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Host a puppy party SLOP
Photograph: Anna Kucera

The best off-leash dog areas in Melbourne

You and your best friend can both run free at these off-leash dog parks and beaches in the city

By Time Out editors
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Be like the Baha Men and let the dogs out at these dog-friendly off-leash areas. We've rounded up the best parks and reserves in Melbourne that allow your dog to stretch its legs freely. In addition to giving them a little grass between their paws, these off-leash area, parks and beaches are also an excellent way to give your pooch a little play time with other pups.

Get to know more dogs in the city with our dog-friendly guide to Melbourne. Or if it's green spaces you're looking for, take a look at some of these secret gardens around town

According to advice from the Department of Health, Victorians are allowed to gather in groups of up to ten and enjoy picnics, non-contact sports and relaxation in parks from May 13. You should maintain 1.5 metres from people at all times.

Off-leash dog parks and beaches

Albert Park

Sport and fitness South Melbourne

A huge 225 hectares of parkland takes in the areas around Albert Park and the Albert Park Lake–but did you know there is an expansive off-leash dog area? The Coot Picnic Area at the far end has barbecues and a playground. Albert Park off-leash area is between Alan Davidson Field and Hockey Drive. 

Darebin Parklands

Things to do Ivanhoe

It’s almost too good to be true: 33 hectares of parklands including a huge off-leash area, free electric BBQs, and on-leash walking trails – all only 8km from the city. Enter either via Separation St, Alphington, or from Rockbeare Grove, Ivanhoe. 

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Merri Creek Trail

Sport and fitness Fitzroy North

This 25km-long trail zigs and zags through parks, wetlands, Coburg Lake Reserve,the Brunswick Velodrome and CERES Community Environment Park (where you can stop for a coffee). As you dip down into the greenery following the creek, you’d barely know that bustling Brunswick and North Fitzroy were just around the corner. Dogs must be on-lead while on the shared trail but can go off-leash at Robinson Reserve and Capp Reserve.

Brighton Beach

Things to do Brighton

You can take your best mate to see Brighton's famed beach boxes off lead between 7.30pm and 10am from November 1 to March 31, and off lead at all times April 1 to October 31.

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Princes Park

Things to do Carlton North

There are two designated off-leash areas in this Carlton North oasis. The more popular one is off Bowen Crescent – stop off for some doggy socialising before jogging the circuit complete with interval exercise stations. Plus, all the cafés on Rathdowne Street are only metres away. Or if you're coming from the southern end, the area around Crawford Oval is off-leash friendly too. Royal Pde, Carlton. Park on Bowen Crescent on the Lygon Street side to access the dog park. 

St Kilda dog beaches

Things to do St Kilda

There are two off-leash dog beaches in St Kilda where you and your bestie can frolic in the shallow water all year round. Choose from either the off-leash beach between Pier Road, St Kilda and the drainage channel at the northwest end of Pier Road, or between Brooks Jetty and the northern end of the car park towards St Kilda Marina (just down from Luna Park). 

Melbourne for dog lovers

A brown dog panting
Photograph: Daniel Boud

Dog-friendly Melbourne guide

Things to do

Melbourne is a city of canine-lovin' legends, from yappy Toorak to bounding Brunswick. We've found some of the very best things this city has to offer your four-legged friend.

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