Dog off-leash and prohibited areas


If you’d like to exercise your dog in open off-leash spaces, Shoalhaven City Council has over 20 off-leash areas that you and your dog can enjoy together.  

Find out about using off-leash areas including regulations you should be aware of, and prohibited spaces where you should not take your dog. 

Off-leash and prohibited areas

If your town isn’t listed above you can take your dog on the beach, but it needs to be on a leash. 

When there are no specific prohibited areas in your town the general prohibited areas list (in the next section) still applies. 

General prohibited areas

Dogs are prohibited in the following places throughout the Shoalhaven even if they are on a leash or otherwise controlled:

  • children’s play areas
  • food preparation/consumption areas
  • recreation areas where dogs are prohibited
  • public bathing areas where dogs are prohibited
  • school grounds
  • child care centres
  • shopping areas where dogs are prohibited
  • wildlife protection areas 

See our Dog Off-Leash Guide to learn more about prohibited areas, including endangered shore bird nest sites. 

Review of Environmental Factors (REF)

Council is preparing an environmental assessment, also known as a 'Review of Environmental Factors' or 'REF', for each dog off-leash area within the Shoalhaven.

The aim of these assessments is to evaluate the impact each dog off-leash area has on the community and the environment.

REFs for dog off-leash areas are undertaken in accordance with Part 5 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (also known as the 'EPA Act').

The REFs are informed by investigations that consider factors outlined under Section 171 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2021 (also known as the 'EPA Regulation').

The dog off-leash area REFs are being published for public information purposes, in accordance with Section 171 (4) of the EPA Regulation, as a matter of public interest.

The REFs are being undertaken to help inform decision-making processes, including identifying mitigation measures for further consideration by Council.

Council will notify and consult with communities affected by proposed changes to any existing dog off-leash areas that arise as a result of REF findings and other investigations.

The results of the consultation activities, REF findings, recommendations and any other relevant matters, will be referred to the elected Council (the Councillors) to make a final decision. New signage will be installed at affected locations that reflect the outcomes of this process.

The following REFs have been developed for viewing:

Further information 

Council encourages responsible pet ownership and we provide equal access to parks and open spaces for dog owners to exercise their dogs. 

Our Dog Off-Leash Guide provides information for pet owners on the location and use requirements of off-leash areas in the Shoalhaven Local Government Area. 

Dogs are required to be on a leash at all times except when in an off-leash area. Dogs are only permitted to be ‘off-leash’ in designated Council-managed areas and must be under the control of a competent person at all times. 

Pet owners also need to be aware of the following:

  • restricted breed dogs or dogs declared dangerous or menacing are not permitted in off-leash areas
  • the person in charge of the dog must immediately pick up the dog’s faeces (poo) and properly dispose of it
  • a dog must have a collar around its neck with a name tag that shows the name of the dog and the address or telephone number of the owner of the dog
  • all off-leash areas are regularly patrolled and all regulations enforced 

On the spot penalties apply for non-compliance.