Everything you need to know about taking dogs in SA’s national parks

Everything you need to know about taking dogs in SA’s national parks

Want to explore a nation­al park with your four-legged friend? Here are the rules about where they can and can’t go.

South Australia’s nation­al parks are beau­ti­ful pock­ets of nature that allow you to escape the noise and stress of the city.

Noth­ing com­pares to the beau­ti­ful scenery, native ani­mals, birds and tran­quil­li­ty of walk­ing in a nation­al park – for you and your best mate.

But before you head off, make sure you know exact­ly which nation­al parks you can take your dog to, why there are restric­tions, and how to be respon­si­ble when you get there.

Which nation­al parks can you take your dog to?

Dogs are allowed in cer­tain parks in SA, includ­ing some of Adelaide’s most pop­u­lar parks, like Belair, Onka­paringa Riv­er and Para Wirra. They must remain on des­ig­nat­ed walk­ing trails and be on a lead at all times.

For a com­pre­hen­sive list of nation­al parks where dogs are wel­come, read our sto­ry 17 dog-friend­ly walks in Ade­laide parks, which also lists some help­ful infor­ma­tion about each of these parks.

Why can’t you take dogs to all nation­al parks?

While it may seem out­ra­geous that dogs are ban­ished from some of our environment’s most won­drous nat­ur­al play­grounds, there are actu­al­ly a num­ber of good rea­sons why.

Nation­al parks in SA, across Aus­tralia, and even inter­na­tion­al­ly are there to pro­tect native wildlife, but to do this dogs are not per­mit­ted in all of them.

What’s the harm if you keep your dog on the leash’, you might ask? Well, there is risk to your dog and risk to South Australia’s gor­geous and unique native wildlife.

Risk for dogs: Nation­al parks reg­u­lar­ly use poi­so­nous ground bait­ing to tar­get intro­duced species, which could be fatal to dogs.

Risk for wildlife: Native ani­mals are vul­ner­a­ble to dis­eases that dogs may car­ry, and can eas­i­ly be scared off by bark­ing or the scents left by dogs. The smell and sight of dogs are enough to cause these native ani­mals stress, and in some cas­es, even aban­don their babies. 

With that in mind, are you won­der­ing why some nation­al parks are con­sid­ered dog-friend­ly? It’s because the risk to native wildlife in these parks is low.

Watch this video for dog-walk­ing tips from Ade­ladies Hay­ley and Lau­ren as they take their dog­gy friend Dave for a walk in Belair Nation­al Park.

Dog friend­ly walks in Ade­laide’s nation­al parks 

Are there any off leash areas for dogs in nation­al parks?

Yes! There is one off leash nation­al park, Black­wood For­est Recre­ation Park locat­ed in Black­wood. There are nice walk­ing trails through the pine for­est and grassy fields as well as love­ly views to enjoy. Even though it’s an off-leash area your dog must remain under effec­tive control.

Vis­it­ed a nation­al park with your dog late­ly? Leave a com­ment below and share your expe­ri­ences, tips, pho­tos and rec­om­men­da­tions for oth­er dog own­ers. For extra info about dogs in nation­al parks, go to thenation­al parks web­site.

This con­tent was pro­duced in part­ner­ship with  Good Living