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April 2024

Dog-Friendly Hikes


Explore Australia’s stunning landscapes with your dog! Discover our guide to the best dog-friendly hikes. With trails accessible from every major Australian city, adventure is out there all year long.

Dog-Friendly Hikes Melbourne

  1. Melbourne Bay Trail: This 50km trail stretches from Port Melbourne to Seaford along Port Phillip Bay's coastline. It's a moderate difficulty trail where dogs need to be on a leash. Along the way, there are dog-friendly beaches like Port Melbourne, Brighton, and St Kilda where your dog can enjoy some time off lead.

  2. Hobsons Bay Coastal Trail: Another on-leash trail, 23km in length, offering a moderate hike. It starts at the Westgate Bridge, winding past various landscapes and ends at Skeleton Creek.

  3. Yarra Bend Park: Offering both on and off-leash areas, this Fairfield-based park features a range of walks, from a quick 20-minute stroll to a 2-hour hike amidst beautiful wooded landscapes.

  4. Mathias Track: Located in the Dandenong Ranges National Park, this peaceful walk through lush fern gullies and tall mountain ash forests is perfect for an outing with your dog – though they must remain on a leash at all times.

  5. Trentham Falls Trail: While not in Melbourne itself, this beautiful waterfall is an easy one-hour drive from Melbourne. A 3km walk from Trentham leads you to Trentham Falls. This trail offers stunning views and is suitable for all fitness levels. Dogs must be kept on lead.

Dog-Friendly Hikes Perth

  1. Whistlepipe Gully Walk in Kalamunda: This scenic 3.5km trail offers beautiful views, a flowing river, and even the ruins of an old house. It's a leash-required walk that's particularly stunning from July to November.

  2. Bells Rapids Walk Trail in Brigadoon: Known for its stunning views and the chance to see local wildlife, this 2.5-kilometer trail is perfect after winter rains when the rapids are in full flow. Some sections allow you to have your dog off lead, but be mindful of signage and keep your dog on lead when required.

  3. Sixty Foot Falls in Ellis Brook Valley Reserve: Offering panoramic views of Perth and the surrounding valley, this 2.1-kilometer trail is a bit more challenging and bushwalking experience is recommended. Keep your dog on a leash, especially on steep sections.

  4. Jarrahdale Railway Heritage Trail: Just under an hour outside of Perth, this 10km trail offers a scenic walk that follows the old railway line once used for transporting timber from the area's mills. Your dog must be kept on lead.

  5. Noble Falls Walk Trail: This picturesque 3.5km trail is located near Gidgegannup, just under an hour outside of Perth. Though enjoyable year-round it’s particularly beautiful in spring when wildlife is in full swing, and in winter after rains when the waterfall is at its most impressive. Dogs are allowed off lead in some sections.

  6. Kep Track in Mundaring: Starting an easy 40 minutes outside of Perth, the Mundaring track follows an old railway line that stretches for 75km to the nearby town of Northam. Follow for as far as your dog can manage and enjoy the sights along the way. Dogs must be kept on leash.

  7. Zamia Trail in Floreat: If you prefer inner-city walks, this 5km trail offers undulating terrain and starts and finishes at the highest natural point along the metropolitan coastline offering stunning views of both the ocean and the city. Dogs must be kept on lead.

Dog-Friendly Hikes Brisbane

  1. Mt Coot-tha Summit Track: This popular 5.3km return hike is located at Brisbane's largest conservation reserve, just 8km from the city. It's known for its expansive views across Moreton Bay to the McPherson Range. Dogs must be kept on lead.

  2. Mt Gravatt Summit Track: Located 10km south of the CBD in Toohey Forest Park, this 2km return track offers sights of open eucalypt forests and grand city views. It's a steep but rewarding walk. Dogs must be kept on lead.

  3. Seven Hills Circuit: This 3km trail in the Seven Hills Bushland Reserve provides a tranquil environment close to the city centre, perfect for a peaceful afternoon hike. Dogs must be kept on lead.

  4. Whites Hill Reserve: Located 12km from Brisbane CBD, Whites Hill has a short 0.5km summit track. The area includes multiple trails through dry rainforest and eucalypt forests and features an off-leash dog park. Dogs must be kept on lead.

  5. Jinker Track: Located in Bunyaville Conservation Park about 15km northwest of Brisbane, this approximately 3km track runs through open eucalypt forests. The area is also used for mountain biking and horse riding, so it's important to keep dogs on a leash.

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Dog-Friendly Hikes Sydney

  1. Lake Parramatta Circuit Walk: Set in a beautiful reserve, this walk features a 4.2 km trail around the lake and offers beautiful views. Dogs must be kept on a lead.

  2. The Bay Run: This 7km circuit is a popular harbourside track around Iron Cove, offering flat and scenic paths perfect or a relaxed walk or jog with your dog. The track features some off lead areas, so keep an eye out for signage.

  3. Balls Head Reserve and Carradah Park: Located in Waverton, this area features scenic bushland with views of Sydney Harbour. It includes various short trails, making it a great spot for a quick nature escape. Dogs must be kept on lead.

  4. Centennial Parklands: This expansive park offers a 3.6 km circuit walk and includes one of Sydney’s largest off-leash areas, providing plenty of space for your dog to roam freely. Some areas require your dog to be on lead, so look out for signage.

  5. Sydney Park: Located in Sydney’s Inner West, this park offers wide open spaces and scenic pathways. The park includes an off leash area, but be mindful around the wetlands and playgrounds where dogs must be on lead.

  6. Glebe Foreshore Walk: This easy 4km return walk offers great harbour views and passes by several off-leash areas, perfect for a leisurely stroll with stops for your dog to play.

Dog-Friendly Hikes Blue Mountains

  1. South Lawson Waterfall Circuit: This easy 3 km loop features several stunning waterfalls. It's a scenic trail where dogs must be kept on a leash.

  2. Charles Darwin Walk, Wentworth Falls: This track offers beautiful scenery and a roughly 3km track that you can enjoy with your dog on lead. Look out for signage as dogs are not allowed to continue into the national park.

  3. Horseshoe Falls Walking Track, Hazelbrook: This trail is less than 3 km and features multiple waterfalls. It's relatively flat with short climbs to each waterfall. It’s a cooler trail during the summer and offers some photogenic spots. Be sure to keep your dog on lead.

  4. Terrace Falls Walking Track, Hazelbrook: This track is slightly over 4 km and offers a peaceful walk through lush scenery, leading to the lovely Terrace Falls and nearby Victor Falls. Dogs must be kept on lead.

  5. Porters Pass and Colliers Causeway Circuit, Blackheath: For the more adventurous, this trail can be challenging due to its narrow paths and rugged terrain. It may not be suitable for all dogs, and you’re best to try your dog on an easier track before attempting this terrain. Dogs must be kept on lead on this walk.

Dog Friendly Mountain Hikes

Australia is no stranger to natural beauty. Here are some top dog-friendly hiking spots with mountain views from all over the country.

  1. Stevenson Street Trail and Road Reserve Trail, Queensland: These trails in Toowoomba offer beautiful views of Table Top Mountain, with Stevenson Street Trail an option for a continuation into the Road Reserve Trail for those wanting a longer walk. Dogs must be on lead.

  2. Belair National Park, South Australia: With several trails varying in difficulty, this park in the Adelaide Hills offers dog-friendly options through lush woodlands and lakes. The Lorikeet Loop and Microcarpa Hike are popular choices. Dogs must be on lead.

  3. Flinders Peak Walk, Victoria: This beautiful trail, part of the You Yangs national park, offers panoramic views across the volcanic plains to Melbourne and Geelong. Starting at the Turntable carpark, the trail includes 450 steps leading up to the summit, where you encounter sweeping vistas and significant natural landmarks like the Bunjil Geoglyph. The You Yangs are renowned for their granite peaks and diverse wildlife. Dogs must be kept on a lead.

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Dog Hiking Essentials Checklist

When preparing for a hiking trip with your dog, having the right essentials can make the experience safe and enjoyable for both of you. Here's a checklist of dog hiking essentials:

Dog Hiking Gear

Items needed for longer hikes…

  1. Water and Collapsible Bowl: Dogs need hydration, especially on long hikes. Bring plenty of water and a collapsible bowl for easy drinking.
  2. Towel: A towel is useful for drying your dog if they get wet and is also a handy item to have on hand to keep the car clean. It can also provide warmth if needed.
  3. Dog Outerwear: Depending on the weather, a dog coat or sweater can keep your pet warm in cold conditions.

Dog Hiking Harness

Items needed for handling and identification.
4. Harness: A comfortable harness provides better control and safety on uneven terrain and is easier on your dog’s neck than a collar.
5. Leash and Collar: A sturdy leash and collar are crucial. Consider a hands-free leash for easier hiking.
6. ID Tags, Microchip: Ensure your dog has ID tags on their collar and make sure their microchip has up-to-date information.

Dog Hiking Backpack

Dog specific items to pack.
7. Dog Treats: Treats provide a good boost of energy for your dog and they’re also useful for training.
8. Poo Bags: Always clean up after your dog. Bring enough poo bags for the walk and dispose of them properly.
9. First-Aid Kit: It’s always a good idea to have emergency supplies on hand such as bandages, antiseptic wipes, and tick removal tools.

Hot Tip

When hiking in unfamiliar areas, it’s a good idea to have the contact information for the nearest veterinarian on hand and a list of local animal hospitals just in case.

Hiking with Your Dog FAQs

Best dog-friendly hikes in Melbourne?

Melbourne offers several dog-friendly hikes that are perfect for exploring with your furry friend. Notable trails include Mathias Track in the Dandenong Ranges, known for its lush fern gullies and tall forests; Trentham Falls Trail, leading to one of Victoria's highest waterfalls; and the Domino Trail, which follows an old railway line through scenic landscapes.

Can you take dogs to the You Yangs?

Yes, you can take dogs to the You Yangs Regional Park, but they must be kept on a leash at all times.