Pet Friendly Bushwalks Shoalhaven
The Shoalhaven is a pet-friendly haven. With plenty of pet-friendly accommodation, cafes and beaches on offer, there’s absolutely no need to leave your four-legged friend at home. And if you like nothing more than taking your best bud on a bushwalk, you’re in luck. The Shoalhaven is home to some spectacular pet-friendly bushwalks. Here are a few of our favourites.
Cudmirrah to Sussex Inlet (via Swanhaven)
This walk takes you all the way from Cudmirrah to Sussex Inlet along the shores of Swan Lake. You can make a shorter walk by turning around at Swanhaven (approximately an hour return) or carry on into Sussex Inlet (approximately 90 minutes return). Cudmirrah Cafe is your start and finish point, a popular cafe/woodfired pizzeria and perfect for pre and post-walk refreshments. Dogs are allowed off-leash at the Swan Lake Ski Beach between 4 pm-8 am October to April and 3 pm-10 am May to September.
Start: Cudmirrah Cafe opposite Errol Bond Reserve on Goonawarra Drive
Distance: 1-hour return to Swanhaven; 90-minute return to Sussex Inlet
Sights: Beautiful beaches, birdlife and kangaroos
Basin Foreshore Walk
St Georges Basin is a popular boating, swimming and fishing spot and ideal for an easy, peaceful walk with your furry friend. For a short walk, start at Paradise Beach Reserve in Sanctuary Point and walk to Palm Beach Reserve (approximately 40 minutes each way with toilets, parking and picnic facilities at both locations). Basin View Boat Ramp and St Georges Basin Boat Ramp are also good options for start/finish points. Dogs must be kept on a leash and avoid Palm Beach and Redhead Point.
Start: Sanctuary Point or St Georges Basin
Distance: 1-4 hours
Difficulty: Easy (mostly flat)
Sights: Stunning sunrises and sunsets, birdlife, pelicans, cafes in the townships and playgrounds.
Round the Bay Walk (Huskisson to Plantation Point)
Thanks to some recent additions to the walking track, it is now possible to walk all the way from Plantation Point in Vincentia to Huskisson, a 10km easy stroll or bike ride. You can vary the length of your walk by choosing a different start or endpoint. There are plenty of beaches to park at along the way if you choose not to walk the whole length. Dogs must be kept on leashes on the path. Check signage at individual beaches for pet-friendly hours.
Start: Park in Huskisson or Plantation Point
Distance: 10km/2 hour return
Difficulty: Easy (mostly flat)
Sights: Stunning beaches, picnic areas, views of Jervis Bay, dolphins, local birdlife and cafes and restaurants in the townships.
Ben’s Walk is a popular walk for all ages and abilities, although bear in mind that there are quite a few steps. The suspension bridge will be a hit with the kids, and the breathtaking views of the Shoalhaven river will be appreciated by all. There are plenty of lovely shady spots to stop for a picnic or a quick drink. Be sure to keep your eyes and ears out for the beautiful red-tailed and yellow-tailed black cockatoo as they feed and chatter in the trees above. Dogs are welcome as long as they are kept on a lead.
Start: Nowra Showground
Distance: 5km/2 hours
Sights: Incredible views of the Shoalhaven River, suspension bridge, rock overhangs, boulders, black cockatoos, kingfishers and lots of other birdlife.
Ulladulla Harbour, Headland and Millards Creek
Surrounded by beautiful bushland, this walk is reasonably flat and incorporates One Track for All Aboriginal Cultural Trail. There are spectacular views of the coast and the harbour, carvings, paintings and plenty of Indigenous history. Depending on the time of year, you might also be treated to a selection of impressive flowering plants at Millard’s Creek.
Start: Ulladulla Harbour
Distance: 2.5 hours
Sights: Aboriginal artwork, creek, coastal and harbour views, birdwatching and cafe.
Abraham’s Bosom (Wreck Walk and Coomies Walk)
Without a doubt, the highlight of the longer Coomies walk is the breathtaking Gossang’s Tunnel. After crawling on hands and knees through a cave (approximately 20m), you emerge on the other side to one of the most spectacular sea cliffs on the South Coast. It makes a fantastic picnic spot, and you might even spot whales between July and November. The shorter Wreck Walk takes you down to Wilsons Beach and the 1928 shipwreck of the S.S. Merimbula. Not much remains of this once grand vessel, but you can still make out some of the bow. Dogs on leads are permitted.
Start: Abrahams Bosom Reserve in the town of Currarong
Distance: 2.5km/1 hour (Wreck Walk) 9km/3 hours (Coomies Walk)
Difficulty: Wreck Walk is easy. Coomies Walk has a medium grading.
Sights: Magnificent ocean views, gigantic sandstone cliffs, beautiful beaches, shipwreck and snorkelling.
For more information on bushwalking in the Shoalhaven check out the Shoalhaven Walks Brochure.