As Australia’s second-largest city, Melbourne is a multicultural destination situated on the country’s southern coast. During its summer months, November to March, Melbourne has an average temperature of 75 degrees Fahrenheit, which is perfect for soaking up the sun and splashing along the water’s edge at a nearby beach. For dog owners, Melbourne offers several pet-friendly beaches that allow your four-legged friends to run, play and experience some off-leash fun.
Port Melbourne Beaches
Several Port Melbourne beaches are dog friendly and considered some of the top beaches on Port Phillip Bay. At Port Melbourne Beach, the area between the lagoon pier and yacht club is leash-free, and not only welcomes dogs on the beach, but also on its pier. Sandridge Beach is a leash-free dog area between the rock jetties of Cumberland Road and Barak Road. At Middle Park Beach, there is a stretch of dog-friendly beach between Langridge St. and Kerferd Road Pier. Its pet-friendly hours are restricted to 5:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. from November 1 to March 31. Additional beach activities for visitors include volleyball, kite surfing, cycling and rollerblading.
Brighton Dog Beaches
In the suburb of Brighton, dog owners find an extensive stretch of off-leash beach area, which includes Brighton Beach, Middle Brighton Beach, Sandown Street Beach and Dendy Street Beach. The wide, sandy beachfront has shallow water areas and is a popular location for wind surfing. Families enjoy coming here not only to play with their dogs, but also for the children’s playground, barbecue facilities, and long path for walking and cycling.
Mornington Peninsula Beaches
The Mornington Peninsula features a large number of pet-friendly beaches where dogs may roam unleashed year-round. Mornington’s Royal and Fosters beaches are long stretches of beach area where visitors can allow pets to run freely. Each sits on Port Phillip Bay and has direct views of nearby Mt. Martha. Hawker Beach features a lengthy, man-made sea wall that protects its cliffs from eroding, and clear, blue waters along the sandy shoreline. This beach is tricky as it only can be accessed one of two ways: by descending the steeper, fire-access track, or by using the adjacent ramp of bluestone steps. Flinders Beach has a designated, off-leash dog area on the eastern side of the beach. It also features finely crushed white sands and calm, clear waters for swimming.
St. Kilda Beach
St. Kilda Beach, between its marina and Brooks Jetty, is a favorite off-leash dog beach for its wide sand bars and shallow waters along the coastline. It provides the perfect environment for puppies first learning how to swim, as well as an older dog that wants to cool off and get its feet wet, but not fully immerse itself in the surf. St. Kilda Beach even has a dog-friendly beachfront cafe — West Beach Bathers Pavilion — that allows visitors to grab a drink or a bite to eat with their pooch in tow.
Altona/Seaholme Dog Beach
The Altona/Seaholme Beach, adjacent to the P.A. Burns Reserve, is a large, coastal region for dogs to swim and run around, leash-free. Its low tide, “no boat” zone provides safe, shallow waters for a dog and its owner to play fetch or to cool off with a relaxing swim. Additionally, it offers clearer waters for snorkeling enthusiasts, and off-shore areas for wind and kite surfing.
Dog Beach Rules
While the majority of Melbourne’s off-leash dog beaches allow pets to roam and swim freely, pet owners must keep dogs under voice control. Aggressive and disturbing behaviors are not tolerated; owners must remember that not everyone who frequents these beaches is a dog lover. Dog owners should carry a leash, just in case, as well as trash bags to dispose of dog waste.