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Dog walking

Nothing beats taking your dog for a walk in a park to send tails wagging, tongues lolling and eyes filling with appreciation. Both you and your dog can enjoy being out in nature! However, for conservation reasons, dogs are not allowed in most national parks. And it’s important to check specific areas within a park, as dog restrictions may apply. Dogs on-lead ensure a happy outing for everyone, including other dogs. Visitors should keep them on-lead except in designated off-lead areas. If a dog plays happily with other dogs, and responds to voice commands, off-lead enclosures are ideal for socialising with like-minded people and their excited companions. Dog walking in a park presents opportunities for picnics, sight-seeing, camping and fishing. Cleaning up after dogs allows everyone to enjoy the outdoors together. Check online and on signposts for restricted areas aimed at keeping dogs and wildlife safe and clear of one another. So, grab a lead and a handful of treats, whistle up the dog and head for the park.

Along the eastern banks of the Yarra River under the Westgate Bridge, Westgate Park offers spectacular views to the mouth of the Yarra and the city skyline. After a walk, visitors can enjoy a picnic lunch with friends or family or cycle along the Yarra River or the Port Melbourne foreshore. Discover Victoria's colonial past by visiting Point Gellibrand Heritage Park. Mullum Mullum Park is an important wildlife corridor in Melbourne’s east. This is a great park for cyclists and walkers, with the 1.6km Eastlink Trail running through the park and linking to Melbourne’s wider trail network. With its diverse combination of bushland, cultural heritage and sporting areas, Dandenong Police Paddocks is a good spot for dog walkers, cyclists, birdwatchers and sporting enthusiasts. Set in the foothills of the Dandenong Ranges, Silvan Reservoir Park is an easy drive from Melbourne and ideal for a great day out. Featuring landscaped picnic areas and open lawns surrounded by an impressive eucalypt forest, this park is perfect for a picnic or barbecue. Cardinia Reservoir Park is a great place for a family day out. The open parklands, picnic and barbecue areas and native bushland of Cardinia Reservoir Park are abounding with native wildlife and flora. Have a picnic among the trees. Watch the Eastern Grey Kangaroos feeding at dusk or basking in the sun along the kangaroo viewing trail. Enjoy panoramic views of the park from the many lookouts and vantage points or take a walk across the dam wall. While dogs are strictly prohibited along the reservoir, they are permitted in the park but must be kept on-lead at all times.

Five dog friendly parks in regional Victoria

Great Otway National Park; 213km from Melbourne
There are many areas within the Great Otway National Park that cater for dogs on-lead:

  • Near Lorne; St George River Track
  • Closer to Forrest; Lake Elizabeth Visitor and Camping Areas and walking tracks
  • Closer to Torquay; Ironbark Basin Picnic Area, Southside Beach, Addiscott Beach, Point Addis to Anglesea via beach and Surf Coast Walk, Ironbark Gorge Walking Track, Ocean View Walking Track
  • Johanna Beach: all areas.

The nearby Otway Forest Park permits dogs on-lead in all areas.

Punchbowl Coastal Reserve; 100km from Melbourne
The George Bass Coastal Walk offers panoramic coastal views from a narrow winding path, along cliff tops rising high above the pounding surf of Bass Strait. Let the dog take the lead on this 7km coastal walk.

Bunurong Coastal Reserve; 147km from Melbourne
Explore the sandy coves and rocky headlands with a dog, along one of Victoria’s most beautiful coastlines. The rugged sandstone cliffs of this park are a striking backdrop for other beach activities such as swimming.

Agnes Falls Scenic Reserve; 220km from Melbourne
A happy pooch can take the lead through the rolling green hills of the Strzelecki Ranges, to the meandering Agnes River. At 59m, Agnes Falls are the highest single span falls in Victoria.

Cape Conran Coastal Park; 403km from Melbourne
Explore a network of on-road and off-road tracks with canine friends in this rugged coastal park. The park features wild ocean beaches, estuaries and inlets, heathlands and banksia woodlands brimming with nectar-feeding birds. Camping with dogs is allowed in some areas.

Dog walking parks

Make sure you plan ahead and check information on park signage. Some parks allow dogs on/off-lead in particular areas of the park but not the whole park.
Two women in activewear walk their dogs while two runners approach them.

Dog walking in Albert Park

With its picturesque lake and network of trails, Albert Park offers your dog a smorgasbord of exciting sights and smells as well as off-lead areas to run and play.
Four friends walk alongside the Yarra River through Yarra Bend Park.

Yarra Bend Park

Yarra Bend Park is Melbourne’s largest natural bushland park. Enjoy the leafy grounds and abundant wildlife while strolling or biking its many trails. Stop for a picnic, walk your dog or play a round of golf.
Two women in active wear walk up the granite steps on the way to Flinders Peak.

You Yangs Regional Park

Magnificent views, birdlife and a mecca for walkers, horse riders and mountain bikers - welcome to the You Yangs! The distinctive granite peaks of this park rise abruptly from the flat plains below. Flinders Peak and Big Rock have panoramic views out to Melbourne, which is just an hour away.
A family share a picnic while a father and son play with a model aircraft in the background.

Jells Park

Jells Park is nestled in the Dandenong Creek Valley, Wheelers Hill, away from the hustle and bustle of urban life. The park attracts over 900,000 visitors a year, with over nine kilometres of paths and trails, 127 hectares of wide open spaces and enough picnic areas for everyone to enjoy.
A family walk along a sealed path in Westerfolds Park.

Yarra Valley Parklands

Yarra Valley Parklands extend along the Yarra River and offer a range of activities, from picnicking to canoeing and camping. The parks include Westerfolds, Banksia, Birrarrung and Candlebark parks, Yarra Flats, Sweeneys Flat and Longridge Campground.
Three women stand-up paddle boarders paddle up the Yeerung River.

Cape Conran Coastal Park

Cape Conran Coastal Park has heathlands, wild ocean beaches and banksia woodlands brimming with nectar-feeding birds

Dog Friendly Camping

Explore the map below for ideas on where to take your four-legged friend camping.

Live your life outdoors

 
Two men cook share the cooking of a barbecue.

BBQ

Fire up the barbecue at your next social gathering with family and friends while you're surrounded by nature.
A three year old boy leads his mum and younger brother through the forest near Grants Picnic Ground.

Family activities

Stash some supplies into a back pack and take the family out for a day trip and in only a short drive from Melbourne you can be surrounded by nature.
Three friends enjoy a picnic on the grass in front of the historic Wallace Hut.

Picnics

Head outdoors for lunch in the warmer months and enjoy a picnic in some of nature's most relaxing and inspiring settings.
A couple run through the bush and leaves at Lysterfield Park.

Trail running

Get active and healthy in nature by taking your exercise fitness routine outdoors to one of many park running trails.
A father teaches his young daughter to ride a bike in Braeside Park.

Cycling

Cycling is a great way to enjoy the beautiful surroundings in parks. Whether you're looking for a leisurely ride or downhill adrenalin rush, Victoria's parks have something for you.
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