2 June 2023

Local 'doggos' reveal the best spots in the 'Gong for a walk

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Dogs in the water at the beach

Marley and Clover living their best lives at one of Wollongong’s many dog friendly beaches. Photos: Wollongong City Council.

When you live in the Illawarra, winter is no excuse for staying indoors on the couch – especially if your doggo is tugging at the leash.

If you are tired of the same old beat around the block, Wollongong City Council has suggested some great walking spots for your fur babies – as recommended by four-legged experts on the subject …

Meet Vinnie

Dachshund on Coniston Beach

Vinnie favours green-zoned Coniston Beach where he can run free and dig holes anytime.

Vinnie has fallen in love with Coniston Beach, which is a “green zone” beach. Being a sausage dog means it’s a struggle not to get sand all over his nose and belly. But that’s OK because he’s been learning how to swim. He hasn’t quite gotten the hang of the waves yet, but he reckons he’ll give it another go.

Dogs are allowed off-leash at any time in green-zoned beaches and parks.

Meet Bowie

Fluffy dog on Thirroul Beach

Bowie on-leash at orange-zoned Thirroul Beach.

Bowie told us it took some wrangling to get the perfect selfie at Thirroul’s orange-zoned beach. She’s wearing her favourite lead (a requirement for dogs visiting orange-zoned areas) and says it makes her look amazing.

Dogs are allowed on orange-zoned beaches like this one before 9 am and after 4 pm during winter.

Meet Carlos

Dog on Fairy Meadow Beach

Handsome Carlos loves the freedom of green-zoned Fairy Meadow Beach.

Carlos reckons he’s got what it takes to be a model and has posing for the camera down to an art. He’s a regular at Fairy Meadow Beach and is a pro at chasing a ball or a stick for as long as his owner is willing to play with him.

Don’t forget to bring your lead even when visiting a green-zoned beach or dog park. Dogs must stay on a leash when travelling to and from off-leash areas.

Meet Zelda

Dog on green grass at Figtree Oval Dog Park

For Zelda, the grass is greener at one of Wollongong’s many dog friendly parks.

Zelda is a bit of a free spirit and loves spending time in nature. She also reckons that the Figtree Oval Dog Park is the best place to make friends.

Make sure your dog is fully vaccinated before visiting a dog park. They’re bound to meet loads of other friendly dogs, and this will help keep them safe from diseases.

Meet Kobe

Dog on the beach

Kobe’s owners always bring poop bags to the beach.

Kobe describes himself as an energetic goofball and part-time food thief. His favourite thing is digging in the sand, capping it off with a spot of ‘zoomies’. His owner always brings doggy bags when they go on a walk to save Kobe from any embarrassment when nature calls.

Don’t forget to bring your doggy poo bags with you when you leave the house. Put used bags in the bins provided and if you can’t find a bin, take them with you.

Meet Ruby

Dog on Wollongong Beach

Ruby being the best girl on one of Wollongong’s many green-zoned beaches.

Ruby says that the very best thing to do at the beach is to catch a ball. The second best is running away whenever your owner asks you to drop the ball. After a trip to the beach, Ruby says she always treats herself to a nap on the couch.

Meet …

Austinmer beach

Not all beaches are dog friendly – Austinmer Beach is zoned red.

As far as our doggos go, Wollongong beaches operate on a simple traffic light system.

It offers 11 green-zoned beaches where dogs are allowed off-leash at any time, so long as they’re led to and from the green zone on-leash including the pathways leading to them.

It also offers 13 orange-zoned beaches where dogs are permitted at some times of the day, so long as they remain on-leash at all times. In summer (start of September school holidays to Anzac Day) that’s before 9 am and after 6 pm and the rest of the year, before 9 am and after 4 pm.

Ten of our beaches are red-zoned, which do not permit dogs at any time. In addition, lifeguard patrol zones marked by red and yellow flags, within 100 metres of a lifeguard patrol zone and any other beaches that are not green or orange zones are considered red zones. This covers the entire beach area from the dunes to the water.

It’s also worth noting that some dog beaches are next to rock platforms. Dogs are never allowed on rock platforms. This is to protect your dog and the native sea and bird life.

Get a complete rundown of Wollongong’s dog beaches and parks here.

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