I recently became the fur mum to a Cavoodle. At just over two months old, little Storm Bidder isn’t quite ready to explore much, but I can’t wait to hit the big outside world with him. One of the greatest pleasures of living around the Northern Beaches is the restaurants, coffee shops and open spaces for strolls or exercise. It got me thinking – with Storm in tow; I may have to rethink my local haunts.
So, in preparation for Storm’s imminent adventures with me, I’ve hunted down the best dog-friendly spots in the Northern Beaches. I know you dog-lovers out there will enjoy it too.
#1 The Beach
Sydney has some of the best beaches in the world, but unfortunately, our cute canines can’t enjoy them at all times. Dogs aren’t allowed on Curl Curl Beach, but the grassy dunes and lagoon are a romping haven. The bonus is that the area is leash-free all the time, so you don’t have to worry about sticking to a schedule. My pup will be on leash for a while, but I want to get him used to an environment where other pooches are off-leash so he can start working on his confidence and social skills. We’ll be making the Flora and Richie Reserve just off Curl Curl Beach, our stomping ground, and enjoy those grassy dunes and cooling off in the lagoon.
Good to know: Always take your poop bags along as a backup, but at this spot, poop bags are provided.
#2 The Winery
What makes hanging out with your best friend even better? A chilled glass of chardonnay, of course. While Storm isn’t big on conversation, he’s the perfect company for Manly Wine, another gem of the Northern Beaches that welcomes furry companions. Dogs are allowed to sit with you on the outside area, strictly with the leash on – all the better to take in those beach views. If you’re in the mood for celebrating (maybe your pup just enjoyed a pampering day at the parlour), this joint is renowned for its cocktails and fresh seafood.
8/13 S Steyne, Manly
#3 The Coffee Spot
Sydney is a dog-friendly city, and most cafes are happy for you to sit outside and enjoy your cuppa with your companion. One of the off-the-grid great hangouts, the staff here are all seasoned dog lovers. So, expect lots of cuddles dished out with your fresh chai, old skool milkshake or herbal infusion. The coffee’s great too – but there are many other options on offer at this local treasure.
Shop 3/48 Old Barrenjoey Rd, Avalon
#4 The Walk
It’s not all fun and games; dogs need to work off steam (and doggie biscuits). Unfortunately, it’s not a free-for-all on the beaches. Each one has its own set of rules and schedules. With a new pup, I’ll be walking him on a leash for a while (until he builds his social skills and confidence), so I have a lot of choices. For a young dog, a three-kilometre stroll will be enough, and it’s the Long Reef Headland between Collaroy and Dee Why that I can’t wait to explore. The walk takes you along the golf course and the views of the sea are amazing. Parts of it allow dogs off leashes too, so there’s something for everyone.
I hope to bump into you and your dog in one of these hound-friendly haunts soon!
Note: Not all of these premises are operating at full capacity at the time of publishing due to Covid-19 regulations. But they’ll be back!