South of Melbourne lies the beautiful Mornington Peninsula, and it just so happens to have some of the best dog friendly walks in Victoria. Here’s our fave dog friendly walks in Mornington Peninsula that both dogs and their humans will enjoy.


We acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the Country on which these adventures take place who have occupied and cared for these lands and waters for thousands of years. We pay our respects to them and recognise that sovereignty was never ceded.

7 Best Dog Friendly Walks in Mornington Peninsula

A short one hour drive from Melbourne CBD and you’ll find one of the most glorious and dog friendly suburbs in Victoria – Mornington Peninsula. We don’t know what it is about this laidback seaside town but they’re pretty dang dog friendly (as it should be!)

With plenty of off-leash areas (and heaps of dog friendly beaches) for your furry friend to explore freely, Mornington Peninsula Shire is a doggy playground. Not only are there plenty of dog friendly walks to do, but many of the region’s best wineries and cellar doors, and gourmet food stores are dog friendly (including a quirky retro-inspired dog-only cafe).

You gotta love a town that loves its dogs and lets them tag along for the adventure, whatever that adventure may be!

Read more: 10 Bits of Gear for Adventure Dogs

To get you inspired, we’ve rounded up the best dog friendly walks in Mornington Peninsula for your next visit with your four-legged pal. These walks have earned a spot on this list based on their outstanding reviews (Google, AllTrails etc) from other keen hikers and their dogs, so you know they’re golden.

If you’re after some of the best dog friendly walks in other parts of our beautiful country, we’ve got you and pooch covered;

Dog Friendly Walks in Mornington Peninsula Shire

1. McRae Beach Walk

Nearest town: McCrae
Distance: 4.2km
Time: 1 hour
Leash rules: On-leash

The McRae Beach Walk is a lovely dog friendly walk that takes just over an hour to complete and shows off all that the coastal town has to offer. This walk kicks off at McCrae Lighthouse and follows the Bay Trail, continuing along a bushy trail that gives you glimpses of the beautiful McCrae Beach.

Known for its colourful boat sheds, McCrae Beach is one of the cleanest beaches on the Mornington Peninsula and is very popular with swimmers and sunbakers (and of course, doggos). Dogs are allowed both on-lead and off-lead at McCrae Beach, but only at designated times, so be sure to check the signs.

When you finish your walk, there are plenty of cafes to grab a cuppa and a bite to eat as you sit back and marvel at the gorgeous McCrae Beach.

2. Balcombe Estuary Boardwalk

Nearest town: Mount Martha
Distance: 6km
Time: 1.5 hours
Leash rules: On-leash/off-leash

The Balcombe Estuary Boardwalk is a favourite walk amongst both locals and visitors, and it makes sense why. This walk has it all – a lovely wooden boardwalk that runs alongside the flowing Balcombe Creek, plenty of diverse wildlife to spot, three off-leash spots for your pup to run wild and of course, the stunning Mount Martha Beach.


Dog Friendly Walks Mornington Peninsula, Visit Vic, Bathing Boxes, Mt Martha, beach


Although this walk is close to houses and shops, you’d never guess it thanks to the seriously relaxing atmosphere as you walk along the creekside and watch keen fishermen try their luck and friendly locals chatting away. Keep your eyes peeled for echidnas, Brushtail, and Ringtail possums, Sugar gliders, and several microbat species!

At the end of the walk you’ll find the golden sands of Mount Martha Beach. Dogs are permitted on-lead on the beach before 9am and after 7pm during daylight saving periods and on-lead at all other times of the year.

3. Mount Martha Forest

Nearest town: Mornington
Distance: 2.5km
Time: 30 minutes
Leash rules: Off-leash

Looking for an entirely off-leash walk for your adventurous pooch? Head to the Mount Martha Community Forest. Backing onto The Briars (a beautiful former homestead), there are countless dirt paths and trails to follow and explore.

With views of cattle and laughing kookaburras all around, there’s plenty to keep you and your dog entertained as you meander through the forest. Water dogs will particularly love Mount Martha Forest with a peaceful creek that runs through the forest just ripe for splashing in.

4. Sorrento Park to Millionaires Walk

Nearest Town: Sorrento
Distance: 4km
Time: 1 hour
Leash rules: On-leash

Keen to see how the other half lives? Check out the Sorrento Park to Millionaires Walk. Starting in the lush Sorrento Park, this stunning clifftop walk gives you access to breathtaking water views across Port Phillip to the Bellarine Peninsula, Melbourne, and Mount Dandenong.

It’s called Millionaires Walk because the trail gets you up close and personal to some pretty killer mansions as you pretty much walk through the backyards of the mega-affluent Victorians.

Millionaires Walk makes up a small part of the Sorrento Portsea Artists’ Trail, with four of the 14 sites that comprise the trail located along Millionaires Walk. You’ll even find paintings by Sir Arthur Streeton, Arthur Boyd, and Ray Hodgkinson along the way.

5. Flinders Coastal Circuit

Nearest town: Flinders
Distance: 3.5km
Time: 1 hour
Leash rules: On-leash/off-leash

The Flinders Coastal Circuit is one of the most peaceful and beautiful dog friendly walks in Mornington. With plenty of amazing scenery and off-leash fun for your dog, this circuit is a must-do.

Flinders is steeped in history, a former cable station in 1869, and there are plenty of information boards along the walk to brush you up on your Australiana knowledge.

A pretty easy walk, there’s one tough section of steps, but the climb is worth it for some killer views over Western Port Bay.

Stop and splash about in the numerous rockpools, before strolling back along the beach to the Flinders Pier.


Dog Friendly Walks Mornington Peninsula, Visit Vic, Flinders Foreshore, pier, jetty

6. Safety Beach Walk

Nearest town: Dromana
Distance: 7km
Time: 1.5 hours
Leash rules: On-leash/off-leash

The Safety Beach Walk, part of the 30km Bay Trail, encompasses the Safety Beach stretch of Port Phillip Bay with Arthurs Seat to the south and Mount Martha to the north.

Starting in Dromana, the path winds its way along the foreshore reserve and passes some of the Peninsula’s famous colourful bathing boxes. You can either stroll the boardwalk or walk along the stretches of beach (just be mindful of restrictions and read the signs).


My dog Scout enjoying Safety Beach!


At the end of the walk, you’ll find Safety Beach, a secluded leash-free haven for your dog to run around and cool off in the water.

7. Mount Martha Beach Walk

Nearest town: Mount Martha
Distance: 5km
Time: 1 hour
Leash rules: On-leash/off-leash

Wedged between Safety Beach and Mornington is Mount Martha and the popular Mount Martha Beach Walk. Another section of the Bay Trail, this walk encompasses four leash-free beaches so you and your dog can have all the water fun.

Start this walk at either Hawker Beach or Fossil Beach, and follow the esplanade north or south, stopping at the various beaches along the way.

Fossil Beach, Birdrock Beach, Dava Beach, and Hawker Beach are all part of this walk, allowing your dog to go nuts jumping in the waves and digging in the golden sand. Dava Beach is a continuation of Birdrock Beach (and the only way to enter is via Birdrock Beach), while Fossil Beach is pretty unique in the fact it’s made up mostly of rocks, with fossils displaying evidence of sea life from 10-15 million years ago.

Safety Tips for Dog Friendly Walks

Unless you’re in a designated off-leash area, you need to keep your dog on-leash at all times. This isn’t just for their safety (1080 baits can be found in various parks and can be lethal for domestic pets), but also for the safety of local fauna. 

Oh, and of course don’t forget to always pick up after your doggy and dispose of the rubbish in a designated bin. Don’t bag it and leave it on the floor thinking you’ll come back for it – too many people forget!

Dog Friendly Walks in Mornington Peninsula FAQs

What is the best dog friendly walk in Mornington Peninsula?

The best dog friendly walk in Mornington Peninsula is the Mount Martha Beach Walk because it passes through four off-leash areas and beaches (Hawker Beach, Birdrock Beach, Fossil Beach, and Dava Beach).

What is the longest dog friendly walk in Mornington Peninsula?

Safety Beach walk is one of the longest dog friendly trails in Mornington Peninsula, clocking in at 7km.

Where are dogs allowed in Mornington Peninsula?

There are plenty of great places dogs are allowed in Mornington Peninsula, from Fossil Beach to Miss Drew’s Bakery and Dog Cafe, Green Olive at Red Hill Winery, Mornington Peninsula Brewery, and a range of dog friendly parks.

Can you take your dog for a walk on Bushrangers Bay?

Bushrangers Bay is located in the Mornington Peninsula National Park, where dogs are prohibited. So no, you can’t take your dog for a walk on Bushrangers Bay.

Life’s a Beach for Dogs in Mornington Peninsula

There ya have it, the best dog friendly walks in Morington Peninsula to sink your feet/paws into. Have you done any of these walking tracks? Which one will you tackle first? Also, let us know if we’ve missed out on any epic walks – go on, sharing is caring!


Feature photo thanks to Visit Vic