Dog-Friendly Cafes & Walking Tracks
Dog-friendly walks in the Dandenong Ranges, that are also wonderful for their humans, can be found despite the fact that we are surrounded by a few thousand acres of National Park. We even have some great dog-friendly cafes.
Mathias Track is possibly the best-known walking trail that allows dogs, horses, and mountain bike riders. It is an 8km return walk from one end to the other and can be accessed from Falls Road, Silvan Road or the Hamer Arboretum.
Other great tracks are Rock Track, The Hamer Arboretum and it is even possible to walk all the way from Sassafras to Emerald then onto Cockatoo!
Dog-friendly accommodation is also available in the Dandenong Ranges with some of the best bed and breakfast hosts in the hills.
The best off-lead dog walk in the Dandenongs – Olinda Golf course
The Olinda golf course ceased being used to play golf some years ago and is currently being used by many people for walking, with and without dogs. It is an expansive area with stunning views, pack a picnic maybe and enjoy this special spot. From the golf course, it is easy to connect with Rock Track and the Hamer Arboretum (on-lead).
Another great spot for off-lead walking is in Emerald at ‘Pepis Land’ Find the location on our map.
11 of the Best Dog-Friendly walking tracks near Melbourne
Rules and conditions can change, please let us know if any of these tracks have signage restricting access for dogs.
- Mathias Track: Easy
- Rock Track Circuit Walk: 3 km’s | 1 Hour Easy
- Rock Track- Mathias Track Circuit Walk: 6 km’s Easy > Moderate Walk
- Glenfern Valley Bushlands: 6km’s Easy > Moderate
- Birdsland Reserve: Easy Walk
- The Tan Track: Sherbrooke. 2.7 km | 40 mins | Easy Walk
- Dandenong Ranges Tourist Track – Sassafras to Emerald – 15km, one-way/ 5 hours | Moderate Walk
- Emerald to Cockatoo – 12kms return | Easy > Moderate
- Silvan to Mt Evelyn: Olinda Creek Walking Track – 9.2kms return | Easy > Moderate
- Cardinia Reservoir Park – 3 km’s | 1 Hour along Messmate Track | Easy > Moderate Walks
- Old Olinda Golf Course Dog Park – Off-lead area with stunning views across the valley.
Other wonderful dog-friendly walking areas nearby:
- Liverpool Road Retarding Basin This is a really nice place to walk, it follows around a small lake and walkers can either follow the entire outer circuit of cut through the middle on a few different paths. It always seems to have plenty of enthusiastic walkers out and the views across to the Dandenongs are super. Get Directions
- Lilydale Lake is another good walking area. Dog walkers can follow the path around the lake, on-lead, and then let the dogs run off the leash at the far end where there is a small creek they can swim in and even an agility type course. Get Directions to the dog off-lead area.
Dog-Friendly Beaches around Melbourne and the Great Ocean Road
Down along the Great Ocean Road we have a few great all year round off-leash beaches for dogs too.
It is possible to bring dogs to a number of accommodation places in the Dandenongs, please be sure to check the requirements of any property prior to booking.
Parks and Gardens
Some of our parks and gardens do allow dogs-onlead, which is wonderful. Rules can change though, so please always read regulations at the entry points before taking your dog in.
Currently, the Alfred Nicholas Gardens, George Tindale and Pirianda Gardens allow well-behaved pooches in, always on lead. These two gardens are stunning in the Autumn and wonderful all year round. The Mt Dandenong Arboretum is another lovely spot too.
Dogs / Animals on Public Transport from PTV Website
Animals can travel subject to the following conditions:
Dogs must be muzzled and on leads to be permitted on metropolitan trains.
Other small animals are permitted on the metropolitan train, tram and bus, provided that they are carried in an approved animal container. For approved animal containers, please see V/Line guidelines below.
Animals other than dogs and assistance animals are not allowed to travel on public transport unless they are carried in an approved container as stated above.
It is strongly advised that customers with dogs do not travel on weekdays between 7 am and 9 am and between 4 pm and 6 pm.
Read more from the Public Transport Victoria Website