Does your dog love a walk with his favourite person in all the world (you) and wag his tail excitedly in the anticipation of one? If so, here are some of the top dog friendly walking trails in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane for the summer season.
Dog friendly walks Melbourne
Melbourne is known for its many green spaces – which explains its Garden City nickname. Here’s a selection of some of the best dog-friendly walks across Melbourne.
Inner and urban:
• North Fitzroy – Edinburgh Gardens - Roughly half of this 24-hectare well-resourced park is available for off-leash dog walking.
• South Yarra – Fawkner Park - 41-hectare park with on-leash and off-leash areas for dogs.
• Carlton North – Princes Park - Nice park with off-leash areas, located not far from the centre of town.
• Parkville – Royal Park loop walk - 200-hectare park with grassland areas and off-leash areas for your dog.
• Fairfield / Kew – Yarra Bend Park - You’d hardly know you are not too far from the city in this 260-hectare park, as it boasts loads of native vegetation as well as having the Yarra River running through it. Note that dogs must be mostly kept on leads.
• Doncaster – Ruffey Lake Park - This eastern-suburbs park has loads of facilities as well as areas where you can walk your dog both with and without a lead.
• Lilydale Lake - 100-hectare park with lake and wetlands that has two off-leash areas for dogs.
• Templestowe – Finns Reserve - Lovely reserve along the Yarra with suspension bridge, shared tracks and off-leash dog areas.
• Alphington – Darebin Park loop walk - 3km easy walking track in the Darebin region. Dogs can access the creek in off-lead areas.
• Berwick – Wilson Botanic Park - Beautiful gardens boasting three lakes and over 1,000 plant species. Dogs are permitted throughout the park but must be on a lead.
• Wheelers Hill – Jells Park - Open parkland and wetlands with an easy loop walk. Dogs must be walked on leash and kept out of the conservation area.
• Dandenong Ranges – Mathias Track - Fairly easy trail that runs alongside the Dandenong Ranges National Park.
• Altona – Altona Dog Beach - Great place for your dog to have a romp. Includes both on-leash and off-leash areas.
• Williamstown – Jawbone Foreshore - Lovely shore-walk trail with both dog-friendly and restricted areas.
• Elwood – Bay Trail - Walking trail running from Elwood to Sandringham where you can walk your dog on-leash.
Best dog walks Sydney
Sydney is renowned for its sparkling harbour, famous beaches and spectacular coastline. So it’s no surprise it stands out when it comes to coastal walking tracks, many of them dog-friendly.
Inner and urban:
• Sydney Park - 40-hectare landscaped park with easy walking tracks in Sydney’s inner west. While mostly dog-friendly there are some restricted areas.
• Moore Park – Centennial Parklands. Historically-significant and beautiful parklands with several off-leash areas for dogs.
• Parramatta – Lakeside Banksia Track - 2.5km easy walking track lined with banksias that meanders alongside Lake Parramatta.
• Blacktown – Western Sydney Parklands - 5,000-hectare bushlands with walking tracks to suit all fitness levels. Dogs must be on-lead except in designated areas.
• Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk - 6km walkway with coastal views and dog-friendly cafes along the way.
• Drummoyne – The Bay Run - Scenic loop walkway / running track along the water’s edge. Dogs must be kept on a leash.
• Cronulla Foreshore Walk - 4km easy coastal walk with great views. Dogs can be off-leash at certain times of the day.
• Glebe Foreshore Walk - 4km easy walk that runs past several off-leash parks and reserves.
• Dover Heights - Federation Cliff Walk - 5km easy clifftop walk with great ocean views and lighthouse.
• Manly to Shelly Beach Walk - Short walk (1.5km) with great ocean views that starts at Manly Beach lifesaving club.
Dog friendly walks Brisbane
Brisbane, the capital of the sunshine state, boasts a rich history and great weather for outdoor activities – like walking your dog for example!
Inner and urban:
• South Brisbane – Riverside Lands Park - Shady park along the river with off-leash areas for dogs.
• Mt Coot-tha Forest - Cityside forest with several walking tracks. You can climb to the summit with your dog (providing they are on a lead) and enjoy the views of Brisbane.
• Mitchelton to Alderley Walk - This 8km track runs alongside old farmland and has dog-friendly cafes along the way.
• Spring Hill – Victoria Park - Hilly park with large off-leash area and purpose-built exercise obstacles for dogs.
• Grange Forest Dog Park - Treed off-leash dog park in Brisbane’s lower northern suburbs.
• Downfall Creek Reserve - Four-hectare reserve where your dog can freely romp without a lead.
• Chapel Hill – Green Hill Reservoir Dog Park – off-leash area surrounding the water tower and offering sweeping views of the city.
• Birkdale – Aquatic Paradise - Off-leash dog park along the sea-front with walking and bike tracks and playground.
• Clontarf Redcliffe Walk - 13km seaside walk with scenic views and landmarks.
• Sandgate – Shorncliffe Walk - Scenic 6km bayside walk with plenty of sights along the way.
• Scarborough to Newport Walk - 8km return-trip walk starting at the Kennedy Esplanade.
• Cleveland Heritage Trail - 4km flat walk along the bay. Dogs can go off-leash at some of the nearby parks.
Tips for walking your dog safely in summer
Of course, you need to be mindful of keeping your dog cool and safe when walking them in the summer. Here are some tips for healthy and safe dog walking for the summer (with some applying to all seasons).
Walk health and safety:
• Dogs can burn their paws on hot paths and sand. The RSPCA says the best way to tell if a surface is too hot is by placing the back of your hand against it for five seconds. If it feels too hot for your hand it will also be for your dog to walk on. You can avoid burnt paws by walking your dog early or later in the day, and / or by walking them on grass or along shaded trails.
• You should avoid walking your dog right after a meal as this could lead to bloat. Also, while your dog is out exercising or playing, don’t let them guzzle too much water at once as this could also cause stomach problems.
• Make sure to comply with instructions regarding dog-walking, such as on-leash directions and keeping your dog out of restricted areas.
• Teach your dog not to pull or tug on their lead. The RSPCA recommends quietly standing still if your dog tugs and then rewarding them when they become more relaxed and walk nicely. Most dogs respond to praise so a simple “good dog” might be all the reward you need to use.
• It’s considerate and good manners to pick up your dog’s poo and it also helps keep our cities clean and hygienic. So make sure to take a poop bag with you to perform this task on your walks with your dog.
• If you are taking your dog out by car, a dog car restraint is a good item to help keep them safe while travelling.
• Keeping your dog hydrated at all times when out and about is very important. A dog water bottle is ideal for this.
With so many wonderful dog-friendly walks in our cities there’s really no excuse for not getting out there for some exercise for both you and your pooch! And don’t forget you can find all the products you need for your dog as well as many informative articles on pets on our website.