With the school holidays and warmer days upon us, there’s one thing we’re all likely to do – head to the beach. Queensland has a stunning coastline and we’re lucky to have dog beaches allocated for our canine friends.

We asked the Animal Emergency Service Veterinary Nurses for their favorite locations to frolic in the waves with their fur-babies.  Here’s their Top 5 picks (in no particular order) with some important advice for pet owners.

FBhayley-strain3CABARITA NSW – Cabarita Dog Beach

Cabarita Beach is a popular location for our friends in Northern New South Wales and the Gold Coast. It’s a popular beach but not as crowded as The Spit.

Hayley’s Tip: There are a lot of great dog beaches up and down the coast depending on how much you like to drive. We’ve taken out pups to Yamba every year as well.

FBhayley-strain2CURRUMBIN – Palm Beach Dog Beach

This is a great spot with lots of large spaces to walk around. The water is stunning, clear and dogs have a choice of swimming in the waves beachside or the calmer waters of the inlet.

Hayley’s Tip: This is a great spot for swimming obsessed dogs.

FBashleigh-ehrmann2SOUTHPORT – The Spit

Without doubt, The Spit is the most popular of all the beaches with large parks and sandy expanse. 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.

Hayley’s Tip: Avoid peak times at popular places like The Spit. Especially on weekends or school holidays because a lot of people will bring poorly socialised, untrained animals to this location. During these times you’re more likely witness a dog fight or put your dog in a tricky situation.

HOPE ISLAND – Hope Island Dog Park

The 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.

Amanda’s Tip: This is a great place for dogs to run around and go for a swim in a quieter setting than the popular beaches.

FBkim-anderson1COOLUM – Stumers Creek Dog Beach

AES Vet Nurse, Kim recommends Stumers Creek on the Sunshine Coast. It’s a very popular location that is expansive and the regulars are friendly. It’s 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.

Kim’s Tip: Dogs should be well socialised as this is a busy off-leash area with most activity taking place early morning and late afternoon.


We’re lucky to have so many choices for venturing out with our pets. It’s important your dog is well socialised as these off-leash locations are very popular. It is also vital pet owners use common sense and closely monitor their dog’s behaviour, to avoid injury.

Remember to bring water for your dog. Do not let your dog drink sea water as it can make them very unwell. Heat stress is also a concern for active pets (even when they’re frolicking in water). Know the signs of heat stress and keep a close eye on your pet.

The team at Animal Emergency Service wish you all a safe holiday.


Gold Coast City Council – List of Off Leash Dog Areas (pdf brochure)
Sunshine Coast Council –  List of Dog Parks and Off Leash Areas
Brisbane City Council –  List of Favourite dog parks


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