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
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.
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.
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
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.
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
- 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.
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By Andrew Spanner BVSc(Hons) MVetStud, a vet in Adelaide, Australia. These articles are from a series regularly posted on email and Twitter. Subscribe via email here to never miss a story!