We all love a trip to the dog park! It’s a great chance for dogs to run off that pent up energy and catch up with their furry pals and also for the humans to catch up with fellow dog owners. You’ve probably landed here after searching for ‘dog parks near me’. Well, we should have something for you in the extensive list below.
Melbourne has loads of options for walking your dogs off leash, and although some of the suggestions below aren’t strictly dog parks, they are still good options for dog owners who would like to explore Melbourne with their furry friend.
Many of the locations we mention are great for pet photography so please ask if you’d like to see examples of previous shoots from a dog park or location near you.
Clayton Reserve, North Melbourne
Perfect for inner city dog lovers, this small fenced reserve is a handy location with a great community and sociable feel to it. Friendly and with plenty of other dog owners who like to chat, this dog park also ticks the well equipped box with water fountains and poop bags supplied.
A large 33 hectares of parkland with it’s own off-leash area, this is a great spot for residents of nearby Ivanhoe, Northcote and Alphington.
Merri Creek Trail
This popular trail that measures 25km winds through several parks, wetland areas, Coburg Lake Reserve, Brunswick Velodrome, CERES Community Environment Park and deposits you into busy brunswick. Although for much of the trail dogs are required to be leashed there are several areas that are designated off leash.
Eltham Lower Park
Just off Homestead Road in Eltham, this large off-leash space is a slice of the bush on the outskirts of Melbourne and is perfect for a run around that feels like it’s out in the country.
Princes Park, Carlton North
Popular with inner city joggers, this Carlton park has not one, but TWO off leash areas for dogs.
Also close to Melbourne CBD is Royal Park, which has several designated off-leash areas, with the main one being south of MacArthur Road. Thanks to contributors on Reddit for that tip!
Diamond Creek Reserve
The fenced dog park at Diamond Creek is a really well maintained dog park, close to Marngrook Oval. The park is zoned for different types and sizes of dogs, including a play or runabout zone, an education or training zone, and a small dog or timeout zone.
This is often rated as one of the best dog parks in Melbourne, with excellent facilities for both dogs and humans, including water fountains, agility courses and shaded seating.
Chelsworth Park, Ivanhoe
A large park with six unfenced ovals and plenty of space for dogs to run free. There are a few areas of the park which seem to flood and hold large puddles of water after heavy rain so if your dog loves getting wet, you have been warned!
Malahang Reserve, Heidelberg West
This is a long skinny fenced dog park located in Heidelberg West. It’s great if you’re local, but we wouldn’t make a special trip to it with there being so many other great options locally. The adjacent playground and BMX track is good though if you’re trying to burn energy from both children and dogs!
Montmorency Park not only has on off-leash area, but also has a couple of ovals, basketball courts, cricket nets, a playground and the Plenty River Trail running through it. Beware of snakes in the long grass near the river between October and April.
Price Park, Viewbank
Located in the 7 hectare Price Park and perched on top of a hill overlooking a playground, this enclosed dog park is over 100m in length and nearly as wide. It’s a busy spot for mutt butt sniffers so expect some doggy interaction. The nice aspect of this park is that there are many trees within the fenced area, rather than just open space which is often the case.
Green Gully Reserve, Keilor Downs
A fairly barren and exposed (but fully fenced) area, featuring an agility course with tunnels and weaving poles.
Centenary Park, Bentleigh East
A mix of leashed and off leash, this park has space for everyone. To the east of the fenced oval (which is on leash), the off leash area starts.
There is a dedicated off-leash area as well as large and well maintained grass areas for humans and dogs to enjoy together. There are some good walking tracks which pass near a lake and are good for spotting birdlife.
Fairview Park, Hawthorn
Although parking can be tricky at times, this is a lovely park with large open areas and a walking trail along the Yarra River and can be quite popular at times, so expect some doggy interaction. For dogs that love to swim, there is easy access to the river in several places.
Fritsch Holzer Park, Hawthorn East
Not much to say about this popular park, but dogs seem to love it’s large open spaces and wooded areas.
Koonung Creek Reserve, Balwyn North
This massive reserve often reminds me of Jells Park with it’s rolling hills that seem to go on forever, wetland walks and bush type areas. Adjacent to the Eastern Freeway means that the reserve is quite noisy but it’s something you become accustomed to after a while and our furry friends don’t seem bothered by it. Why would you be when you have all that space to chase a ball in?!
Princes Park, Caulfield South
All the sportsgrounds at Princes Park are designated as off leash, so you’ll always see plenty of dogs tearing around this open space, although signs stipulate that they should be leashed while walking on paths through the park and when there is sport in play.
Citizens Park, Richmond
This is a large fenced football oval so when it isn’t in use by the humans chasing a ball, it’s open to dogs to chase their balls and each other. At peak times it can get quite busy so be prepared for a dog fest when visiting after work.
Sir Zelman Cowen Park, Kooyong (also known as Kooyong Park)
With Gardiner’s Creek running through the middle of it and plenty of open space for your dog to roam, this park is one of the best equipped in the area, with drinking fountains for both dogs and humans as well as poop bags for the inevitable event that will occur.
Jells Park, Wheelers Hill
Although not strictly speaking, an off-leash park, the 127 hectare park should provide plenty of opportunities for a run around without disturbing any other visitors. Dogs are welcome, but must be kept under control.
Aranga Reserve, Donvale
This isn’t just any old reserve, this is a Aranga Reserve Dog Activity Centre! Alongside the more traditional looking reserve, there is a training area and dog agility equipment that features an obstacle course. This is sure to be a hit with active dogs and owners who want to turn their pooches into SAS style soldiers.
King George VI Memorial Reserve
This reserve has plenty of sporting facilities, with the eastern oval close to Chesterville Road being designated as off leash.
Alma Park East/West, St Kilda
The western side of the park is probably the best and safest area, with the eastern side bordered by the busy Dandenong Road. Plenty of open space and paths with large established trees. This has also become a popular location for pet photos in the area.
Not only does Albert Park have an 18 hole golf course, a massive lake, and host the Million Paws Walk each year, but it also has a large off leash area for dogs who live in the South Melbourne area.
Gasworks Park, Port Melbourne
Gasworks Park is a favourite of ours for pet photography sessions due to it’s relaxed atmosphere and great locations that are all close to each other. There is also a really good cafe on site too which helps keep the caffeine addicts happy! The park isn’t fenced but there aren’t many openings out to the road. Parking is free, although limited to 2 hours in places.
Garden City Reserve, Port Melbourne
We didn’t find this spot until recently and we’ve grown to really love it. It is also another Port Melbourne location which is good for pet photography sessions. The reserve is half leashed and half off leash. The Hobson’s Bay Obedience Dog Club is also located here.
Ballam Park, Frankston
The northern end of this popular park in Frankston is designated off-leash, with good facilities and several ovals and exercise areas throughout.
Banyan Reserve, Carrum Downs
Covering 8 hectares and housing a Melbourne Water retarding basin, there are only basic facilities in this park, with a large open grassy area and an oval. Probably the largest dog park in the Carrum area.
Centenary Park, Frankston
The Frankston Dog Obedience Club happens to be in this park which isn’t a particularly exciting park for humans or dogs. With the Mornington Peninsula freeway located close by, there is quite alot of traffic noise. The obedience club holds events on a Saturday morning, at which time the kiosk is also open.
Kananook Reserve, Seaford
This Seaford reserve is mainly about the fenced football oval, but only has some fairly standard facilities including a water tap BBQ. Handy if you live nearby, but there are more exciting dog parks if you’re willing to travel.
This large park in Cheltenham is the Pupparazzi’s local spot and we always find a doggy friend to chat to while out for a walk here. Although it’s unfenced and close to a road, it’s a relatively safe option if your dog responds to commands.
Adjacent is a children’s playground, 2 golf courses, a small wooded area and reserve so there should be plenty for your dog to explore. We have photographed a few dogs here as they’ve been local and comfortable with the surroundings. It works well for pet photos either early in the morning or in the last few hours of daylight.
Farm Road Reserve, Cheltenham
A pleasant and expansive reserve where dogs can run free. Fenced at both ends, this reserve is usually pretty quiet so can be fun if your dog just wants a runaround or isn’t sociable with other dogs.
Kingston Heath Reserve, Cheltenham
Nearby to Farm Road in Cheltenham is the sprawling Kingston Heath, with it’s numerous sporting facilities for soccer, softball and hockey clubs.
There is a large unfenced area featuring some dog agility equipment. Due to it’s size this park never feels overcrowded so if you don’t want your dog to interact with others, it would be fine here.
Chadwick Reserve, Dingley Village
This isn’t the most exciting dog park you’ll find, but during times when there is no sport in play, it’s an off leash park so we’re all happy with that!
Bald Hill Reserve, Clarinda
This is a large off leash area, measuring approximately 350m in length. Although there are no fences in the park, there are trees on each side.
Dendy Park, Brighton
Dendy Park is large with loads of space for dog activity. On the north side of the park lies a bowling club and tennis courts but is not an off leash area. The rets of the park comprises of soccer fields and large open spaces which are perfect for some ball fetching and tearing about.
If your dog likes skateboarding or lakes, they’re gonna love this park! If not, they’ll probably just be happy with a run around the large off leash area that’s on offer. This is probably the best dog park in the Elsternwick area and is close to some good coffee too, so the humans are kept happy.
Kevin Hayes Reserve, Mordialloc
This park has a very large fenced area for dogs and is a very popular spot for socialising with other dogs and their owners. The agility course is popular and well used.
Reg Marlow Reserve, Mentone
This isn’t the largest or most exciting dog park in the Mentone area, but it’s popular nonetheless. Frequented by mostly small and friendly dogs, this fenced area has shady trees and benches.
Royal Avenue, Sandringham
Dogs are permitted off leash at all times between the Corporate Centre and the playground. There is also a cafe here which is good for those early morning walks.
Burns Reserve, Altona
This is mainly a dog beach, but the ample foreshore open space also qualifies it to appear on the dog park list. A popular spot for hounds on the west side of town. Some might say that it has the best of both worlds!
Broooklyn Reserve Dog Park
This is probably the best fenced dog park in Melbourne’s western suburbs. Featuring an agility course, a box of dog toys and large grassy area, it’s pleasing to see such a well thought out and designed park for dogs.
Cyril Curtain Reserve, Williamstown
This off leash area runs for 800m along the foreshore in Williamstown, with lots of really interesting options for walks. Beware of snakes during the warmer months.
Doug Grant Reserve, Altona
This is a huge reserve featuring large grassy areas and great views of the natural wetlands. Please be aware that there is alot of birdlife here and dogs need to be kept under control to protect any birds that may be nesting, resting or looking for food.
There is also access to the beach here, but dog control is important here too due to the resident birdlife.
This is another location we stumbled across while looking for pet photography locations around Melbourne and has now become a favourite with both us and clients on the west side of town.
Dogs are prohibited from the bird sanctuary area so please pay attention to signage.
The Warmies, Newport
We like this spot because it’s pretty unique in terms of views and shape of the land. It’s a narrow spit that juts into the water and offers views of Melbourne docks, Yarra River and the huge passing container ships that dock in Melbourne for unloading.
Thompson Reserve, Maribyrnong
This off leash area is located just above the popular Pipemakers Park, which we occasionally use for pet photography sessions with clients from the west of Melbourne.
The reserve is a large grassy open space with access to wetlands and pockets of trees which make good backgrounds for a pet photo session.
Pipemakers Park is a pleasant walk, with a large scale art installation and views of the Yarra River, although your dog will need to be leashed for this.
Greelish Oval, Yarraville Gardens
Greelish Oval is located within the lovely Yarraville Gardens (another popular pet photography location for clients on the west side of town) and is available for off leash use when there are no organised sporting activities (check signs for details). The Barbara Beyer reserve is a safe fenced area without the restrictions that the oval has.
Davitt Drive Reserve, Deer Park
Within the reserve is a fenced area for dogs. Although not the most exciting park in the western suburbs it seems popular with locals.
Duke Street Reserve, Sunshine North
The 100m fenced area for dogs is good for a runaround with a small clump of trees, rocks to climb on and a flat grassed area.
Presidents Park, Wyndham Vale
This fenced dog park is a hit with Wyndham Vale locals. Ample space for dog exercise and the tennis balls and tennis ball holders on the fence are a nice touch! One of the most popular dog parks in Melbourne’s western suburbs.
We hope you have found our list of tried and tested dog parks in Melbourne useful. If you have a recommendation for a great dog park that we haven’t featured then please get in touch and we’d be glad to include it.
We have photographed dogs in many of these parks so know which locations and times work well to produce the best photos of your dog.
We have also created a list of some of our favourite pet photography locations around Melbourne if you’d like to check out where we might photograph you and your pet during your session.
NEW Dog Parks!
Some good news that came in over the COVID-19 isolation period was the announcement by the Victorian Government about the construction of 15 new pocket parks and 9 new dogs parks in Melbourne.
The new off-leash dog parks are in the following locations: Cairnlea, Casey Fields in Cranbourne East, Merrifield at Mickleham, Roy Dore Reserve in Kingston, Emmerson Place Reserve in Rowville, Thompson Reserve in Maribyrnong, Eltham North dog park, Bulban Road in Werribee and Thomas Oval dog park in South Yarra.
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