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.

On many beaches, dogs are generally prohibited from between 9am and 7pm throughout the Daylight Saving period. Outside of these times the general rule will be that dogs should be on leash at all times. 

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 7pm to 9am during Daylight Savings

The following beaches are Leash-Free from 7pm to 9am the during Daylight Savings:

  • 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
    • Daveys Bay - Sandy beach accessed from end of Daveys Bay Road
    • Half Moon Bay - Sandy beach accessed from Canadian Bay Road car park
    • Mt Eliza Beach - Sandy beach between Freemans Rd & Williams Rd
  • Mt Martha
    • Birdrock Beach - Access via Dava Beach and steep stairway
    • Dava Beach - Sandy beach access via steep stairway, between Shanns Ave and Birdrock Ave
  • Portsea
    • Shelley Beach - Sandy beach between Franklin Road & Hemston Avenue
  • Rosebud
    • Rosebud Beach - Sandy beach from 100 metres west and 200 metres east of car park opposite Murray Anderson Drive
  • Rye
    • Rye Beach - Sandy beach between Daly Avenue & Shirlow Ave
  • Safety Beach/Dromana
    • Safety Beach - Sandy beach opposite B.P. petrol station, cnr Nepean Hwy (limited parking)
  • Somers
    • Somers Beach - Sandy beach 300 metres of sandy beach, west from bottom of ‘hundred steps’
  • Sorrento
    • Sorrento Beach - Sandy beach 100 metres east of Sorrento Sailing Club to the ‘Western Sister’

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!