We understand that owners need spaces to let their dogs run and play without a leash. While all dogs must be kept on a leash while outside your property, we have designated off-leash areas at a number of local parks, reserves and beaches.
There are seven dog beaches in Port Phillip - five where pooches can play off their leashes all year round and two early morning dog beaches. Restrictions apply at other beaches depending on the season.
To find your nearest dog off-leash park, reserve or beach, visit Services Near Me.
Off-leash maps and times
Restrictions take effect during summer, from 1 November to 31 March.
For maps and times, please refer to the off-leash maps:
When using these areas, dog owners must still carry a leash at all times and must be under effective control.
For a description of the boundaries of off-leash areas, the times when the designated areas are off-leash and Melways map references, download the schedule designated areas (PDF 95 KB).
Please note: if you own a Greyhound, your dog is required to be on-leash even in off-leash areas.
For further information please refer to the signage at our beaches, parks and reserves.
Albert Park Lake
Albert Park Lake Reserve is managed by Parks Victoria, even though it is located in the City of Port Phillip. While the reserve is primarily an on-leash park, there is a good amount of space set aside for exercising your dog off a leash. More information is available at Parks Victoria.
All year restrictions
Dogs and cats are prohibited in the following environmentally sensitive areas all year:
- Perce White Reserve, Port Melbourne
- West Beach St Kilda (not allowed on environmentally sensitive dune area).
Be a responsible dog owner: carry bags to pick up after your pet and keep your pooch on a lead.
Port Phillip dog owners and visitors to the area are encouraged to prevent messy moments for the whole community by picking up after their pooches. Please also keep your four-legged friend on a leash, unless you are in a designated off-leash area. For more information about neighbourhood-based off-lead areas, visit dog parks and reserves.
Under council's Community Amenity Local Law, dog owners must carry bags or devices in addition to the current requirement to pick up after their dog. The penalty is an on the spot fine.
Environmentally friendly products including biodegradable doggy poo bag are available for purchase by local dog owners to use in picking up after their dog.
Bags and devices
BioGone plastics offers common disposable plastic items that will fully biodegrade over a few years in landfill.
A range of other bags and devices are on the market and available from various outlets including pet shops, veterinaries and supermarkets.
Port Phillip dog owners are encouraged to demonstrate responsible pet ownership and, in the interest of the entire community, carry a bag or similar device and pick up after their dog.
Reminder to dog owners
- Dogs may be exercised off-leash in a designated off-leash area provided they are under effective control by their owner. Effective control means:
- the dog will return to its owner on command
- the dog does not bother, attack, worry or interfere with other people or animals
- the owner retains a clear and unobstructed view of the dog.
- Off-leash activities are restricted to specified areas or times in some reserves and beaches. Please read the signs carefully when entering the reserve.
- Dogs must be walked on a lead in all public areas other than those signed as off-leash. This rule doesn't just refer to parks and reserves but to the streets, paths and walkways as well.
- Dogs are also not permitted within five metres of playgrounds, public barbeques or exercise equipment areas.
Random patrols are conducted during daylight hours throughout the year and people not complying are fined or prosecuted. Dog owners must ensure they have a plastic bag or an acceptable item to clean up after their dogs as failure to do so can result in an infringement being issued.
For those people living close to the edges of the City of Port Phillip, their closest dog park may not be in our municipality. For:
- the St Kilda Road neighbourhood, your closest off-leash park may be Fawkner Park which is in the City of Melbourne's municipality Melbourne City Council
- those living in neighbourhoods on the edge of Elwood and Ripponlea, Elsternwick Park which is in the City of Bayside could be the closest.
On the spot fines apply for
- dogs wandering at large
- not having dogs on leashes when they must be
- failing to carry a bag and pick up after your dog.
For more information and questions, please contact us.