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18 Best Dog Walks & Hikes Melbourne 2024

11/09/2023
12 mins read
Dog Walks & Hikes
Source: Annie Thorne

Embark on an unforgettable adventure with your furry friend as you explore the best dog walks and hikes Melbourne has to offer. From serene parklands to stunning coastal trails, Melbourne boasts a myriad of dog-friendly locations that cater to all fitness levels and preferences. Discover the lush landscapes of Yarra Bend Park, wander along the picturesque Melbourne Bay Trail, or venture into the enchanting Dandenong Ranges. Whether you’re a local or a visitor, Melbourne’s diverse dog-friendly walks and hikes are sure to leave you and your canine companion in awe. So, grab your leash and get ready to unleash the adventure with these top dog walks and hikes in Melbourne.

1. Jells Park Walk

Jells Park is a beautiful oasis in Wheelers Hill, offering a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of urban life. The park features a variety of walking paths, including the popular Jells Park and Nortons Park Loop. The walk takes you through lush wetlands, open parklands, and offers stunning lakeside views. With abundant birdlife and picturesque scenery, this walk is perfect for a leisurely stroll with your furry friend.

The park also offers excellent facilities, including toilets, picnic areas, parking, and playgrounds. So, pack a picnic and enjoy a day out with your family, friends, and four-legged companion at Jells Park.

  • Difficulty Rating: Easy
  • Start Location: Jells Park Visitor Centre
  • End Location: Jells Park Visitor Centre (circuit walk)
  • Distance: 6 km
  • Time to Complete: 1.5-2 hours
  • Facilities: Toilets, picnic areas, parking, playgrounds
  • Google Map Link: https://goo.gl/maps/ZtnDcbxmSLcpaZmr5

2. Albert Park Lake

Albert Park Lake is a picturesque park located just a few kilometers from Melbourne’s CBD. The park offers a beautiful walk around the lake, with views of the Melbourne city skyline. The park is home to various bird species and has several picnic areas, making it a great spot for a leisurely walk with your dog.

Albert Park Lake
Source: Bronson Chan

With convenient facilities such as toilets, parking, and picnic areas, Albert Park Lake is a fantastic location for a day out with your furry friend.

  • Difficulty Rating: Easy
  • Start Location: Albert Park Lake car park
  • End Location: Albert Park Lake car park (circuit walk)
  • Distance: 5 km
  • Time to Complete: 1-1.5 hours
  • Facilities: Toilets, parking, picnic areas
  • Google Map Link: https://goo.gl/maps/NW91Cp8azaBCfMAm8

3. Sandringham to Half Moon Bay Walk

The Sandringham to Half Moon Bay Walk is a beautiful coastal walk that offers stunning views of Port Phillip Bay. The walk starts at Sandringham Beach and takes you along the coastline, passing through cliff-top reserves, beaches, and historic sites. The walk is mostly flat and suitable for all fitness levels.

With convenient parking available at Sandringham Beach and nearby cafes and shops, this walk is perfect for a day out with your dog.

  • Difficulty Rating: Easy
  • Start Location: Sandringham Beach
  • End Location: Half Moon Bay
  • Distance: 4 km
  • Time to Complete: 1-1.5 hours
  • Facilities: Parking, nearby cafes and shops
  • Google Map Link: https://goo.gl/maps/dTTBBCKcXAk3B4uz5

4. St Kilda Botanical Gardens

The St Kilda Botanical Gardens provide a peaceful and relaxing environment for a walk with your dog. The gardens feature a diverse range of plants, a conservatory, and several ponds and water features. The well-maintained paths make it easy to navigate the gardens, and the beautiful surroundings make it a perfect location for a leisurely stroll with your furry friend.

With convenient facilities such as toilets, parking, and picnic areas, the St Kilda Botanical Gardens are a fantastic spot for a day out with your dog.

  • Difficulty Rating: Easy
  • Start Location: St Kilda Botanical Gardens entrance
  • End Location: St Kilda Botanical Gardens entrance (circuit walk)
  • Distance: 1.5 km
  • Time to Complete: 30-45 minutes
  • Facilities: Toilets, parking, picnic areas
  • Google Map Link: https://goo.gl/maps/5vmGbajwRrwe1bpw7

5. Lilydale Lake

Lilydale Lake is a beautiful park that offers a scenic walk around the lake. The well-maintained paths make it easy to navigate, and the picturesque surroundings provide a perfect location for a leisurely stroll with your dog. The park also features a playground, making it a great spot for a family day out.

With convenient facilities such as toilets, parking, and picnic areas, Lilydale Lake is a fantastic location for a day out with your furry friend.

  • Difficulty Rating: Easy
  • Start Location: Lilydale Lake car park
  • End Location: Lilydale Lake car park (circuit walk)
  • Distance: 2.5 km
  • Time to Complete: 45-60 minutes
  • Facilities: Toilets, parking, picnic areas, playgrounds
  • Google Map Link: https://goo.gl/maps/X7HycoaGgBGnobD16

6. Flinders Peak Walk at You Yangs Regional Park

Flinders Peak Walk at You Yangs Regional Park is a moderately challenging hike that takes you to the highest point of the park. The 3.2 km walk features about 450 steps and an elevation rise of about 200 meters, offering a rewarding experience for both you and your dog. The park is dog-friendly, making it a great location for an adventurous day out with your canine companion.

With convenient facilities such as toilets, parking, and picnic areas, Flinders Peak Walk is a fantastic option for a challenging and scenic hike with your dog.

  • Difficulty Rating: Moderate
  • Start Location: Turntable car park, You Yangs Regional Park
  • End Location: Flinders Peak
  • Distance: 3.2 km
  • Time to Complete: 1.5-2 hours
  • Facilities: Toilets, parking, picnic areas
  • Google Map Link: https://goo.gl/maps/EtiGfa3mEC9VDEuL7

7. Melbourne Bay Trail

The Melbourne Bay Trail is a 50 km long coastal walk that stretches from Port Melbourne to Seaford1. The trail offers stunning views of Port Phillip Bay and passes through various beaches, parks, and reserves. The walk can be broken into shorter sections, making it suitable for all fitness levels and perfect for a leisurely stroll with your dog.

With convenient facilities such as toilets, parking, picnic areas, and nearby cafes and shops, the Melbourne Bay Trail is an excellent option for a day out with your furry friend.

  • Difficulty Rating: Easy
  • Start Location: Port Melbourne
  • End Location: Seaford
  • Distance: 50 km
  • Time to Complete: Multiple days (can be broken into shorter sections)
  • Facilities: Toilets, parking, picnic areas, nearby cafes and shops
  • Google Map Link: https://goo.gl/maps/h2ZCd2zBjRMB4JgT7

8. Darebin Creek

Darebin Creek offers a peaceful and scenic walk along the creek, stretching from Fitzroy North to Bundoora. The 25 km trail takes you through a mix of parklands, wetlands, and urban areas, providing a diverse and interesting experience for both you and your dog. The walk is relatively flat and easy to navigate, making it suitable for all fitness levels.

With convenient facilities such as toilets, parking, picnic areas, and nearby cafes and shops, Darebin Creek is a fantastic option for a leisurely walk with your canine companion.

  • Difficulty Rating: Easy
  • Start Location: Darebin Creek, Fitzroy North
  • End Location: Darebin Creek, Bundoora
  • Distance: 25 km
  • Time to Complete: 5-6 hours
  • Facilities: Toilets, parking, picnic areas, nearby cafes and shops
  • Google Map Link: https://goo.gl/maps/2wXC4xtoa4Uax7rA6

9. Tassels Cove, Safety Beach

Tassels Cove in Safety Beach is a hidden gem perfect for a short and easy walk with your dog. Starting at the Safety Beach Sailing Club, the walk takes you along the coastline to the picturesque Tassels Cove. The stunning views of the ocean and the peaceful atmosphere make this walk a delightful experience.

The area also offers convenient parking and is close to nearby cafes and shops, making it an ideal spot for a quick walk and a coffee break with your canine companion.

  • Difficulty Rating: Easy
  • Start Location: Safety Beach Sailing Club
  • End Location: Tassels Cove
  • Distance: 1.5 km
  • Time to Complete: 30-45 minutes
  • Facilities: Parking, nearby cafes and shops
  • Google Map Link: https://goo.gl/maps/6AdV4bSj4Fdt9WpF6

10. Balcombe Estuary Boardwalk Circuit, Mount Martha

The Balcombe Estuary Boardwalk Circuit in Mount Martha is a tranquil and scenic walk that takes you through a beautiful estuary environment. The easy circuit walk starts at Mount Martha Beach and offers stunning views of the water, lush vegetation, and abundant birdlife.

The walk is perfect for a leisurely stroll with your dog, and the area provides convenient facilities such as toilets, parking, and picnic areas. So, pack a picnic and enjoy a relaxing day out with your furry friend at Balcombe Estuary.

  • Difficulty Rating: Easy
  • Start Location: Mount Martha Beach
  • End Location: Mount Martha Beach (circuit walk)
  • Distance: 3.5 km
  • Time to Complete: 1-1.5 hours
  • Facilities: Toilets, parking, picnic areas
  • Google Map Link: https://goo.gl/maps/hTkuWakm9zaDPSEC9

11. Leash-free Community Forest Walk, Mount Martha

The Leash-free Community Forest Walk in Mount Martha is a fantastic off-leash walk for your dog to explore and enjoy. The easy circuit walk starts at Forest Drive and takes you through a beautiful forest environment, offering a peaceful and natural setting for you and your dog to enjoy.

The area also provides convenient facilities such as parking and a picnic area with a rotunda, making it an ideal spot for a leisurely walk and a picnic with your canine companion.

  • Difficulty Rating: Easy
  • Start Location: Forest Drive, Mount Martha
  • End Location: Forest Drive, Mount Martha (circuit walk)
  • Distance: 2 km
  • Time to Complete: 45-60 minutes
  • Facilities: Parking, picnic area with rotunda
  • Google Map Link: https://goo.gl/maps/wpiRwHPdwJDKhP7y7

12. Mornington Dog-friendly Walk

The Mornington Dog-friendly Walk is a delightful coastal adventure that offers a mix of sandy beaches, rocky shores, and small caves to explore. Starting at Mornington Pier, the walk takes you along the coastline to Mills Beach, where you can enjoy the beautiful surroundings and let your dog play in the sand and water.

This walk is suitable for all fitness levels and offers a great opportunity to bond with your dog while enjoying the stunning views of Port Phillip Bay. With nearby cafes and shops, it’s an excellent spot for a quick break before or after your walk.

  • Difficulty Rating: Easy to Moderate
  • Start Location: Mornington Pier
  • End Location: Mills Beach
  • Distance: 3 km
  • Time to Complete: 1-1.5 hours
  • Facilities: Parking, nearby cafes and shops
  • Google Map Link: https://goo.gl/maps/Kav2GKvxZ1mGdmB1A

13. Yarra Bend Track

Yarra Bend Track is located within Yarra Bend Park, Melbourne’s largest natural bushland park. The park offers diverse landscapes, including steep river escarpments, open woodlands, and formal parklands. The track follows the winding Yarra River, providing beautiful views and plenty of opportunities for your dog to enjoy the water.

The park is a multi-zone area, meaning dogs must be leashed in specific areas. With convenient facilities such as toilets, parking, and picnic areas, Yarra Bend Track is a fantastic location for a day out with your dog.

  • Difficulty Rating: Easy
  • Start Location: Yarra Bend Park, Fairfield
  • End Location: Yarra Bend Park, Fairfield (circuit walk)
  • Distance: 5 km
  • Time to Complete: 1.5-2 hours
  • Facilities: Toilets, parking, picnic areas
  • Google Map Link: https://goo.gl/maps/RXHGqcu4hHsRdV1cA

14. Mathias Track

Mathias Track is a peaceful walk located in the Dandenong Ranges National Park. The well-maintained track takes you through lush fern gullies and tall mountain ash forests, offering a serene and natural environment for you and your dog to enjoy.

Please note that dogs must be on-leash while walking on Mathias Track. With convenient parking available at the Mathias Track car park, this walk is perfect for a relaxing day out with your furry friend.

  • Difficulty Rating: Easy
  • Start Location: Mathias Track car park, Dandenong Ranges National Park
  • End Location: Mathias Track car park, Dandenong Ranges National Park (circuit walk)
  • Distance: 4 km
  • Time to Complete: 1-1.5 hours
  • Facilities: Parking
  • Google Map Link: https://goo.gl/maps/8G4439mMXUewdEuY9

15. Trentham Falls Trail

Trentham Falls Trail is a short and easy walk that leads to the stunning Trentham Falls, one of the highest single-drop waterfalls in Victoria. The walk offers beautiful views of the falls and the surrounding forest, making it a perfect location for a leisurely stroll with your dog.

With convenient parking available at the Trentham Falls car park, this walk is an excellent option for a quick and scenic adventure with your canine companion.

  • Difficulty Rating: Easy
  • Start Location: Trentham Falls car park
  • End Location: Trentham Falls
  • Distance: 1 km
  • Time to Complete: 30-45 minutes
  • Facilities: Parking
  • Google Map Link: https://goo.gl/maps/TM1s4z79JKAY965z5

16. Domino Trail

The Domino Trail is a historic and scenic walk that follows the route of the former railway line between Trentham and Lyonville. The trail takes you through a mix of forest, farmland, and historic railway infrastructure, making it an interesting and picturesque experience for both you and your dog. The trail is relatively flat and easy to navigate, making it suitable for all fitness levels.

With convenient parking available at both Trentham and Lyonville Railway Stations, the Domino Trail is a fantastic option for a leisurely walk with your canine companion.

  • Difficulty Rating: Easy
  • Start Location: Trentham Railway Station
  • End Location: Lyonville Railway Station
  • Distance: 6 km
  • Time to Complete: 2-2.5 hours
  • Facilities: Parking, picnic areas
  • Google Map Link: https://goo.gl/maps/QyKW3ykNdobVUH4q7

17. Old Olinda Golf Course Dog Park

The Old Olinda Golf Course Dog Park is a fantastic off-leash area for your dog to run and play. With stunning views across the valley and a children’s playground, this park offers a great day out for the whole family. The park features a 2 km circuit walk, perfect for a leisurely stroll with your furry friend.

With convenient parking available at the Old Olinda Golf Course car park, this dog park is an excellent option for a fun and relaxing day out with your canine companion.

  • Difficulty Rating: Easy
  • Start Location: Old Olinda Golf Course car park
  • End Location: Old Olinda Golf Course car park (circuit walk)
  • Distance: 2 km
  • Time to Complete: 45-60 minutes
  • Facilities: Parking
  • Google Map Link: https://goo.gl/maps/KkeCnrtb8tDCZ65E9

18. Plenty Gorge

Plenty Gorge is a beautiful park located in Bundoora, offering a range of walking trails for you and your dog to explore. The park features diverse landscapes, including open grasslands, woodlands, and wetlands, providing a picturesque and natural environment for a leisurely stroll with your furry friend.

With convenient facilities such as toilets, parking, and picnic areas, Plenty Gorge is a fantastic location for a day out with your dog.

  • Difficulty Rating: Easy
  • Start Location: Plenty Gorge Park, Bundoora
  • End Location: Plenty Gorge Park, Bundoora (circuit walk)
  • Distance: Various trails
  • Time to Complete: Varies depending on chosen trail
  • Facilities: Toilets, parking, picnic areas
  • Google Map Link: https://goo.gl/maps/1t2eDy4sYb2yoqri6

Best Dog Walks & Hikes Melbourne at a Glance

Our list of best dog walks and hikes in Melbourne goes like this:

  • The best park walk near Melbourne: Jells Park Walk
  • The best coastal walk near Melbourne: Sandringham to Half Moon Bay Walk
  • The best off-leash forest walk: Leash-free Community Forest Walk, Mount Martha
  • The most scenic waterfall walk: Trentham Falls Trail
  • The best walk with panoramic views: Flinders Peak Walk at You Yangs Regional Park
  • The best urban trail near Melbourne: Yarra Bend Track

Explore these fantastic dog-friendly walks and hikes with your furry friend and discover the diverse landscapes and beautiful scenery Melbourne has to offer.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are dogs allowed off-leash on these walks and hikes?

While some of the walks and hikes on the list have designated off-leash areas, most of them require dogs to be on a leash. It’s essential to check for any signage or information about leash requirements before visiting a location with your dog.

What is the longest dog-friendly walk in Melbourne?

The Melbourne Bay Trail is the longest dog-friendly walk in Melbourne, stretching over 50 kilometers along Port Phillip Bay. The trail can be broken into shorter sections, making it suitable for all fitness levels.

Are there any dog-friendly walks with waterfalls?

Yes, the Trentham Falls Trail is a dog-friendly walk that leads to the stunning Trentham Falls, one of the highest single-drop waterfalls in Victoria.

Can I access these locations using public transport?

Many of the locations within Melbourne, such as Yarra Bend Park and Albert Park Lake, are easily accessible by public transport. For some destinations outside the city, like the Dandenong Ranges or You Yangs Regional Park, it may be more convenient to rent a car or join a guided tour.

Are there any facilities like toilets, picnic areas, and parking available at these locations?

Most of the walks and hikes on the list have facilities such as toilets, parking, and picnic areas. However, it’s always a good idea to double-check the availability of facilities before planning your walk or hike.

Madie

Madie is a lifestyle and travel writer at HumbleTrail. With her roots in the sunny coastal town of Eden, New South Wales.

She moved to Melbourne straight after high school and is now the go-to person in the team for the best local gems around Melbourne. She's got her ways in staying up to date with the upcoming cafes in the city before they become mainstream.

Madie's day starts off at 5 AM for her morning gym session. By 10 AM, you'll find her energized with her second coffee of the day, often sharing her latest K-pop crushes with the team.

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