Walk Your Dog on Phillip Island

Sand and sea - a perfect combination to walk your dog on Phillip Island.

During summer the beaches of Phillip Island are not only popular with swimmers and sunbathers but are also a favourite with the canine population.

Best Phillip Island Accommodation here:


What better exercise for a dog than to run unrestricted or chasing a ball on a long stretch of beach?

Although it is exercise for both owner and pet, there are a few rules and courtesies to follow to make the experience enjoyable for all beach users.

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Walking the dogs on the beach at Phillip Island

There are some beaches on Phillip Island where dogs are prohibited – usually because the beach is a habitat for the endangered hooded plover or other wildlife.

Hooded plovers nest in tide debris on beaches during the summer. You will see signs asking you (and your dog) to keep to the shoreline, away from the nesting area. Please respect these areas as these birds are an endangered species and many young have been killed by dogs roaming free on beaches.

Signs at beach entrances will denote if dogs are not allowed.

Can you see the hooded plover chick?

On Phillip Island there are two designated off-leash areas for your dog to run free.

These are at the beach end of Grayden’s Road, Ventnor and the Blue Gum Reserve in Dunsmore Road, Cowes.

(Map courtesy of Bass Coast Shire Council)

On all island beaches (except the designated beach at Ventnor) in summer (between December 1 and April 30), dogs are restricted to between 7.00am and 10.00am and from 5.00pm to 8.00pm.

But even at these times they must be on a lead.

At Ventnor Beach during summer the off-leash times are from 7.00am to 10.00am and 5.00pm to 8.00pm.

Look for these restrictions on the beach signage.

Victorian road rules prohibit drivers from driving with an animal on the driver's lap.

Please restrain your dog by using a seat belt to keep you and your animal safe, as well as other road users.

Frolicking dogs at Blue Gum Reserve, Cowes

When you walk your dog on Phillip Island, please observe the following “rules” so everyone in the community enjoys your dog as much as you do:

  • Keep your dog on a leash if not in a designated off-leash area
  • Do not let your dog jump up at other people – this can be very frightening to young children
  • Pick up after your dog and dispose of droppings responsibly
  • If you are away from home for an extended time, bring a bowl and water for your dog. Some cafes provide water for dogs – great!
  • On the beach don’t let your dog run free where there are lots of people – go to a quieter part
  • Don’t let dogs on to dunes or restricted areas
  • Owners must have voice control over their dogs
  • If a child wants to pat your dog, encourage them to hold out their hand first for the dog to sniff and “get to know”. Immediately touching the top of a dog’s head can be threatening to them and they may react adversely.

    The important thing for owners is to take responsibility for the behaviour of their dog.

    This enhances the experience for everyone and makes everyone’s time at the beach so much more enjoyable.

Just walking the dogs

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