20 Dog-Friendly & Kid-Friendly Places around Newcastle & Lake Macquarie

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Did you get a pandemic pet and wondering where you can take both your kids and dog? We’ve put together a guide of some local places for kids AND dogs in Newcastle, Lake Macquarie & Hunter. We’ve included playgrounds with nearby off-leash exercise areas, dog-friendly walks as well as dog-friendly beaches.

Playgrounds with nearby off-leash areas

Some of these off-leash area are closer to playgrounds while others may be a bit further. Check to see if there are time restrictions. Some off-leash areas only let you have dogs off their leash early in the morning and later in the afternoon / evening.

King Edward Park, Newcastle  

Decide if you’ll visit the off-leash area first and let your dog run around and then head down visit the playground equipment at King Edward Park or vice-versa. The off-leash area near the top parking lot of King Edward Park features fantastic views of the ocean and your kids can also tire themselves running up and down the hill.

Dixon Park Reserve, Merewether

Enjoy an early morning or late afternoon play with dogs at Dixon Park Reserve in Merewether at selected times while kids play on the playground equipment. Leash free time is sunrise to 9am, 5pm to sunset.

Islington Park, Islington

Islington Park

Similarly, visit Islington Park with your dog and kids. Your kids can enjoy a play at the playground and then after take the dog for a play in the off-leash area.

Nesca Park, Cooks Hill

Nesca Park in The Hill

Near to the Nesca Park playground, you’ll find an off-leash dog area. There’s plenty of room for dogs to run around and kids to chase after them.

Nesca Park in The Hill

Pitt Street Reserve, Stockton

Let your dog run free at Stockton’s off-leash area at Pitt Street Reserve while kids can play at the small Pitt Street Reserve playground.

Thomas H Halton Park, Croudace Bay

Enjoy an early morning or late afternoon play with dogs at Thomas H Halton Park in Croudace Bay at selected times during the week while kids play on the playground equipment.

Thomas H Halton Park

Leash free time is sunrise to 10am daily and 4.30pm to sunset, Monday to Friday, excluding public holidays.

Croudace Bay Park

Rathmines Park, Rathmines

Your kids can have fun at the plane-themed playground while your dog runs around the off-leash area at Rathmines Park.

Bakers Brickyard Quarry, Raworth

At Bakers Brickyard Quarry near East Maitalnd, you’ll find playground equipment for the kids and a fully-fenced off-leash dog area for your furbabies.

Dog-friendly walks

Take your dog on a family walk. Here are some family walks where you can bring your dog on a leash.

Harbour Foreshore

Go for a wander with your kids and dogs between Honeysuckle and Nobbys Beach. It’s completely flat and great for kids to bike or scoot along. Follow up with a play at dog-friendly Horseshoe Beach near Nobbys Lighthouse.

Throsby Creek, Maryville

Maryville Walk

Take your kids and dog for a walk around Throsby Creek in Maryville and Carrington. It’s a flat walk so ideal for kids all ages and for those pushing strollers. There’s also an off-leash dog area near Elizabeth and Young Street.

The Foreshore, Warners Bay

Lake Macquarie Sculpture Trail

This lakeside walk is fun for the whole family. Take your dog for a walk while kids bike or scoot lakeside. As well as lake views, art sculptures and a nearby playground at Warner Park.

Shipwreck Walk, Stockton

To see reminders of Newcastle’s maritime history, take your kids for a walk along the Shipwreck Walk. During the 19th and early 20th centuries, many ships were shipwrecked as they tried to navigate entry in Newcastle Harbour. Today, it’s a great family walk which combines history with scenic views and you can also bring your dog.

Blue Gum Hills Regional Park, Minmi

Bring your dog for a day out at Blue Gums Regional Park in Minmi. On-leash dogs permitted away from picnic areas and children’s play areas.

Fernleigh Track, various entry points between Adamstown and Belmont

You don’t have to do the whole Fernleigh Track. Just choose a length that suits your family and your dog. Stay aware on the track as it can be busy with walkers and cyclists.

Belmont Wetlands Walk

Wander through the wetlands. Belmont Wetlands State Park offers short, family-friendly and dog-friendly walks through beautiful coastal bushland and wetlands.

Dog-friendly beaches

Want to take your kids and dogs to a beach? Head to a dog-friendly beach where they can both play on the sand and in the water.

Horseshoe Beach, Newcastle

This harbour beach is a favourite for dog owners. Your dog and your kids can enjoy the gentle waves at Horseshoe Beach.

Redhead Beach, Redhead

In Lake Macquarie, you can take dogs and kids down to Redhead Beach which has an off-leash area for dogs.

Blacksmiths Beach

Blacksmiths Beach is also a dog-friendly beach. The leash-free area covers the part of Nine Mile Beach extending from the beach car park off Awabakal Avenue, northerly to the Belmont Golf Club boundary.

Fenced Dog Parks

Acacia Avenue Dog Park, North Lambton

Acacia Avenue is Newcastle’s first fenced dog park where owners can legally let their dogs roam free inside their very own playground.

Speers Point Fenced Dog Exercise Area

On the other side of the Five Islands Road from Speers Point Variety Playground, you’ll find the Speers Point Dog Exercise Area. This fenced facility, complete with dog agility equipment contains water fountains for dogs and owners, bench seating and a shaded picnic table, provides a safe setting where people can exercise and socialise their dogs.

Dining with Dogs

Want a list of dog-friendly cafes and restaurants? Check out Hunter Hunter’s list of where you and your family can dine with your dog.


For more information about off-leash dog exercise locations, visit the City of Newcastle website, Lake Macquarie City Council website and Maitland City Council website.

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