You and your dog can both run free at these open spaces in the city

St Kilda dog beaches

There are two off-leash dog beaches in St Kilda: The stretch of sand along Pier Road (look for the kite surfing place), and between Brooks Jetty and the car park towards St Kilda Marina (just down from Luna Park). You and your bestie can frolic in the shallow water all year round. St Kilda.

Princes Park

There are two designated off-leash areas in this Carlton North oasis taking in 38 hectares of parkland, sporting ovals, children’s playgrounds and a lawn bowls club. The more popular one is off Bowen Crescent – stop off for some doggy socialising before jogging the circuit complete with interval exercise stations. Plus, all the cafés on Rathdowne Street are only metres away! Parkville.

Merri Creek Trail

This 25km long trail zigs and zags through parks, wetlands, Coburg Lake Reserve, the Brunswick Velodrome and CERES Community Environment Park (where you can stop for a coffee). As you dip down into the greenery following the creek, you’d barely know that bustling Brunswick and North Fitzroy were just around the corner. Perfect for a weekend walk when you and your pooch want to get away from it all – without leaving the city. Fitzroy.

Coot Picnic Area

A huge 225 hectares of parkland takes in the areas around Albert Park and the Albert Park Lake – but did you know there is an expansive off-leash dog area? The Coot Picnic Area at the far end has BBQs and a playground, plus you can take in the beautiful 5km walk around the lake – a grassy wetlands habitat for nearly 200 bird species. South Melbourne.

Darebin Parklands

It’s almost too good to be true: 33 hectares of parklands including a huge off-leash area, free electric BBQs, and on-leash walking trails – all only 8km from the city. Darebin Parklands has been everything from an orchard to a quarry to a tip, but now it’s a pretty escape from the bustle of city life. Alphington.

First published on . Updated on .

By Bianca O'Neill   |  

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