Off leash areas

Council provides a number of dog off leash areas across the Cessnock Local Government Area. Off leash areas are designated public areas in which dog owners can exercise dogs without a leash. 

When using our off leash exercise areas:

  • Dogs must be supervised by a competent person (of or above the age of 16)
  • Dogs must be controlled and return to the handler on command
  • Dog owners/handlers must remove their dog faeces

The owner/handler is liable if the dog attacks or behaves in an aggressive manner. Restricted breed dogs or dogs that have been declared menacing or dangerous are not permitted in off leash areas. 

At present, your dog can exercise without a leash at:

  • Greta Central Park Leash Free Area, Greta
  • Hall Park Leash Free Area, Cessnock
  • Manning Park Leash Free Area, Cessnock
  • Miller Park Leash Free Area, Branxton
  • Stanford Merthyr Park Leash Free Area, Stanford Merthyr
  • Varty Park Leash Free Area, Weston

Off Leash Dog Exercise Area Plan

Council's Off Leash Dog Exercise Area (OLDEA) Plan was adopted in September 2021 and aims to ensure dogs can play, exercise and socialise with their owners in a safe and accessible way in designated areas across the Cessnock LGA. The Plan provides a structured and strategic approach to planning and managing Council’s off leash areas into the future.

Key actions from the plan include:

  • Installation of fencing at a number of existing and proposed OLDEAs
  • Developing design specifications for infrastructure such as fencing, seating, water fountains, bins, turf etc
  • Reviewing, updating and installing new signage at key points of entry
Establishing 5 new OLDEAs at:
  • Bellbird North Development Area, Bellbird
  • Bridges Hill, Cessnock
  • Chinaman's Hollow, Weston
  • Cliftleigh Meadows, Cliftleigh
  • Ellalong Park, Ellalong
Retaining the following OLDEAs at:
  • Hall Park, Cessnock
  • Manning Park (southern end), Cessnock
  • Colliery Street, Stanford Merthyr
  • Miller Park, East Branxton
  • Greta Central Oval, Greta
Decommissioning the following OLDEAs at:
  • Varty Park, Weston

Read the Off Leash Dog Exercise Area Plan here.