Dog parks & off-leash areas

You can freely exercise your dog in most public places as long as you clean up its droppings and put them in a red bin. Dog waste bag dispensers are found at many public places in Kempsey Shire.

Whenever your dog is outside your property or yard, it must be on a leash (or lead) and under the effective control of a competent person.

Restricted, dangerous and menacing dogs are not permitted in off-leash areas. Special restrictions also apply to the exercising of greyhounds.

Off-leash areas from January 2022

From January 2022, new arrangements are in place for off-leash zones in Crescent Head, Grassy Head, Hat Head and South West Rocks.

Signage will be installed at these locations to indicate the start and finish of each off-leash area.

Crescent Head

  • Dogs are not allowed on the left-hand side of the bridge at Killick Creek. Dogs are allowed to the right of the bridge but must be on a leash until you reach the off-leash area, which is shown as green on the map.
  • Dogs are allowed in parts of Goolawah Regional Park, Crescent Head. You can take your dog off the leash at Delicate Nobby Beach, Big Hill Beach and north of the vehicular access on Back Beach.
  • Dogs are no longer permitted on Back Beach, Crescent Head, from the vehicular entrance south to the end of the beach at Racecourse Headland.
  • You are permitted to access the northern end of Back Beach, with your dog on a leash, via the vehicle beach access and the walking track leading from the top car park. If using the vehicle access, you must walk your dog down below the high tide mark (below the sand dunes) and then proceed north.
  • Access to Back Beach is through an ongoing agreement with the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service and may change when new Plans of Management for Goolawah National Park are released.

Map of Crescent Head dog off-leash areas(PDF, 2MB)

Grassy Head

The prohibited dog zone has been shortened to align with a beach access point.

Map of Grassy Head dog off-leash areas(PDF, 949KB)

Hat Head

The leashed area is from the boat ramp to beach access 6. Beyond this is an off-leash zone.

Map of Hat Head dog off-leash areas(PDF, 937KB)

Kempsey Riverside Park and South Kempsey Park

The off-leash arrangements in Kempsey have not changed. You can take your dog for exercise off the leash: 

  • inside an area of the south western corner of South Kempsey Park
  • on the right-hand side of the boat ramp at Kempsey Riverside Park.

Map of Kempsey dog off-leash areas(PDF, 829KB)

South West Rocks

Back Creek Beach

Dogs must be on a leash from the carpark until Back Creek Beach, where they can then run leash free.

Map of Back Creek Beach, South West Rocks dog off-leash areas(PDF, 900KB)

Main Beach

Dogs must be on a leash from the surf club until the off-leash zone, as shown on the map.

Map of Main Beach, South West Rocks dog off-leash areas(PDF, 1MB)

Matty’s Flat

A new dog exercise area has been created at Matty’s Flat. It includes a combination of on-leash and off-leash zones.

Map of Matty's Flat, South West Rocks dog off-leash areas(PDF, 765KB)

Stuarts Point

Dogs must be on a leash until they reach the beach, which is an off-leash zone.

Map of Stuarts Point dog off-leash areas(PDF, 949KB)

No dogs at all

You can’t take your dog: