Dogs in open spaces

Our Dogs in Open Spaces Strategy guides dog-friendly spaces in the city, ensuring we provide safe and accessible open space for all residents and visitors.

The strategy identifies key actions including community education, the provision of new off-leash areas and areas of improvement to our existing off-leash areas. 

Community education

To ensure that everyone can continue to enjoy our open spaces, improved community education on dogs in open space is a key outcome of the strategy.

This includes:

  • clarity on where dogs are permitted to be in open space both off-leash and on-lead and where they are not permitted at all
  • what the responsibilities are of owners when they are exercising their dog in open space
  • informing the community of changes to off-leash areas or provision of new off-leash areas
  • the role of owners and Council staff in regulating dogs in open space

There are several tools Council will employ to communicate this information to the community. This includes Council’s website, media releases, social media, flyers and on-site education. One of the most important on the ground tools is signage. 

Revised signage

We’re making it easier for our community to recognise dog friendly areas in Lake Macquarie, with plans to roll out red, amber and green signs to educate dog owners about where dogs can be off-leash, on-leash or are prohibited. 

new dog signage for web.jpg

Proposed future off-leash areas

The Dogs in Open Spaces Strategy identifies 10 new off-leash areas to be delivered over the next 10 years.

Some of these will require more detailed investigations, others will be trialled for 12 months to understand any impacts on other users of open space, while others can be more readily rolled out. 

High priority (to be rolled out in the next 1-3 years)

Medium priority (to be rolled out in the next 4-7 years)

Low priority (to be rolled out in the 8-10 years)

Amendments to existing off-leash areas

Many existing off-leash areas were identified to be amended in the Dogs in Open Spaces Strategy.

The amendments will be implemented over the next seven years and include:

  • changes to the boundaries of off-leash areas
  • changes to the timing availability of off-leash areas that are time restricted
  • relocation of an off-leash area to a nearby site
  • introduction of measures such as barriers to busy roads or adjacent uses
  • providing a base level of facilities to support the use of off-leash areas

For the full list of amendments, refer to the Dogs in Open Space Strategy.