Calling all dog owners in Melbourne! Ready for some fun in the sun, sand, and surf (ish) with your fave four-legged friend? Good, ’cause we’ve rounded up the 10 best dog-friendly beaches in Melbourne. Let’s go swimmin’!

 

We acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the Country on which this adventure takes place who have occupied and cared for the lands, waters, and their inhabitants, for thousands of years. We pay our respects to them and recognise that sovereignty was never ceded.

I love a beach day, don’t you? I love it even more when I can bring my dog with me. In fact, I’ve been known to drive for over an hour to get to the beach just so my labrador can come with me. It’s what any good dog owner would do, right?

Now, there’s a lot to love about Melbourne – but the beach? Not typically something this city is known for. However, when it comes to beautiful dog friendly beaches – well, Melbourne has them in spades.

A very big chunk of Melbourne’s beaches are dog friendly and better yet, they’re also mostly off-leash dog beaches. Like, does it get any better? No, no it doesn’t. Anyway, we’ve rounded up the best dog friendly beaches in Melbourne so the next time you wanna swim with your bestie, you’ll know exactly where to go.

1. Brighton Beach

Location: Brighton
Distance from Melbourne CBD: 12km

If you’re in Brighton with your furry friend there are tonnes of great spots for a beach day with your dog. Here’s a quick rundown:

Sandown Street Beach

Fully-fenced and designated as off-leash year-round, this is the best dog beach in the Brighton area and the one that’s most popular with the locals. With shallow, calm waters, it’s perfect for doggy paddling (and a SUP/kayak too!). You’ll find Sandown Street Beach between Bay Street and Sandown Street.

Middle Brighton, Brighton Beach, & Dendy Street Beach

Just south of Sandown Beach you’ll find Middle Brighton, Dendy Street Beach, and Brighton Beach. They’re all dog friendly beaches but they have different restrictions to be mindful of.

Here are the seasonal dog restrictions for Middle Brighton Beach and Brighton Beach:

  • April to October – Your dog is allowed off leash at all times
  • November to March (summer months) – 10am to 7.30pm no dogs (including on-leash). Your dog can be off leash outside of these times

And here are the restrictions for Dendy Street Beach (in between Middle Brighton and Brighton Dog Beach):

  • April to October – Off leash dog beach at all times
  • November to March (summer months) – Sunrise to 10am it’s an off-leash dog beach, 10am to 7.30pm no dogs at all, and 7.30pm to sunrise your dog must be on a leash

 

7 Awesome Sunset Hikes Around Victoria, Leah Furey, Brighton Beach, beach boxes, ocean, sunset

Don’t forget to check out the famous Brighton Bathing Boxes too! | @mydreamadventure

2. St Kilda Beach

Location: St Kilda
Distance from Melbourne CBD: 7km

St Kilda Beach is another one of the best dog beaches in Melbourne – especially if your puppy is a social butterfly. St Kilda Beach is a bustling hub that gets absolutely packed in the summertime (but there’s no such thing as too many doggos, right?). It’s also a great spot for runners, cyclists, and beach enthusiasts alike.

Importantly, it’s separated into two distinct zones: West Beach and St Kilda Beach.

St Kilda West Beach: The Always-Friendly Spot

  • Rules: Dogs can roam off-leash all year. No restrictions. Woo!

St Kilda Beach: Seasonal and Specific Zones

  • 1st April – 31st October: Dogs are allowed on the sand area
  • 1st November – 31st March: Dogs are permitted on the sand from Pier Road to the drainage channel at the north-west end of Pier Road. They’re also allowed between Brooks Jetty and the northern end of the car park at St Kilda Marina.

 

A Guide to Melbourne's Bike Paths, Abby Vogelsang, St Kilda, beach, bike, ride

It’s always pretty busy | @abbyvogelsang

3. Elwood Beach

Location: Elwood
Distance from Melbourne CBD: 10km

If you keep travelling east along the coast from St Kilda beach, you’ll eventually hit Elwood Beach, my favourite dog-friendly beach.

This spot gets a lot less crowded than St Kilda West Beach or Brighton Dog Beach, so if you prefer to ditch the crowds, this is the one to go to. The waters are calm and you’ve got the promenade for a post-swim run or cycle. It’s just pure Melbourne magic.

Pro tip: On Sundays, Elwood Beach is also home to Feel Good Dips – a bunch of ocean lovers get together and go for a plunge (even in winter!) followed by yoga, meditation, and coffee.

  • 1st April – 31st October – Dogs are allowed on the sand
  • 1st November – 31st MarchDogs are allowed on the sand from 5.30am to 9.30am between the rock groyne south of Point Ormond and the beach access ramp 35 metres south-east of Normandy Road

 

Your toughest task will be convincing your doggo it’s time to leave! | @jessleenehme

4. Middle Park Beach

Location: Middle Park
Distance from Melbourne CBD: 6km

Middle Park Beach is another one of Melbourne’s dog friendly beaches and a great spot for less sociable dogs as it’s not as busy or popular as some of the other dog friendly beaches that dot the coast.

FYI: there’s an environmentally sensitive area (sand dunes) part way along the beach and this section is completely out of bounds for dogs. There’s plenty of signage, but just be mindful!

  • 1st April – 31st October – Dogs are allowed on the sand
  • 1st November – 31st March – Dogs are allowed on sand from 7.30pm to 10am between Kerferd Road Pier and Langridge Street

 

What I’ve Learnt Moving From the City to the Coast, Lipei Teoh, dog on beach with ball in mouth

Quality solo sand time | @lipeitoh

5. Sandringham (Sandy) Beach

Location: Sandringham
Distance from Melbourne CBD: 18km

Along the same beautiful stretch of coast where you’ll find Brighton Beach, St Kilda Beach, and Elwood Beach, you’ll also find Sandringham Beach. It can get busy during the summer months, but on the plus side, the adjoining cliff serves as a natural windbreak, which is a bonus.

Dog-friendly times:

  • At Sandringham Beach’s northern side, dogs can be off-leash from sunrise to 10am, on-leash from 7:30pm to sunrise, and are not allowed from 10am to 7:30pm.
  • On the southern side, they’re allowed off-leash anytime from April to October. During other months, off-leash is okay from 7:30pm to 10am, but they’re not allowed at other times.

 

How to Road Trip with a Dog, Sarah Pendergrass, Megs beach, Border Collie, Australia

Who can say no to that face?! | @allthegearnaeidea

6. Mentone Beach

Location: Mentone
Distance from Melbourne CBD: 26km

Mentone Beach, one of Melbourne’s most popular dog-friendly beaches, is conveniently located along the Bay Trail. This trail skirts the edge of Port Phillip Bay, threading through Melbourne’s south-eastern suburbs and offering amazing ocean views along the way.

All year round it’s an off-leash dog beach from Charman Road up to Plummer Road, but other sections of the beach have varying dog friendly times and zones. Make sure to check the signs!

What I love most about Mentone Dog Beach is that it’s not just one of the best dog beaches in Melbourne, but it’s also one of the best beaches for their humans too. From chilled ocean laps to kayaking or SUPing, it’s a beautiful beach for anyone who just wants to unwind and take in the sun, ocean, and sand.

 

How to Road Trip with a Dog, Sarah Pendergrass, kelpie, van life, sunrise, running, dog run, dog on lead, Australia

Don’t mind if we do! | @allthegearnaeidea

7. Altona Dog Beach

Location: Altona Beach, West Melbourne
Distance from Melbourne CBD: 18km

If your doggo isn’t so confident in deep waters, check out Altona dog beach in Melbourne’s south-west. With wide tidal flats, it’s the perfect spot for dogs who love frolicking in shallow water at low tide. It also has long stretches of sand to run along.

For us humans, Altona Beach also offers the added perks of stellar views of the city, Williamstown, and across Port Phillip Bay. Plus, there’s a friendly local crowd who are always up for a chat.

It’s one of Melbourne’s few 24/7 off-leash dog beaches, so it gets busy when the weather heats up.

 

The 400th throw is a charm | @redheadinajeep

8. Port Melbourne Beach

Location: Port Melbourne
Distance from Melbourne CBD: 5km

Port Melbourne dog beach is probably the closest dog friendly beach to Melbourne CBD. It’s not one of Melb’s biggest off-leash dog beaches – it’s a compact stretch of beach in between Station Pier and Lagoon Pier.

As a bonus, the beach is just a short stroll from the shops and cafes on Bay Street, making it easy to grab a post-swim cuppa or snack.

The southern half of Port Melbourne Beach is a designated off-leash zone all year.

  • 1st April – 31st October Dogs are allowed off-leash on the norther half of Port Melbourne Beach 

 

What I’ve Learnt Moving From the City to the Coast, Lipei Teoh, dog on beach in water

Splash! | @lipeiteoh

9. Tassells Cove (Safety Beach)

Location: Mornington Peninsula
Distance from Melbourne CBD: 80km

If you’re up for a day trip, Safety Beach in Melbourne’s stunning Mornington Peninsula is without a doubt one of the best dog beaches in the area (year-round dog-friendly hours and doggos are welcomed off-leash at all times – we love to see it).

Your dog can sprint along the scenic shoreline and splash in the crystal-calm waters, mingling with other four-legged locals.

Afterwards, explore the cliffside trails and rock pools, finishing off your day with stunning vistas of Safety Beach and Dromana from the top of the cliff walk.

 

My labrador loving life at Safety Beach | @redheadinajeep

10. Flinders Beach

Location: Flinders, Mornington Peninsula
Distance from Melbourne CBD: 78km

Just a short, scenic drive from the quiet town of Flinders, you’ll find the doggie paradise that’s Flinders Beach. The leash-free dog beach section is located north of Dodds Creek. Unleash your pup and let them roam free in designated areas while you enjoy some sun and surf.

Angler? The pier’s a hotspot for fishing. More of a water baby? Dive right in—the snorkelling and scuba diving here are top-notch, complete with Weedy seadragons and even an underwater wreck.

Read more: Best Fishing Spots in Melbourne

 

Some dogs roam free, others get soaked then try to sit on your lap! | @jessleenehme

Dog Beach Do-Dos

The dog beaches in Melbourne are beautiful, shared spaces, and we wanna keep it that way. Here are some rules to follow: 

  • Keep your dog on a leash in non-off-leash areas (obviously)
  • Pick up after your dog and toss it in the bin
  • Be mindful of kids, sun-bathers, surfers, and swimmers 
  • Don’t take your dog into restricted or environmentally sensitive areas – kapish?

Read more: Remember to leave no trace!

Melbourne Dog Beach FAQs

What are the year-round off-leash beaches in Melbourne?

In Melbourne, Altona Beach, Sandringham Beach, St Kilda West Beach, Mentone Beach, and Safety Beach at Tassels Cove dogs can be off-leash year-round. These spots are perfect for giving your dog the freedom to explore, but it’s always wise to double check any seasonal or area-specific restrictions that might be in place.

What are the best dog beaches in Melbourne for dogs that aren’t strong swimmers?

If your four-legged friends aren’t strong swimmers, check out any of the beaches along the Bay Trail like Brighton Beach, Elwood, St Kilda, and Sandy Beach. Altona Beach is also an excellent option with its wide tidal flats offering shallow water for dogs to play in.

What are the best off-leash dog beaches for kayaking or SUP?

If you and your pup love water sports like kayaking or stand-up paddle boarding (SUP), St Kilda Harbour and Brighton beach area are popular spots for both.