Melbourne is renowned for its parks and gardens and while the daily ritual of walking your dog may at some times feel so tiresome that you simply can't be bothered, why not take advantage of all this city has to offer? Take a look at your dog, has it been a while since you took out the lead and ventured out? Or maybe your daily routine needs a shake up and you're tired of your same route. Either way, below are some of the best places to take your dog (and you) for a good old fashioned walk.
Melbourne has heaps of paths and no doubt there is one in your area, providing a great way to walk/jog/cycle away from cars, roads and people who may not be too keen on your dog stopping to say hello while they're trying to have a coffee. Some of the best include:
The Tan - an iconic track in the heart of the city, the TAN is a 3.8km track which circles the botanical gardens. Once a horse track for the well heeled, the TAN is now the perfect place for a walk or run and is also dog friendly.
Albert Park Lake - A 5km running and walking dog friendly track which circles the picturesque Albert Park Lake. A popular spot for all, this track always has plenty of other dogs around
Princes Park - a 3km well shaded track with pleasant views makes for an excellent place to walk your dog. At the end, you may even be able to let your dog have a run off leash on one of the ovals.
Jells Park - approximately 2.5 km, this walking/jogging track combines open parkland with open bush settings. This walk can be easily extended by walking past the lake into Jells Park South.
2. DOG BEACHES
Providing an endless space for your dog to run, and perfect for dogs who love water, dog beaches provide great room for exercise and dog socialising.
St Kilda Beach - Dogs are only allowed between Brooks Jetty and the northern end of the carpark towards St Kilda Marina. This beach has a wide beach, paved pathways and grassed park area. A very popular beach for dogs, you're bound to find a dog for yours to play around with.
Brighton Dog Beach - open spaces and shallow water for dogs to splash around in
Port Melbourne Beach - fantastic beach with a pier
Hampton Beach - beautiful area and not so far away that you need to be out all day.
3. OFF LEASH PARKS
Off leash parks provide great open space for your dog to run around and socialise without the mess of sand and water, although you may encounter a mud puddle or two that your dog insists on rolling in.
1. Victoria Park, Kew - A popular spot for dogs, this park also has footy and cricket teams that share the ground, so during footy season, the ground isn't available on Sunday afternoons, but there is a regular dog group which visits here every day around 4-5pm.
2. Ruffey Lake Park, Doncaster - this park has wide open spaces which are nearly all off lead.
3. Darebin Parklands - approximately 33 hectares, this is a beautiful space to explore with your dog. Only 8km from the city and with a large, safe area along Darebin Creek for your dog to run and play.
While letting your dog off leash is fantastic way to exercise your dog, please remember to clean up after your dog and that dogs are not allowed (depending on local laws) within 20-40 m of a children's playground. They must be trained and able to be called back. Other than this happy walking!