Leash Free Adelaide Dog Beaches

Updated April 13, 2021

Dog owners in Adelaide are incredibly lucky to have so many beaches to visit. It is even possible to let your dog off the lead if you know when and where to do it.

It all depends on the rules set by each local council. I have spoken with each one, and visited all the off leash areas. There is even a map below. Here’s my review.

Adelaide Off Lead Beaches

west beach dog friendly area
Ramp at southern end of West Beach

All the Adelaide councils allow dogs off the lead at certain times (details below), but only three have beaches where dogs can run free all the time as long as you have effective control. This means your dog:

  • is close to you
  • responds to all verbal commands
  • can be seen by you

These ultimate dog friendly beaches are listed here. Please beware of snakes in the dune areas, in warmer weather.

West Beach

The West Torrens council has a section of beach frontage where no leash restrictions exist. As long as you know where it starts and finishes, you’re totally within the law to let your dog off.

off leash adelaide beach
West Beach from the marina looking north

It goes from the ramp at Anderson Avenue, Glenelg North to level with Hamra Avenue, West Beach. That’s between the two holiday parks, not far north of the marina. The off leash area probably stretches for a couple of kilometres of spectacular and quiet coast.

The northern boundary is unmarked, and you’ll need the Google map below to know when to turn around. It’s probably only a third of way along the beach in the picture.

Hallet Cove Beach

dog leash free beach

Marion council have a wide section of rocky coast, but only one beach at Hallett Cove. It has a mixture of sand and rock so perhaps isn’t as good for a run. Also, it adjoins a conservation area to the north so dogs must not leave the beach or go onto the boardwalk behind.

However, it’s a large, quiet beach with well-defined headlands and a good cafe behind.

O’Sullivan Beach

off lead beach dogs

Onkararinga council have six dog beach areas, all marked on the map below. The top one is O’Sullivan’s Beach. The picture shows my dogs there some years ago.

In contrast to the other choices north and south, it is a lot busier most of the time. That’s great if your dog wants to meet other dogs. The beach has natural boundaries so it’s quite easy to see where you can go.

South Adelaide Dog Beaches

Onkararinga council have kindly allowed a further three southern city beaches to be off leash at all times. These are:

  • Port Noarlunga South
  • Seaford
  • Moana Beach

You can view their approximate boundaries in the map below. The first two are mostly behind headlands or elevated coastal land, and the third is south of the river outlet at Moana. All offer wide expanses of quiet beach for your dog to run.

Aldinga & Sellicks Beach

Lastly, the map shows two long sections stretching below the city at both Aldinga and Sellicks. These are great for a day out or a holiday. Don’t forget that one of my favourite Adelaide dog walks starts at Moana and goes right past!

Other Off Leash Beaches

The beaches stretching from Outer Harbour to Largs through Semaphore to Tennyson, and Grange to Henley Beach are controlled by two councils. Holdfast council control the beaches from Glenelg through Brighton to Seacliff.

The rules for all these beaches are the same. They are:

  • During daylight saving, dogs can be off leash before 10am and after 8pm.
  • In non-daylight saving, dogs can be off leash at all times provided they are under effective control.

This means that from April to September, all Adelaide beaches have the same relaxed rules. Between October and March, you need to either only go at only certain times or choose your beaches carefully.

I hope I’ve helped you do that! The details shared above are based on local council rules and may change at any time. Therefore, always double check the local regulations for your favourite beach. And have lots of fun.

Have something to add? Comments (if open) will appear within 24 hours.
By Andrew Spanner BVSc(Hons) MVetStud, a vet in Adelaide, Australia. Meet his team here.

Image of Adelaide Suburbs: Kare Kare / CC BY-SA

6 Replies to “Leash Free Adelaide Dog Beaches”

  1. Thank you so much for the time and effort put into this. It has been extremely helpful, especially off leash in non daylight saving times. Will now visit the beach more often.

  2. Hi,
    We are new dog owners, and sorry for ignorance but are you allowed to take your dog on leash to the beach at any time?

  3. Thanks Andrew – especially from my two German Shepherd who will be trying out the West Torrens off-leash walk tomorrow.

  4. Hi
    Would like to thank you for information on dog friendly beaches. You have explained it really well.
    I didnt know during off season that dogs can be off lead any time if under control.
    That’s great, Thanks for your help much appreciated

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