Dogs on Beaches


Exercising your dog on the beach is a great way to get outdoors, however as our beaches get busier over the summer month, there are beaches where dogs may be prohibited or required to be on leash.

Whenever you are exercising your dog on the beach, make sure to keep an eye out for signs indicating whether it is a Leash Free and Prohibited areas. It is always recommended to have your dog on lead until you reach a leash free zone where you can unclip them. 

The Shire encourages dog owners to enjoy leash-free time with their dogs at the Shire's many designated leash-free areas located around the Mornington Peninsula.

Wherever you head with your dog, please make sure you:

  • follow instructions on local signage
  • stay out of Prohibited Areas
  • keep your dog on leash, except in the designated off leash areas
  • collect and dispose of droppings
  • carry a leash and keep your dog under effective control on off-leash beaches at all times
  • ensure your dog doesn’t disturb other people, animals and wildlife.

Leash-free beaches

Leash-free Beaches (All Year):

  • Flinders
    • Flinders Beach - Long Sandy beach between Dodds Creek & Manton Creek (steep access track)
  • Mornington
    • Fosters Beach - Access via walking track, opposite #630 The Esplanade, limited off street parking
    • Royal Beach - Down steep stairs to pebble and sand beach, opposite Royal Hotel
  • Mt Martha
    • Hawker Beach - Enter via steep fire access track down to beach opposite Helena St
  • Safety Beach
    • Tassells Cove - Small Sandy beach between Marina Cove & Bruce Rd - limited parking
  • Somers
    • Somers Beach - 200 metres of sandy beach, east from bottom of ‘hundred steps’(off street parking at top of 100 steps)

*Please note Somers Beach also has restricted leash free times (See Below).

Leash-free Beaches - from 6pm to 10am during Summertime

The following beaches are Leash-Free from 6pm to 10am during Summertime:

  • McCrae
    • McCrae Beach - 300 metres of sandy beach to the east of a point 25 metres east of the car park opposite Margaret St
  • Mt Eliza
    • Half Moon Bay foreshore beach, at north end of Canadian Bay Road, west of Canadian Bay Boat Club;
    • Daveys Bay Foreshore (access off the eastern end of the walking track at the northern end of Daveys Bay Road);
    • Foreshore, beach area contained between points opposite the north-western ends of Freemans Road and Williams Road
  • Mt Martha
    • Dava Beach (access opposite 606 The Esplanade);
    • Birdrock Beach (access of The Esplanade), between points below Birdrock Avenue and Shanns Avenue
  • Portsea
    • Shelley Beach (access off Hempston Avenue car park), between points on the beach below Franklin Road and Hempston Avenue.
  • Rosebud
    • Foreshore, off Point Nepean Road, between a point 25 metres east of the Rosebud Pier and a point 325 metres east of the Rosebud Pier.
  • Rye
    • Rye foreshore, off Point Nepean Road, between points on the beach opposite Daly Avenue and Shirlow Street.
  • Sorrento
    • Foreshore, off Point Nepean Road, between a point 100 metres to the east of the Sorrento Yacht Club and a point known as the ‘Western Sister’.
  • Safety Beach
    • Foreshore (access opposite the intersection of Nepean Highway and Marine Drive), between the eastern limit of the beach area managed by the Dromana Foreshore Committee and a point on the beach opposite 10 Marine Drive.

State Government Beaches 

The Shire does not manage all the beaches around the peninsula coastline. Beaches that are managed by the State Government are NOT Leash-Free areas and include:

Balnarring Blairgowrie
Blairgowrie Ocean Beaches Cape Schanck
Crib Point Dromana
Fingal Beach Gunnamatta Surf Beach 
Merricks Point Leo
Point Nepean Portsea Surf Beaches
Rye Ocean Beaches Shoreham
Somers Sorrento Back Beaches
St Andrews Beach Stony Point


Dogs are also banned from the Mornington Peninsula National Park to provide greater protection for the park’s vulnerable fauna as it is home to more than 32 fauna species of significance including the threatened Hooded Plover, migratory shorebirds, marsupials including the White-footed Dunnart and the Long-nosed Bandicoot, and reptiles such as the Blue-tongued Lizard.

Many of these species are susceptible to dog attacks and even the scent or barking of dogs can cause distress.

For more information go to: Parks Victoria website.

Clean up after your dog

Responsible dog owners must always ensure they have a plastic bag to clean up after their dogs. Failure to clean up after your dog may result in an ‘on-the-spot’ fine of more than $100.

Any person in charge or in control of a dog, in a public place, must have in their possession sufficient bags or similar devices for the purpose of removing and hygienically disposing of any excrement deposited by their dog. Failure to have sufficient bags or similar may result in a further $100 + ‘on the spot’ fine. Protect the privilege of walking your dog in public places... Please don’t make your dog’s mess everybody’s problem!