Follow the information and links below to find off-leash areas for dogs across Melbourne and regional Victoria.
If you plan to visit an off-leash park or beach, it is important that you can maintain control of your dog. You must be able to recall your dog promptly and place it back on a leash if the need arises.
The following behaviours are typically enforced by all councils:
- Always walk your dog on leash, unless in a designated off leash area.
- Always observe the on-leash, off-leash and dog-free areas and times
- Always carry a leash, even in an off-leash park or beach.
- Bring a plastic bag with you and pick up after your dog.
- Keep your dog close and within sight at off-leash areas and have control of your dog at all times.
- Dogs must not be allowed to chase or jump on people or other animals
- Make sure your dog does not damage public assets spaces, such as digging holes or chewing
You are permitted to exercise your dog off lead in all parks except where restrictions have been imposed for environmental reasons such as near wetlands. Signs have been erected in those areas where special controls have been imposed. Dogs off lead in these areas must be under effective control of their owners. What this means is that the dog must be within clear and unobstructed view of its owner and it must return to its owner upon command.
These parks have fully fenced off-lead exercise areas with park benches, dog waste bins and drinking fountains with attached dog bowls:
- Price Park, Lyon Road, Viewbank
- Ford Park, Banksia Street, Bellfield
- Malahang Reserve, Oriel Road, Heidelberg West
- Malcolm Blair Reserve, Karingal Drive, Eltham
Dogs must be on-leash in the following areas:
- All streets, roads and car parks
- Within 5 metres of a shared footway (bike and pedestrian path)
- Within 5 metres of children's playgrounds or public barbecues
Dogs must be on a leash at all times throughout Bayside unless you are located in a designated off leash area during the appropriate times. Dogs are prohibited entry to some parks and reserves, check signage before entry.
Dogs must be on-leash in the following areas:
- Within 20 metres of a children’s play equipment area, an area where a public meeting is being held, a permanently designated barbeque and picnic area or an area where an organised sporting event is taking place.
There are 18 off leash parks, no fenced dog parks, three beaches with all year round off-leash access and 11 beaches where dogs are allowed off-leash at certain times of day or parts of the year.
Off leash all year: Sandown street beach, Sandringham Harbour, Ricketts Point Marine Sanctuary off leash area
Off leash during specific parts of the year / times of the day: Middle Brighton beach, Dendy Street beach, Holloway Bend beach, Brighton beach, Hampton beach, Sandringham Life Saving beach, Sandringham beach, Edward Street beach, Half Moon Bay, Black Rock beach and part of Ricketts Point Marine Sanctuary.
Note: Dogs are prohibited at all times from all inter-tidal rock platforms within the Ricketts Point Marine Sanctuary.
A dog may be exercised off a chain, cord or leash (lead) in a designated reserve, if the owner:
- Carries a lead to bring the dog under their control if the dog behaves in a manner which threatens any person or animal
- Is able to promptly bring the dog under control by voice or hand command and then place the dog on a lead if necessary
- Does not allow the dog to worry or threaten any person or animal.
If your dog is off-leash in a designated reserve, you must bring your dog under control using a lead if the dog is within 30 metres of an organised sporting event, an organised public meeting or a permanent barbecue or picnic area if it is being used by others.
Dogs are prohibited within the immediate perimeter of any playground at all times, and must be on a lead if within 10 metres of the perimeter of a playground in a designated reserve at all times.
There are 50 off leash parks and no fenced dog parks.
All dogs are to be kept on a leash in all public open space areas unless clearly signed as a designated off-leash area.
Keep your dog on a lead:
- In conservation areas
- Within 30 metres of children's play areas
- Near barbecue and outdoor eating areas
- Near informal sports or social events
- During formal sports events
- Within 5 metres of a walking/ bike path
- In heavy pedestrian traffic, on a school route.
There are 21 off leash parks including seven fenced dog parks.
Dogs can run freely and play without restriction in an off-lead park, however they must remain under effective control at all times and owners must be within 50 metresof their pet.
There are 10 off leash parks and no fenced dog parks.
Dogs can be walked off leash in all Council Parks and Reserves except for 17 designated parks. No dogs are allowed on any Parks Victoria land. Dogs must remain under effective control at all times whilst off leash.
Dogs off leash must not be within 20 metres of children's playgrounds in all parks and reserves.
There are two fenced dog parks at Clyde North and Narre Warren North.
There are 39 locations where dogs are allowed off-leash and no fenced dog parks.
Dogs must be on-leash within 20 metres of:
- An organised sporting event
- Children's playground
- Barbecue / picnic area
There are 33 designated reserves called Free Roam Areas where dogs can be exercised off leash, provided that they are under effective control of the owner. There are no fenced dog parks.
Dogs are prohibited from the Central Activities Area (CAA) of Frankston.
Due to the sensitive nature of the City's natural reserves, dogs are prohibited from the following reserves:
- Bunarong Park
- Casuarina Reserve
- George Pentland Botanic Gardens
- Langwarrin Flora and Fauna Reserve
- Studio Park
- Paratea Reserve
Dogs are allowed to enter the following reserves but they must be under the effective control of a leash and must remain on the constructed footways:
- Kananook Creek Reserve
- Pines Flora and Fauna Reserve
- Seaford Foreshore Reserve
- Seaford Wetlands Reserve
- Sweetwater Creek Reserve
Dogs are not permitted on any beach between the hours of 9.30am and 7.30pm during December, January, February or March. Dogs are permitted at other times provided they are under the effective control of a chain, cord or leash. There are no dog free roam areas on Frankston or Seaford beaches.
Dogs should be on a leash at all times in public places, except in certain parks and reserves that are designated off-leash areas.
Dogs are not permitted within 20 metres of:
- Playgrounds, barbecues or picnic areas
- Duncan Mackinnon Athletics Track and netball facilities
- Packer Park Velodrome;
- Sportsground preparation and sporting events
- Organised public meetings
Dogs must be on a leash within five metres of shared footpaths and bicycle paths.
There are 24 shared use parks which have a designated area which is off-leash and another area which is on-leash. Three of these parks (Harleston Park, Greenmeadows Gardens and Hopetoun Gardens) only allow dogs to be off-leash between 6am and 9am. There are no fenced dog parks.
Dogs must only be off-leash in designated areas. There are nine off-leash parks and no fenced dog parks.
Conditions for being off-leash are:
- Dogs must be no more than 50 metres from the person walking them and under effective control by voice command or hand signal at all times.
- Dogs must remain on-leash in all areas if any club or school sport is being played in the park or reserve
- Dogs off-leash must not be within 20 metres of a playground at any time
- Dogs must not be allowed within 20 metres of a designated cycling path or track, unless they are separated from the track by a fence at least 1.2 metres in height
There are no fenced dog parks, 11 unrestricted dog off-leash areas and two time restricted areas:
- Donald McClean Reserve (Dogs permitted off-leash before 8am and after 9pm every day)
- Edwards Reserve (Dogs permitted off-leash before 9am and after 9pm)
Dogs are restricted from these beaches from 10am to 9.30pm from 1 November to 30 April every year, seven days a week. At all other times, dogs must be on a leash.
- Williamstown Beach - between the Life Saving Club and Sirens Restaurant
- Altona Beach - between Romawi and Mount Streets
There are 38 dog off-leash areas with five having time restrictions. There are five sensitive areas where dogs are not allowed. There are no fenced dog parks.
- Dogs must be kept under control by means of a chain, cord or leash, which is no more than three metres in length
- Dogs should be on a leash at all times in public places, except in certain parks and reserves that are designated off leash areas
- Several off leash areas near schools are time restricted. Dogs must be on leash between 8.00am and 5.00pm.
- A number of Off Leash Areas are active sporting reserves. Dogs may not be let off the leash when organised sporting and community activities are being conducted on these reserves.
- Dogs must be on a leash within five metres of paths, even in off leash areas. This includes concrete, asphalt, or gravel paths.
- Dogs are not permitted within ten metres of playgrounds, barbecues or picnic areas
- Dogs must be on a leash within five metres of shared footpaths and bicycle paths.
Dogs must be on leash between 8:00am and 5:00pm at the following off-leash parks:
- Gibb Reserve, Dallas
- Progress Reserve, Coolaroo
- Hothlyn Drive Reserve, Craigieburn
- Bradford Avenue Reserve, Greenvale
- Drummond Street Reserve, Greenvale
Dogs are prohibited at the following areas:
- Grey Boz Woodland, Geach Street, Upfield
- Martin Dillon Reserve, Wildwood
- Konagaderra Bridge Reserve, Konagaderra
- Albert Road Nature Reserve, Sunbury
- Sunbury Cemetery, Sunbury
There are 29 parks with dog off-leash areas, three fenced dog parks and four parks with agility equipment.
The dog off leash areas at Kevin Hayes Reserve (Mordialloc), Reg Marlow Park (Mentone) and Snowden Reserve (Cheltenham) are fully enclosed.
Four sites have dog exercise equipment installed. These are located at Bicentennial Park (Chelsea), Kevin Hayes Reserve (Mordialloc), Kingston Heath (Moorabbin) and Bald Hill Reserve (Clarinda).
Dogs may be off lead but under effective control in a public park or recreation reserve.
Dogs are to be on leads on footpaths, bike tracks, walking tracks, in shopping centres, car parks, within a reserve where an organised sporting event is being conducted, within a playground or play equipment area, within an organised public meeting, within a permanent barbecue or picnic area and conservation bushlands. Conservation bushland areas include:
- Egan Lee Reserve
- Flamingo Road Reserve
- Gilmore Park Retarding Basin
- J W Manson Reserve
- Koolunga Native Reserve (except the lawn areas)
- Lakewood Reserve
- Tim Neville Arboretum
- Starlight Reserve
- Wicks Reserve (east and west)
- W G Morris Reserve
There is one off-leash fenced dog park at Knox Park Reserve.
Dogs must be on lead within 15 metres of permanent barbecue facilities, children's play equipment, organised sporting events, approved functions or public meetings.
There are 92 off-leash areas and one fenced dog park at Aranga Reserve, Donvale.
Dogs are not allowed within 30 metres of children's play equipment areas or any permanent barbeque or picinc areas (when in use) in any park.
There are 13 areas where dogs may be exercised off-lead including one fenced dog park at Martin Reserve, West Footscray.
There are 35 parks and reserves that have been designated as off-leash areas. Even in off-leash areas, dogs must be kept on lead at all times while on any shared path and within 15 metres of:
- Playgrounds or children’s play equipment
- Public BBQ or picnic facilities
- An organised sporting event match or training session
Dogs are not permitted in some reserves to protect areas of conservation significance and biodiversity. They include Bungalook Conservation Reserve, FJC Rogers Reserve and Loughies Bushland Reserve.
Dogs must be on a leash if they are within 20 metres of a children's playground.
Dogs must remain on the leash near fountains, ponds and lakes and not enter any body of water. They are prohibited from the entire precinct of Trin Warren Tam-boore, the recycling wetland in Royal Park.
There are eight parks designated as off-leash areas for dogs including one fenced dog park at Clayton Reserve, North Melbourne.
There are two areas, Boronia Reserve, Hillside and Navan Park, Melton, where dogs may be exercised off-lead. These areas are identified by signs and have conditions which must be observed and obeyed when your dog is off lead.
The owner/person in charge of the dog must bring the dog under control if it is or is likely to be within 20 metres of:
- An organised sporting or practice event
- An occupied children's playground
- An organised public meeting
- An occupied permanent barbecue or picnic area.
There are 31 dog off-leash areas and no fenced off-leash areas.
Dogs to be kept on a leash at all times when in public place including roads, streets and footpaths. However, dogs can still be exercised off a leash in designated off-leash parks.
Dogs are prohibited from being within 15 metres of any children’s playground, public barbeque or exercise equipment area.
There are nine parks and reserves where dogs can exercise off leash and no fenced dog parks.
Dogs must be under effective control by using a chain, cord or leash when the dog is within 1 metre of a shared pathway or within 15 metres of:
- Any playground or children’s play equipment
- The principal location of an organised sporting or community event or festival
- The principal location of an organised public meeting, or
- A permanent barbecue or picnic area when in use.
At all times, dogs are prohibited within the immediate perimeter of any playground or within any creek or waterway.
There are 51 dog off-leash parks and reserves and no fenced dog parks.
There are 62 dog leash free areas which are leash-free all the time all year and 19 which are fully fenced.
There are time restrictions for leash-free at Dunns Road Reserve, Mt. Martha.
There are three beaches (Mothers Beach, Mornington; Sorrento Beach; Portsea Beach) where dogs are prohibited during daylight savings all day and night but are permitted ‘on-leash’ at other times of the year.
There are eleven beaches where dogs are allowed leash-free from 7pm to 9am the next day during daylight savings and are permitted leash-free at other times of the year. Dogs are prohibited from 9am to 7pm during daylight savings.
Dogs must be on a leash no longer than 3 metres in the following areas:
- In all public parks and reserves except where signed
- Within 5 metres of a shared use path, and
- On all streets, roads, public car parks and footpaths.
Dogs are not allowed:
- Within 5 metres of a childrens playground or public BBQ
- In environmentally sensitive areas
- In schools, kindergartens or childcare centres unless permission has been provided
- All synthetic sporting surfaces
- Or in these public places:
- Diamond Creek Reserve, Diamond Creek (Mel ref 11 K7) - dogs are prohibited from entering wetland areas
- Sweeneys Flats, Eltham (Mel ref 22 B10) – Parks Victoria land
- Professors Hill Reserve, North Warrandyte (Mel ref 23 C7
- Chase Reserve, North Warrandyte (Mel ref 23 D5)
- Blue Tongue Bend Reserve, North Warrandyte (Mel ref 23 J6)
- Temple Ridge and Bailey Gully Reserve, Wattle Glen (Mel ref 185 J11)
- Reserve, Watsons Creek (Mel ref 272 D5)
- Marngrook oval, Diamond Creek
- Coventry Oval, Diamond Creek
- All sporting ovals in Hurstbridge
There are 11 designated off-leash areas and two fenced dog parks at Diamond Creek and Hurstbridge.
Dogs are prohibited from being within five metres of a children's playground or public barbecue or exercise equipment areas, from areas of Sandridge beach, sections of St Kilda West beach and Frank and Mary Crean Reserve in Middle Park.
Dogs are generally allowed off-leash on the beaches in the council area only from 1st April to 31st October. There are five beach areas where dogs are allowed off-leash year round and an additional two beach areas where dogs are allowed off-leash at certain times of the day during the period 1st November to 31st March.
There are 18 parks and areas where dogs are allowed off-leash and no fenced dog parks.
There are 27 off-lead parks and reserves and no fenced dog parks.
- Some off-lead areas can only be used during designated times, to allow for sports events or other community activities. Dogs are not permitted to run off-lead outside of these times.
- There are a number of parks and reserves (including Central Park, Ardrie Park and Victoria Gardens) where dogs are only permitted off-lead on the oval. Dogs are not permitted to run off-lead anywhere else and must be kept off the garden
- Dogs are not allowed on sports grounds during sports club and school training and match times, or in children's playground areas.
- All footpaths are on-lead areas
There are 19 off-lead areas and no fenced dog parks.
Certain areas of parks, such as playgrounds, picnic areas and sporting fields, are set aside for use by other members of the community and dog owners should keep their dogs away from these areas.
Dogs must be kept on a leash when in public places, except in designated 'off-leash' areas which are six fully fenced dog parks (in Doreen, Epping, Mernda, Mill Park, Thomastown and Whittlesea) with agility and exercise equipment.
There are 15 dog off-leash areas including three fenced dog parks at Wyndham Vale, Point Cook and Truganina. There are two areas which have restricted off-leash times.
The following restrictions apply to dogs in public places:
- Dogs are prohibited within playgrounds at any time and must be kept on-leash within 10 metres of playground areas.
- Dogs must be kept on-leash within 10 metres of exercise equipment
- Dogs must be kept on-leash on designated shared pathways and five metres either side, even if pathways run through off-leash areas. Shared pathways include:
- Merri Creek Shared Trail – Dights fall to May Street boundary of Moreland and Yarra.
- Inner Circle Railway – Linear Path – From Bowen Crescent (along Holtom West, Solly Avenue and Park Street) to Falconer Street, North Fitzroy.
- Inner Circle Railway – Linear Path – St Georges Road (to Scotchmer Street and along Mark Street) to Edinburgh Gardens.
- Main Yarra Trail – Dights Falls to Burnley Harbour (excluding Gipps Street to Victoria Street).
- Dogs must be kept on-leash within 10 metres of all BBQ and picnic facilities.
- Dogs must be kept on-leash within 10 metres of all skate park and BMX facilities.
- Dogs are allowed off-leash in unfenced sporting grounds only when the grounds are not in use for approved sporting events (including training).
- Dogs must be kept on-leash within 10 metres of sporting grounds when they are in use for approved sporting events (including training).
- Dogs are not allowed on any sports grounds enclosed by fencing (except Victoria Park and Citizens Park) or any synthetic sports grounds.
- Dogs must be kept on-leash within 10 metres of authorised school events or other approved public events.
- Dogs are not allowed in wetlands and other environmentally significant areas.
- Dogs are prohibited in mulched areas and Council garden beds.
Dogs are also allowed off-leash in all unfenced sporting grounds when the grounds are not being used for any approved games, club or school competition or training, or events - subject to the restrictions outlined above.
There are 31 dog off-leash areas, 7 Multizone parks and reserves which have both on-leash and off-leash areas and four Time Share reserves where dogs may be exercised off-leash before 9.00am and after 5.00pm.
Dogs are not permitted on ovals, sporting grounds, playgrounds, picnic and barbecue areas or the beach area at Lillydale Lake
Dogs must be on lead in all Parks Victoria, Melbourne Water or DSE reserves unless otherwise stated. Dogs are not permitted in National Parks
There are 22 off-lead dog parks. Dogs can only be off lead on weekends in the Sunset Reserve, Chirnside Park.
Alpine Shire Council
Dogs must be under proper control and on a chain, cord or leash municipal at recreation reserves and shopping centres. Dogs may be off leash in other areas but must at all times be under effective control of their handler.
Ararat Rural City Council
A person must not unleash a dog in a built up area unless in an area designated
and signposted for the purpose. There are designated off leash areas within the township of Ararat at Warrawee Park (4 Hucker Street), Elizabeth Park (57 Western Highway), Kokoda Park (30 McLellan Street), King Street (Cnr King Street and Flattely Street) and Centenary Park (Cnr Princes Street South and Marx Crescent).
Ballarat City Council
Bass Coast Shire Council
Baw Baw Shire Council
Benalla Rural City Council
Buloke Shire Council
There are no specific off leash areas established and the usual requirements regarding control under the Domestic Animals Act apply.
Campaspe Shire Council
Central Goldfields Shire Council
No response received from council
Colac Otway Shire Council
See the Colac Otway Dog on leash area map for on-leash areas in Colac, Beeac, Birregurra, Gellibrand, Apollo Bay, Lavers Hill and Forrest.
Corangamite Shire Council
The main shopping precincts in all towns in the Corangamite Shire are signed that dogs must be on lead. All other areas controlled by the council allow your dog to be off lead but must be under suitable control. Areas controlled by another Authority e.g. Port Campbell beach and Twelve Apostles Park which are controlled by Parks Victoria are signed accordingly.
East Gippsland Shire Council
At present there are no dog off leash areas within the East Gippsland Shire, however the provision of off leash areas for dogs within the shire is currently being investigated as to its viability.
Gannawarra Shire Council
Glenelg Shire Council
Golden Plains Shire Council
Under the current Local Law, Golden Plains has no "off leash" areas designated, however, your dog must be under effective control if you choose to run it off leash at any time. The new Local Law will come in during 2017 and will have designated "on leash" areas within each town.
Greater Bendigo City Council
Greater Geelong City Council
Greater Shepparton City Council
Hepburn Shire Council
There are defined "on leash areas". These areas are signed and generally within the township CBD's. All other areas are considered "off leash"; however all dogs must kept under effective control and not attack or harass anyone else.
Hindmarsh Shire Council
Dogs are required to be on-leash and there are no specific off-leash areas for dogs.
Horsham Rural City Council
Indigo Shire Council
Latrobe City Council
Loddon Shire Council
No response received from council
Macedon Ranges Shire Council
Mansfield Shire Council
There are two off leash areas: The Mansfield Botanic Gardens on the corner of High Street and Mansfield Whitfield Road, Mansfield and The Island in Jamieson which is accessible off the Mansfield-Woods Point Road (Bridge Street) in Jamieson.
Mildura Rural City Council
There aren't any dog off leash areas.
Mitchell Shire Council
No response received from council
Moira Shire Council
Moorabool Shire Council
Mount Alexander Shire Council
Moyne Shire Council
Murrindindi Shire Council
There are no specific leash off areas or dog parks within Murrindindi Shire. All dogs off leashes must be under effective control of their owners.
Northern Grampians Shire Council
Stawell has one off leash area at the back of the Caravan Park off Sutherland Street with all other municipal places in Stawell being on leash areas. St Arnaud has one off leash area at King Georges Park McMahon Street and as in Stawell all other areas are on-leash.
Pyrenees Shire Council
Borough of Queenscliffe
South Gippsland Shire Council
There are no specific areas requiring dogs to be on a leash. As long as the dog is under 'effective control', meaning that they obey your instructions and come when called, then they can go without a leash almost anywhere. If walking your dog in the CBD for example, then maybe have a leash on your dog, but it is not a requirement. The only exception would be the beaches in South Gippsland which come under the jurisdiction of Parks Victoria and may have different rules.
Southern Grampians Shire Council
No response received from council
Strathbogie Shire Council
Surf Coast Shire Council
Swan Hill Rural City Council
No response received from council
Towong Shire Council
No response received from council
Wangaratta Rural City Council
Warrnambool City Council
Wellington Shire Council
West Wimmera Shire Council
Does not require dogs to be on any leash within the shire, but the dog must be under effective control at all times. If your dog is not able to return to you when called at any time it must be on a leash.
Wodonga City Council
Yarriambiack Shire Council
No response received from council