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Great Places To Walk Your Dog
In Melbourne, you never know when the sun will burst forth and make for the perfect time to walk your dog. That’s why it pays to be prepared. With Spot’s handy list, you will never be short of ideas for great locations where your dog can roam and sniff to its heart’s (and nose’s) content.
- Ruffey Lake Park, Doncaster– When the name starts with “Ruff,” you know it’s doggie Xanadu. Large portions of the park are off-leash, and you can enjoy multiple walking paths with your pet. Dogs are discouraged from swimming in the lake, however, and you need to be aware of other areas where they are not allowed.
- Edinburgh Gardens – Queen Victoria was devoted to her dogs, so it’s only fitting that half of this park, created through a land grant from the queen herself, is off-leash. When your walk is over, you can head to nearby North Fitzroy to eat at Breakfast Thieves or another spot that lets you dine with your furry friends (usually outdoors).
- Jells Park – Your dog will need to stay on a lead here as you take in lush views of the lake and its birds. The loop walk that starts at the visitors centre is a great place to relax and refresh. Bird-lovers will adore Jells, but it may not be the best pick for retrievers who drool over ducks.
- St. Kilda Botanical Gardens – Your dog can’t play chess (let us know if it can; we’d like to get you in front of a camera to talk about your canine Kasparov), but you or your kids can on the giant game board at this garden. The gardens also feature a gazebo, glasshouse and eco-centre offering lessons on sustainability. Those activities, however, are probably best saved for trips without your pet. When your dog tags along, be sure to keep it on leash and away from playgrounds. That will be easy as the gardens offer more than 800 different species of trees for your furry pal to wander through. Many couples get married here, so checkout the gardens for your own ceremony or enjoy seeing the brides and grooms as they celebrate their big day.
- Darebin Parklands – Located in Ivanhoe, this park’s 33 hectares offer plentiful walking paths and an off-leash area in the northeast corner. Dogs may swim in the creek-fed pool near the off-leash area. Plenty of dog-owners enjoy strolls here, but keep your eyes out for snakes from October to May.
- For pups with wanderlust, a fenced dog park is best. You will find a big one at Clayton Reserve in North Melbourne. Your pooch will find playmates there most of the time, too.
- If you love surf and sand, check out Ricketts Point Dog Beach, a full kilometre of off-leash dog heaven. The beach is narrow, so you may want to check the tide report before heading over. For a longer walk with ocean views, stroll the nearby Bay Trail, which takes you up into the cliffs above the sand. You could even take the 2.7 kilometre path to Mentone Dog Beach. You may have to pay to park at the Beaumaris Yacht Club unless you can find street parking nearby.
- Why just walk when your dog can run an obstacle course? If your dog likes to jump, or you’d like to do some agility training, check out Aranga Reserve in Donvale. Your pup can run hurdles and weave between stationary objects until it’s worn out.
- A strip of Sandridge Beach, from between the rock groyne opposite Barak Road and the rock groyne opposite Cumberland Road, welcomes dogs to romp and swim off leash. Just be sure to put the leash back on when you are outside that area.
- A bit further afield, in busy Frankston, The Pines Flora and Fauna Reserve, offers multiple walking tracks. Your dog can even splash through a few creeks. If you are looking for a place that feel a little wild, this is your spot.