Dogs in Yarra

A man walking dogs at Victoria ParkWhen in public, all dogs must be kept on a leash unless in a designated off-leash area.

Yarra’s public spaces are very busy so everyone must do their bit to ensure these spaces can be enjoyed by all.

For dog owners this means:

  • observing the on-leash, off-leash and dog-free areas and times (see below)
  • picking up after your dog immediately and carrying something suitable to pick up dog waste, like a bag, at all times
  • closely supervising and having control of your dog at all times
  • not letting your dog bother or interrupt others, roam or wander
  • making sure your dog does not damage public assets spaces, such as digging holes or chewing.

The actions of your dog are your responsibility in the eyes of the law.

Council has regulations (called a Council Order) in place that must be followed when dogs are in public – it is essential that you are familiar with these regulations, which can be downloaded below) as they are enforced.

pdf format Yarra Council Order Under S10A AND 26 of the Domestic Animals Act 1994 (76.48 KB)

Please note: While complimentary poo bags are provided at some parks as a courtesy, they should not be relied upon and you can be fined if you are not carrying your own bags at all times.

In Yarra, the following restrictions apply to dogs in public places:


  • Dogs are prohibited within playgrounds at any time.
  • Dogs must be kept on-leash within 10 metres of playground areas.

Exercise equipment

  • Dogs must be kept on-leash within 10 metres of exercise equipment.

Shared pathways

  • Dogs must be kept on-leash on designated shared pathways and five metres either side, even if pathways run through off-leash areas. 
  • Shared pathways:
    • Merri Creek Shared Trail – Dights fall to May Street boundary of Moreland and Yarra.
    • Inner Circle Railway – Linear Path – From Bowen Crescent (along Holtom West, Solly Avenue and Park Street) to Falconer Street, North Fitzroy.
    • Inner Circle Railway – Linear Path – St Georges Road (to Scotchmer Street and along Mark Street) to Edinburgh Gardens.
    • Main Yarra Trail – Dights Falls to Burnley Harbour (excluding Gipps Street to Victoria Street).

BBQ and picnic facilities

  • Dogs must be kept on-leash within 10 metres of all BBQ and picnic facilities.

Skate and BMX facilities

  • Dogs must be kept on-leash within 10 metres of all skate park and BMX facilities.

Sports activities

  • Dogs are allowed off-leash in unfenced sporting grounds only when the grounds are not in use for approved sporting events (including training).
  • Dogs must be kept on-leash within 10 metres of sporting grounds when they are in use for approved sporting events (including training).
  • Dogs are not allowed on any sports grounds enclosed by fencing (except Victoria Park and Citizens Park) or any synthetic sports grounds.

Other authorised activities

  • Dogs must be kept on-leash within 10 metres of authorised school events or other approved public events.

Wetlands and other environmentally significant areas

  • Dogs are not allowed in wetlands and other environmentally significant areas.
  • Dogs are prohibited in mulched areas and Council garden beds.

Commercial dog walkers

  • Commercial dog walkers must keep all dogs in their care on-leash at all times except when in a designated and fenced off-leash areas.

A note on dogs and snakes

During warmer months there is an increased likelihood of encountering snakes near wetlands and environmentally significant areas.  Dog owners should consider ways to protect their pets including walking with a shorter leash, exercising greater control over intermittent straying into bushland areas, and keeping to constructed paths in the Yarra River and Merri Creek corridors. For further information, visit Council's snakes page.

Dog off-leash parks and reserves

Yarra has many open spaces where you can exercise your dog off-leash. When choosing whether to let your dog off-leash please consider the surrounding environment and whether it is appropriate for your dog. Only you know your dog’s unique behaviours and triggers.This includes being mindful of others users. You know your dog is well-natured and playful, but other park users don’t. Being approached by an unfamiliar dog can be frightening, especially for children.

In off-leash areas and parks, you must carry a leash with you at all times and be nearby and able to place your dog under control immediately. Dogs are allowed off-leash in all of the parks and reserves listed below, subject to the restrictions outlined above. Dogs are also allowed off-leash in all unfenced sporting grounds when the grounds are not being used for any approved games, club or school competition or training, or events - subject to the restrictions outlined above.


  • Yarra River Parklands, Flockhart Reserve, Flockhart Street
  • Victoria Park and surrounds, Abbot,Turner, Bath, and Lulie streets and Trenerry Crescent
    (when the ground is not in use for any approved games, club or school competitions or training, or events).
  • Maugie Street Reserve, Maugie Street

Carlton North  

  • Inner Circle Linear Park, Park Street between Lygon to Nicholson streets
  • Hardy Gallagher Reserve, Garton and Wilson streets

Clifton Hill

  • Yambla Street Reserve, Yambla and White streets
  • Walker Street Reserve, Walker Street
  • Merri Creek Parklands and Hall Reserve, The Esplanade
  • Mayor’s Park (excluding Collingwood Leisure Centre), Turnbull and Hoddle streets and Heidelberg Road
  • Coulson Reserve, Heidelberg Road
  • Quarries Park, Dwyer and Wright streets
  • Hall Reserve, The Esplanade


  • Fairfield Park including the oval, Heidelberg and Yarra Bend roads


  • George Street Reserve, George and Charles streets
  • Atherton Reserve, Napier Street
  • Smith Reserve, Fitzroy

Fitzroy North

  • Raines Reserve, Queens Parade
  • Thomas Kidney Reserve, Rushall Street
  • Inner Circle Linear Reserve, Park Street between Bennett Street and St Georges Road
  • Janet Millman Reserve, Park Street
  • Mark Street Reserve, Mark Street
  • Batson Reserve, Rushall Crescent
  • Rushall Reserve


  • Yarra River Parklands, Corner Bridge Road and Yarra Boulevard
  • Loys Paddock at Yarra River Parklands, Snow Street
  • Golden Square, Madden Grove
  • Citizens Park including the oval, Church and Highett streets
  • Circus Site, Swan Street
  • Burnley Park including the oval, Park Grove and Yarra Boulevard
  • Annettes Place, River Street
  • Allan Bain Reserve, Mary Street, Richmond.

See also;

  • Multizone parks - parks and reserves that have both on-leash and off-leash areas, and
  • Time share reserves - parks and reserves where dogs may be exercised off-leash before 9am and after 5pm

Further information
Compliance Branch
9205 5166

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