn enough to cover my coffee addiction each week,” she said.

“It’s gone crazy, and we have so many beautiful clients and pups.”

After years in the UK, Kerry has an extra appreciation for the beautiful environment in the Illawarra, and all those dog walks mean she’s spied out some of the best pup-friendly tracks available.

Here are her top nine – including bin availability.

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1. Minnamurra headland

“I love the off-leash area, there are always a great bunch of pups and people to play and chat with. There’s easy parking at the end of Eureka Avenue, then you’re greeted with the breathtaking view as you round the hill.”

2. Jones Beach/Cathedral Rocks/Boneyard

“What a visual treat at every turn. With the addition of the dog-friendly section of Jones Beach and the quiet, off-track Boneyard, this is an absolute favourite of mine and the pups who love a quiet dip. Parking at the Jones Beach south end is often more available and there are plenty of bins here as well as at the Boneyard end.”

3. Cedar Ridgeway path

“I had no idea this little gem existed! What a stunner in the evening light. There are a couple of parking spots and access to the path at Big Fig Park, or the tip of Merrick Circuit. Hot tip … kangaroos are often seen hanging out in the paddocks.”

4. Swamp Road (Jamberoo side)

“A great long walk with stunning country scenery on either side and every way you look. The only downside to this walk is the lack of bins on the journey. Suggest parking at the shared pathway callout near where the motorway crosses the river.”

5. Swamp Road (Kiama side)

“Approach this one from the end of Henry Parkes Drive. Downhill and under the motorway, alongside the meandering river with cows and horses on the other side of the footpath. There’s plenty for pups to sniff and see.”

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6. Gerroa loop

“This walk offers a dramatic view all the way around. There’s usually parking available near the footbridge, with a couple of bins along the way, and then treat yourself to a great coffee at the Blue Swimmer Cafe once you’re done.”

7. Spring Creek

“Another little hidden gem at the roundabout where Jamberoo Road meets Banksia Drive on the Bombo side of the road. A beautifully built path with a gorgeous tree covering and plenty of wildlife!”

8. Port Kembla

“I love a walk that has a dog beach along the way! Start at the Breakwater Battery Museum and head down along the pathed boulevard. MM Beach is dog-friendly, so your pup can run free. I love to swing back via the main street and stop for a cheeky coffee at Scratch Coffee. There are plenty of bins on this route too.”

9. Lake Illawarra

“There’s plenty of parking at the Yallah Bay jetty. The view is gorgeous in the morning with the sun rising over the lake. This walk circumnavigates the lake to Kanahooka, so it can be as long or as short as you want to make it. This one is a little off the beaten track and usually nice and quiet if your pup is anxious around other dogs.”

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