Holiday With Your Dog On The Gold Coast

Holiday With Your Dog On The Gold Coast

23 Feb 2021

You don’t have to leave your furry family member at home when you holiday on the Gold Coast. We’re a dog-friendly destination and will probably stop you on the street to say g’day and pat your pooch.

With 57 kilometres of coastline where you can walk your dog,  your pet will have as much fun as the rest of the family. There are plenty off-leash exercise areas and dog parks, while many tourist parks, hotels and other accommodation providers welcome pets. And there are lots of dog-friendly cafés too.


There are six main off-leash dog exercise areas which cover almost five kilometres of the Gold Coast’s beaches and foreshores. Most of these locations are equipped with BBQs, toilets and cafés too, making them ideal for a day out with your pet.


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It’s not just the beaches where your pets can leave the leash behind. There are dog parks aplenty where they can run free and frolic with other dogs. These include:

  • HELENSVALE – Discovery Park, Discovery Drive
  • RUNAWAY BAY – O’Connell Park, corner Morala Avenue and Ocean Street
  • SOUTHPORT – Musgrave Park, 120 Musgrave Ave
  • BENOWA – Gold Coast Botanic Gardens, 230 Ashmore Rd
  • VARSITY LAKES – Frascott Park, 12 Woollahra Court
  • TALLEBUDGERA – Schuster Park, Heather Street, Schuster Road
  • ELANORA – Tallebudgera Off Leash Agility Dog Island at Eddie Kornhauser Recreational Reserve
  • CURRUMBIN WATERS – Palmer Family Park, Noojee Street
  • COOLANGATTA – Goodwin Park, Jarvis Lane (East of the path)

A full list of the off-leash dog exercise areas and also the prohibited areas you can’t take them are available (courtesy of the Gold Coast City Council) below for Northern, Central and Southern suburbs of the Gold Coast:

The off-leash dog areas brochure also provides more information about these leash-free areas.


Your doggo will be living their best life on a Gold Coast holiday with plenty of pet-friendly accommodation. Tourist parks, cabins and B&Bs, hotels and guesthouses all across the Gold Coast are rolling out the welcome mat for four paws. The Hinterland has options for pets too although dogs aren’t allowed in camping grounds within national parks.

CEDAR CREEK LODGE, POOCH PACKAGE Head to the hills of Tambourine Mountain to Cedar Creek Lodges and bring your pooch for a well-deserved break from city life. You can soak up the serenity of a dog friendly holiday in the tranquil surrounds of Cedar Creek. Your self contained Creek Lodge accommodates your pup (not on beds or lounges though) and there’s even a goodie bag of treats for your good boy or good girl.

JADRAN MOTEL & EL-JAYS LODGE  – Your dog is welcome at Jadran Motel & El-Jays Lodge. Stay in studio suites, one bedroom apartments with kitchenettes or two-bedroom fully self-contained apartments close to the Broadwater – a sheltered waterway just north of Surfers Paradise. Walk along the water with your dog, or have a barbecue beside the pool – all are completely dog-friendly areas.

QT GOLD COASTQT Gold Coast offers fur friendly stays for you and your pup (as long as they’re under 20kgs). Their Pup Yeah! rooms come with fetching features including a poochie mini bar packed with treats for whining and dining. There’s also decadent in-room dogs’ dinner menus, a walking service and bespoke grooming. The dog’s life is now a 5-star affair! 


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QUEST ROBINABring your dog and stay in one of 80 rooms at Quest Robina, from studios to three bedroom deluxe apartments. The hotel is new but dogs are allowed, for $40 per night. There’s also an outdoor pool and you’re close to the beach and facilities at Burleigh Heads, including an off-leash surf beach near Tallebudgera Creek.

KIRRA BEACH TOURIST PARKIs just 300 metres from one of the world’s most iconic surf beaches and it’s completely dog-friendly. Dogs are allowed on powered sites, and there’s a dog wash and huge grassy parkland adjacent to the park for exercising. Powered sites start from $41 per night.

JACOBS WELL TOURIST PARK – It might be off the beaten path, but it’s a dog lover’s (and boaties’) paradise. Dogs are allowed through the park and on most beach areas. Located on the Gold Coast’s sheltered Broadwater, you can swim, boat and fish away from other travellers. The park is right on the water with netted swimming area, a skate park, and a basketball and tennis court. Sites start at just $37 per night.

BIG 4 GOLD COAST HOLIDAY PARKWhere dogs are treated like kings and queens! There’s plenty of off-leash exercise areas, a puppy pampering palace (VIP dog wash), kennels if you have to go out where you can’t take your pet and a dog-friendly poolside café. There are 20 dog-friendly cabins where dogs stay free-of-charge. It’s located right next door to Movie World, Wet’n’Wild and Dreamworld (they’re just a few minutes drive away).


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Take a walk around Gold Coast beaches and foreshores and you’ll notice how many locals here have dogs. There’s thousands of them – in every shape and size. So it makes good business sense that café owners cater for dogs. There’s dozens of cafés perfect for you and your pooch. Here’s some of the best:

  • PARC-BAH ESPRESSO, SOUTHPORT – This could be the dog lover’s café of the Gold Coast. It’s opposite a great dog park where you’ll often find obedience school classes, so there’s always a lot of dog owners lingering. It’s a great café for humans, but the doggie treats and snacks are said to be just as tasty.
    4/19 Alicia St, Southport

  • CAFÉ CATALINA, SOUTHPORT – Hang out at this full-service restaurant and outdoor bar with stunning views right out across the Broadwater with your furry friend – the owners love dogs. Check out live music on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
    Broadwater Parklands, 10/11 Gold Coast Hwy, Southport


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  • RAW ESPRESSO, SOUTHPORT – This is Southport’s best kept secret – sample the Avo Feta Crush or Pink Pitaya Bowl while your dog picks a selection off the dog menu and samples a dog-friendly ice cream or two – and get set for a lot of spoiling from dog loving staff.
    1/59-73 Meron St, Southport
  • MISS MONEYPENNY’S, BROADBEACH – You’ll feel very privileged to bring your four-legged friend with you to this stylish establishment in the heart of Broadbeach (it has a sister in Noosa, of course). But nab a spot on the outdoor deck for tapas and cocktails with your pooch seven days a week – the owners call it Dog On The Deck.
    50 Surf Parade, Broadbeach
  • GLENELG PUBLIC HOUSE, MERMAID BEACH – It’s the best steak house on the Gold Coast. Inside you’ll find a chic gastro pub, with candle lighting, leather Chesterfields and brick feature walls… but outside in the beer garden, you’re welcome to bring your dog as your dinner date.
    9/2460 Gold Coast Highway, Mermaid Beach
  • ALFRED’S DINER, MERMAID BEACH – This is dog heaven – a backyard lawn diner where your furry friend can get comfortable amongst humans (and other dogs) sitting on recycled garden furniture, cushions, and rugs on a grassy backyard under beach umbrellas.
    2389 Gold Coast Highway, Mermaid Beach
  • COMMUNE, MIAMI – With its laid-back country vibe (with a chic urban edge) Commune has plenty of outdoor areas for your pooch to sit. The food here is some of the Gold Coast’s best breakfast and lunch offerings, but the dog watching is just as impressive.
    1844 Gold Coast Highway, Miami
  • PADDOCK BAKERY, MIAMI – Cool dogs hang out here: at the most awarded breakfast café on the Coast. There’s leafy gardens here for dogs, and the building itself is a 70-year-old Queenslander transported from Brisbane’s bay suburbs. The Toasted Cream Bagel is the stuff of legends.
    20 Hibiscus Haven, Miami


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  • THE HENCHMAN, MIAMI – This licensed outdoor café is the hippest place for your dog to hang out in all of Miami – and it’s not far from off-leash dog park, Pizzey Park. There’s a big outdoor area where you’ll catch live music on weekends – and dogs are allowed inside too.
    8 Henchman Avenue
  • ESPRESSO MOTO, PALM BEACH – This is where dogs come to be seen – it’s one of the Southern Gold Coast’s most dog-friendly (and frequented) cafés, with plenty of treats and bowls of drinking water on hand.
    2/1389 Gold Coast Highway
  • DUNE CAFÉ, PALM BEACH It’s hard to know who likes this best – people with kids, or people with dogs (even more ideal if you have both!) Located in Palm Beach Parklands overlooking Currumbin Lagoon, there’s a massive kids park outside, and an off-the-leash beach just around the corner. There’s even a statue of a German Shepard outside – a memorial to animals who served and died in war.
    945 Gold Coast Hwy

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Craig Tansley
Craig Tansley

Craig Tansley is one of Australia’s most travelled travel writers, spending at least a quarter of his year on the road. Raised near the Gold Coast, he’s lived around the world but has returned home, now residing at Currumbin. He writes for some of Australia’s best known newspapers and magazines, and has written for international titles such as The Sunday Times of London.


Destination Gold Coast acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we are situated, the Kombumerri families of the Yugambeh Language Region. 
We pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging, and recognise their continuing connections to the lands, waters and their extended communities throughout Southeast Queensland.