2 people walking their dogs on lead at Eaglehawk Neck beach.
Dogs on lead at Eaglehawk Neck beach (photograph: Chris Crerar)

Dogs in parks

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Dogs in Tasmania’s national parks and reserves

As a general rule, dogs and other pets are not allowed into most of Tasmania's national parks and reserves unless authorised. This is for a number of reasons, but it is primarily to protect our native wildlife. These areas provide refuge for many species that are rare, endangered or endemic to Tasmania.

Despite the nature of your pet, their presence can be disruptive as:

  • our wildlife is vulnerable to the predation, disturbance and disease that dogs may cause;

  • barking or scents are enough to scare away native wildlife, spread disease and attract other dogs which may invade from surrounding locales; and

  • escaped pets can become feral and pose a major threat to many native species.

Assistance dogs

Assistance animals, including guide and hearing dogs, are purposefully trained or accredited to aid a person with a disability to alleviate the effects of the disability. Assistance animals are permitted in national parks and reserves, provided you can produce reasonable evidence that:

  1. ​the animal is an assistance animal actively working to assist a person with a disability to alleviate the effects of the disability; and

  2. the animal is trained to meet the standards of hygiene and behaviour that are appropriate for an animal in a public place.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What is an assistance dog?

As defined by the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Cth) an assistance animal is an animal that:

  • is accredited under State or Territory law to assist a person with disability to alleviate the effects of disability; or

  • is accredited by an animal training organisation prescribed in the Disability Discrimination Regulations 2019 (Cth); or

  • ​is trained to assist a person with a disability to alleviate the effect of the disability and meet standards of hygiene and behaviour that are appropriate for an animal in a public place.

Examples of assistance animals include (but are not limited to) dog guides, medical alert animals, hearing assistance animals, mobility assistance animals, psychiatric assistance animals and assistance animals for developmental disorders.

Can I bring my companion dog into a park or reserve?

A companion dog is considered to be synonymous with ‘pet’ and would generally not be authorised beyond standard dog-exercising arrangements (i.e. designated dog-exercising areas).

What are the entry requirements for taking an assistance dog into a park or reserve?

When visiting a park or reserve with an assistance animal, the following entry requirements apply:

  • the assistance animal must be under effective control in accordance with the conditions of the designated area, even if it is not under the person’s direct physical control;

  • must meet behaviour and hygiene standards appropriate to public places;

  • should wear clear identification that it is an assistance dog at all times, or the ability to produce evidence when requested;

  • the person in effective control of the assistance animal is responsible for the removal of any faeces deposited and any damage caused by the assistance animal;

  • ​the assistance animal should not frighten or endanger native wildlife or be aggressive towards other visitors; and

  • should remain on established tracks.

What forms of evidence can I use for my assistance dog?

Whilst you do not need to notify anyone of your visit to a park or reserve with an assistance animal, you may be required to produce evidence that states the dog is an assistance animal. The PWS will accept different options when assessing the validity of an assistance animal. These items include:

  • documents stating that the animal has passed the Public Access Test which determines the dog is safe and able to be effectively controlled to assist a person with a disability; or

  • a visible item worn by the animal that is provided by an accredited training organisation such as Assistance Dogs International; or

  • State or Territory certification or accreditation; or

  • ​documents stating the animal has completed a training program by a training organisation accredited by Assistance Dogs International, such as an identification card.​

The PWS encourages any persons with an assistance animal planning to enter a park to check latest park information on potential hazards to assist in making arrangements and to ensure a safe visit.

Can I drive through a park or reserve with a pet in my car?

Dogs are allowed to travel in a car on a road through reserved land if the dog is confined within a moving vehicle on a road that does not terminate on reserved land. This exemption does not allow a person to leave a dog in a stationary vehicle while they undertake a short walk or visit a lookout.

Can hunting dogs be used in parks and reserves?

Hunting dogs are permitted onto reserved land for the purpose of locating and retrieving quarry, when permitted under a game authority with a maximum of two per person and six per hunting party. Provided a game authority has been granted, no further authorisation is required from the PWS.

​​For further information contact the local Parks Office or read the Public Land Hunting in Tasmania factsheet​.

What happens to unaccompanied pets in parks and reserves?

Unaccompanied pets will be seized and detained in collaboration with the relevant council, in accordance with the Dog Control Act 2000.

Where can you visit with dogs?

There are some reserves around the state where you may take dogs. If you are unsure if the reserve you are intending to visit allows dogs, please check with your local parks office and your local council​. Seasonal or time of day restrictions may apply. Always consider other reserve users and obey all restrictions of the designated area, including immediately collecting and disposing of any faecal matter left by the dog.​

Here are some of the reserves where dogs permitted:

​Bay of Fires Conservation Area
Dogs can be taken on-lead and on designated walking tracks only within the Bay of Fires Conservation Area. Full details and the dog zone map can be found via the Break​ O'Day Council​.

​​Coles​ Bay Conservation Area

The area is a mix of on and off-lead areas, as well as prohibited zones. (Dogs are not permitted in nearby Freycinet National Park.) Full details can be found via the Glamorgan Spring Bay Council​.

Coningham Nature Recreation Area
The area is a mix of on and off-lead areas. The area is also used by horse riders, it is expected that dog walkers move aside for horse-riders to pass to avoid disturbing the horse.​

Eaglehawk Nec​​​k Histori​​​c Site
​​​The area is a mix of on and off-lead areas.

Dogs can be taken to Evercreech on-lead.

Goblin Forest Walk
Dogs can be taken to the Goblin Forest Walk on-lead.​

Esperance River Picnic​ Area​
​​​Dogs can be taken to Esperence River Picnic Area off-lead, provided they stay close to their owners and are under effective control at all times.

Ho​​gart​​h Falls
Dogs can be taken to Hogarth Falls but must be on-lead and stay on designated walking tracks only.

Dogs can be taken to Hollybank and are only permitted on-lead.

​Kate Reed Nature Recreation Area
Dogs can be taken to Kate Reed Nature Recreation Area and​​ do need to remain on-lead at all times to ensure the safety of other track users.

Dogs can be taken to loontitetermairrelehoine​r on-lead except from 15th September to 15th of April, dogs are not permitted on the track between dusk and dawn due to nesting shorebirds.

Montezuma Falls
Dogs can be taken to Montezuma Falls dogs on-lead, but it is unsafe for pets to drink from or swim in the creeks due to heavy metals from historic mining.

​​Pete​​r Murrell Res​erves

​​​The ​Peter Murrell Reserve is a mix of on and off-lead areas.

Recherche Bay Nature Recreation Area

Dogs on-lead can be taken to the Recherche Bay Nature Recreation Area campgrounds and are allowed on some beaches where signed.

Tahune Airwalk
Dogs can be taken to Tahune Airwalk and must remain on-lead.

Trevallyn Nature Recreation Area
​On-lead dog walking is allowed is some areas of the Trevallyn Nature Recreation Area. There are maps on-site that show the different areas available to dog owners.​

​Camping wi​​th dogs

There are a number of reserves with campgrounds that allow for dogs to visit, provided they are well-controlled and on-lead in the appropriate areas.