Dog Policy

Dogs at Vaucluse House and Grounds

The 10 hectare heritage site of gardens, parkland and bush is managed by the Historic Houses Trust to provide safe, healthy and pleasant recreational opportunities for all members of the public. Approximately 200,000 visitors use the gardens and grounds each year.

Dogs are welcome in selected parts of the Vaucluse House estate when accompanied by responsible owners or carers. Responsible dog ownership means accepting full responsibility for the dog and its needs. It also entails meeting the dog management standards required by our community, the Historic Houses Trust’s own Conditions of Entry, the Companion Animals Act (1998) No 87, and staff of the Trust and Woollahra Municipal Council administering these requirements.

The Companion Animals Act introduced new standards of care for dogs and regulations aimed at promoting public health and safety. To meet the requirements of the Act and to provide a safe and enjoyable experience for visitors to Vaucluse House and its grounds, the Trust revised its Conditions of Entry.

Under the Act, dogs must be kept on a leash in all public areas unless otherwise designated. A dog must also wear a collar and be identified with its name and the name and contact details of the owner. The Act prohibits dogs from a range of areas for public health and safety reasons. The Trust is also able to declare additional areas prohibited. All permitted and prohibited areas are shown on the site map overleaf.

Woollahra Municipal Council is responsible for enforcing the Companion Animals Act within public lands in the Woollahra municipality. This includes the Vaucluse House estate where Council Rangers will be assisting the Trust in this work.

For a period of one month after 23 June 2003, staff from Vaucluse House and Woollahra Council will be issuing warnings to persons not complying with the Act. (Copies of the Act may be obtained from Council.) Thereafter on-the-spot fines may apply. For further information, contact the Woollahra Council Animal Control Officer: phone 9362 0555.

Woollahra Municipal Council convenes regular meetings of an Animal Advisory Committee, which is the official forum for animal owners and property owners. It includes representatives from the Council, ratepayers, the RSPCA, the Professional Dog Walkers Association, a dog training club and the Trust. For further information: phone 9391 7152.

Ask the Council for a copy of its brochure, You and Your Dog, which gives helpful information including areas in the municipality where dogs are permitted
on- and off-the-leash. This information is also available on the Council’s website,

General Regulations

The Historic Houses Trust is not responsible for the actions of dogs in the grounds of Vaucluse House. Dog owners and carers must comply with the following:

  • Dogs must be under effective care and at all times be leashed
  • Dog droppings must be immediately removed
  • A person is permitted to walk a maximum of four dogs
  • Restricted zones within the Vaucluse House grounds are to be observed
  • People breaching the Act are required to state their correct name and address if requested by an authorised officer, eg a Woollahra Ranger, a member of Vaucluse House staff, or a police officer. Failure to provide the correct name and address is a further offence.

Dog owners and carers shall indemnify the Trust and its staff from and against all actions, claims, costs and expenses for which the Trust and its staff shall be liable in respect of any incidents involving the dogs of the owners and carers. The Trust has the right to eject people from the grounds of Vaucluse House who fail to comply with the requirements of the Trust and its staff in respect of the management of their dogs.

How to be a Responsible Dog Owner

For many people, owning a dog is a great joy. Being a responsible dog owner means ensuring your dog is registered, trained, healthy and safe and does not create a nuisance to other members of the community.

Having your dog well trained is important not only for your own enjoyment and peace of mind, but also for the safety and comfort of your dog, other people and other animals. It is important that your dog responds quickly to commands.

Remember that you are sharing the grounds of Vaucluse House with many different users. Not every person is comfortable when approached by dogs with which they are not familiar. This may be particulaly true of children and elderly people. Please do not give people an excuse to complain.

Dog waste is also an issue. It is unsightly, smelly and can be a health risk. It is important you take responsibility for collecting your dog’s waste.

Unleashed Dogs

Unleashed dogs are permitted in the following Woollahra Municipality parks between 4.30pm and 8.30am:

  • Christison Park, Vaucluse
  • Lyne Park, Rose Bay
  • Rushcutters Bay Park
  • Dumaresq Reserve, Rose Bay
  • Lough Playing Fields, Double Bay
  • Yarranabbe Park, Darling Point

More information