Queensland weather automatically conjures up images of white sandy beaches, blistering sun, fish and chips, and BBQ in parks. However, packing up your family for a day at the beach and having to wave goodbye to your dog's sad eyes as you drive away can leave your otherwise happy day with an ever-present melancholy. So why not take them with you?
There are a number of dog friendly beaches and parks in Brisbane and even more just a short drive away to the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast area. So why not include your furry little friends in your next family trip.
Top dog friendly beaches and parks
We asked Animal Emergency Service Veterinary Nurses for their favourite locations to frolic with their fur babies. Here are their top picks, in no particular order, and some must have necessities to take on your outings.
Palm Beach - Currumbin
This is undoubtedly one of the most popular doggie friendly beaches this side of the Gold Coast. You can usually count on more dogs than humans - which is never a bad thing! This is a great location if your dog is a strong swimmer and loves jumping into waves with you à la Baywatch style. The water is stunning and clear, and dogs have a choice of swimming in the waves beachside or the calmer waters of the inlet.
With one of the biggest enclosed dog parks in Brisbane (with an included agility course!), Nudgee Beach has plenty to offer the family for a fun day out. There's a huge body of water even a pup with limited water skills can still have a good time in. Just be aware some parts are more mud flaps than beach, so be sure to pack a few extra towels for your pooch for the drive home!
Colmslie Recreation Reserve
Another firm Brisbane favourite, Colmslie Recreation Reserve, is another jewel in the doggy water park adventure list. Nestled just behind an aquatic centre, Colmslie Rec includes a small enclosed dog park with agility equipment and quiet car park for easy access. The waves here are not as intense as a usual beach so this is a great place for our little pups that are still learning to swim.
We know this isn't technically a 'beach', but once you arrive I'm sure you will forgive us! This is truly doggie heaven and at any point of the week can be seen to be filled with every breed of dog imaginable. Please be aware this area is close to a car park and cafe, so make sure your pup is trained enough to return to you when their name is called if need be.
Cabarita Dog Beach
Cabarita Beach is a popular location for our friends in Northern New South Wales and on the Gold Coast. It's a popular beach but isn't too crowded. There are a lot of great dog beach up and down the coast depending on how much you like to drive.
The Spit - Southport
Without a doubt, The Spit is the most popular of all the dog friendly beaches with large parks and sandy expanses. This location is a great spot for dogs with a lot of energy to burn. The thick sand and active surf will give them a great workout while you chill out and enjoy this popular Gold Coast spot.
Hope Island Dog Park
Hope Island Dog Park is a great choice if your dog likes to swim in calmer waters. There's plenty of room to run around and play, with the option to cool down in the inlet.
Stumers Creek Dog Beach
A very popular location that is expansive and the regulars are friendly. Stumers Creek Dog Beach is a human social experience as much as a canine one! There are options to play in the surf, on the sand or the calmer river waters.
Even more places to explore
There are many more dog friendly beaches and parks in our sunny state. Be sure to visit your local government and community websites for a full list. Here are just a few lists to check out:
- Brisbane City Council - Favourite dog parks in Brisbane
- City of Gold Coast - Off leash dog areas
- Sunshine Coast Council - Dog parks and off leash areas
Essentials for the beach and park
Before you hop in your car to explore a new favourite spot, don't forget to pack the essentials:
- Make sure to pack plenty of fresh clean water to counteract the effects of salt water, as too much salt ingestion can affect our dogs in a pretty serious way.
- Dogs can get sunburnt just as much as us humans, especially their noses and ears. Pet sunscreen is available if your pooch love to spend long periods in the sun.
- As well as fresh water consider investing in a large sun shade or even a beach tent to give your pup a break from the sun, and to help avoid heat stroke.
- Pack some yummy healthy snacks for your pup to munch on after they've run amok on the sand.
- Don't forget those towels to make sure your pup is nice and dry for the car ride home.
- Make sure to check the rules about dogs and leashing for the beach or park.
And most importantly don't forget to have fun!