The seaside is a great place to spend time walking your dog in the sunshine and fresh air. But since the waterfront can be crowded in the Summer, some places prohibit dog walking.

When taking your pet for a walk on the beach, be aware of the signs that clearly state if and under what conditions a walk with a pet is allowed. Always have a leash with you and only unleash your dog in designated areas.

In the Summertime, Most coastal areas restrict dog walking times from 9 am to 7 pm. Outside these time limits, animals must be leashed.

Walk your pets off-leash in designated areas. In addition, remind yourself of the following rules before taking your dog for a walk:

  • Read the instructions on signs;
  • Prohibited areas;
  • The use of a leash, especially in designated areas;
  • Mandatory collection and disposal of feces;
  • Leashing your dog and the need to control your pet on local beaches;
  • Pay attention to your dog’s behaviour so that it does not cause damage to nature, other pets, children or adults.

Which beaches allow dogs off-leash?

You won’t need a leash on beaches such as:

  • Flinders. The vast expanse of Flinders Beach stretches along the coastline, nestled between the tranquil waters of Dodds Creek and the meandering Manton Creek
  • Mornington. Limited off-street parking is available for accessing Fosters Beach through a walking track, located across from #630 The Esplanade. Opposite the Royal Hotel, there are steep stairs leading down to a pebble and sand beach known as Royal Beach
  • Mt Martha. Hawker Beach can be reached by descending a steep fire access track that leads to the beach, located opposite Helena Street
  • Safety Beach. Tassells Cove is a small sandy beach situated between Marina Cove and Bruce Road, with limited parking available
  • Somers. Somers Beach stretches over 200 meters of pristine sandy shoreline, located to the east from the base of the iconic ‘hundred steps’

Kindly take note that there are specific times when dogs are allowed to be off-leash at Somers Beach (Refer to the information below).

Which beaches are leash-free from 7 pm to 9 am

You are free to walk your pet untethered from 7 am to 9 pm on these beaches

  • McCrae. McCrae Beach spans 300 meters of sandy coastline, located east of a designated point that is 25 meters beyond the car park, opposite Margaret Street;
  • Mt Eliza. Daveys Bay – A sandy beach accessed via the termination of Daveys Bay Lane. Crescent Bay – reached through the Canadian Bay Lane car park. Mount Eliza Shore – positioned amidst Freemans Road and Williams Road;
  • Mt Martha. Avian Cliff Beach – Accessible via Dava Beach down a staircase. Dava Cove – A sandy coast reached via a steep set of stairs, nestled between Shanns Avenue and Birdro;
  • Portsea. Shelley Beach – nestled between Franklin Road and Hemston Avenue;
  • Rosebud. Rosebud Sands – A sandy beach stretching 100 meters to the west and 200 meters to the east of the car park opposite Murray Anderson Dr;
  • Rye. Rye Sands – positioned between Daly Avenue and Shirlow Avenue;
  • Safety Beach/Dromana. Secure Haven Beach – located opposite the B.P. petrol station, at the corner of Nepean Highway (with limited parking);
  • Somers. Somers Sands – spanning 300 meters, located to the west of the base of the ‘centenary stairs’;
  • Sorrento. Sorrento Sands – positioned 100 meters east of the Sorrento Sailing Club, extending to the ‘Western Sister’.

Government-operated beaches

The Shire government does not have full control over all the beaches on the peninsula’s coastline. Dogs cannot walk the beaches off-leash in the following areas:

  • Balnarring
  • Blairgowrie
  • Blairgowrie Ocean Beaches
  • Cape Schanck
  • Crib Point
  • Dromana
  • Fingal Beach
  • Gunnamatta Surf Beach
  • Merricks
  • Point Leo
  • Point Nepean
  • Portsea Surf Beaches
  • Rye Ocean Beaches
  • Shoreham
  • Somers
  • Sorrento Back Beaches
  • St Andrews Beach
  • Stony Point

Walking dogs is also prohibited in Mornington National Park to ensure the protection of vulnerable flora and fauna. The park is home to more than 32 animal species, including rare species such as plovers, migratory shorebirds, marsupials, a variety of reptiles, and others. This ban is in place to preserve their vital habitats and ensure their survival.

Dog owners must be responsible

Law-abiding pet owners should always carry special bags for cleaning up excrement. Failure to do so may result in a fine of $100+.

Anyone walking a dog on public property must have all the necessary tools to collect and dispose of biological material left behind by the pet. If you do not have these hygiene aids when walking with your pet, you may be fined.

So, be careful and walk your pets in public areas in compliance with all the rules. Don’t cause trouble for yourself or the people around you!