Looking for a Dog Friendly Beach on the Great Ocean Road ?

Torquay Dog Beach - Great Ocean Road Locals

Torquay Dog Beach on the Surf Coast is a favourite.

Taking your dog for a walk along the beach off-leash on the Great Ocean Road is the most wonderful feeling for all parties : – the dog, the owner and the onlookers.

Dogs love the freedom, the openness and the water, and of course the socialisation with the people they love and other dogs on the beach.  When you see their smiles with long drooping tongues and wagging tails, you can’t underestimate the importance to their health of a run on the sand, with the one they love.

So if you’re a person who loves dogs and are wanting to take your pooch on your travels along the Great Ocean Road in Victoria, Australia then there are a few guidelines to make it work for all. This involves respectful behaviour when out in public – for you, your dog, other owners and their dogs, and the general public.

Rules and Regulations for dogs on the beach. Where can I find the best information ?

The Surf Coast Shire provides clear points on where dogs are welcome. They have extensive maps of the area in online brochures showing where and when dogs can run on the beaches along the Great Ocean Road. Some beaches only allow dogs late afternoon and early morning. For other dog friendly beaches, there are seasonal regulations.  There are off-leash areas and also areas where dogs are not welcome, including the Great Otway National Park. 

For information about the unique characteristics of the coastal towns along the Surf Coast, find out in Torquay, Lorne, Aireys Inlet and Anglesea and other coastal towns along the Surf Coast.  

Ocean Grove Dog Beach

You may want to travel a little further to Ocean Grove with your dog.  Ocean Grove is on the Bellarine, so strictly not on the Great Ocean Road, but not far from it either. There is a long stretch of beach between Hodgson Street and Aldebaran Road, that is great for activity for your dog.  

For all other areas in Ocean Grove, check with council as you don’t want to get a fine. Barwon Coast Committee will be able to provide you with the details. On their website, they also provide dog training videos.  These may help you with your dog to ensure they are beach ready.

Also, the City of Geelong website provides lots of information on where to take your dog along walking tracks, paths and recreational reserves.  It’s a great resource for dog walkers.

Torquay Dog Beach

The main Torquay dog friendly beach is called Whites Beach.  It is a wonderfully long beach for your pup to explore and run, without a leash.  Plenty of other dogs to socialize with too. 

Whenever we go, it’s a great place to relax and unwind and give your dog plenty of exercise.  Most days, regardless of weather conditions, there are always people out walking their dogs. Keep in mind that rules often change and there may be time ranges or seasonal constraints on when you can take your dog to the beach.  To avoid any disappointment, have a look at the Surf Coast Shire website which will provide you with all the details on where and when you can take your furry friend.

The Torquay dog friendly beach is close to the well known ‘Salty Dog Café’.  This Cafe welcomes dogs of all shapes and sizes.  After your walk, enjoy a coffee here while your dog relaxes and there are plenty of dog bowls with water for your dog too.  To get to the dog friendly beach, Fishermans Beach, head on down to the café and you can park your car here.  Further on, the beach is called Whites beach.  Walk to the left as far as Point Impossible.  That will provide you with a very long walk and plenty of exercise for your dog.  

There are other dog friendly beaches in Torquay that may have time regulations or seasonal regulations on them – please refer to the Surf Coast Shire website for the latest details.

Anglesea Dog Beach and Aireys Inlet Dog Beach

Anglesea and Aireys Inlet - Surf Coast Shire

Surf Coast Dog Friendly Beach – Image : Alexander Shore Photography

Here are two great resources for where you can walk your dogs in Anglesea and Aireys Inlet :

 – Surf Coast Shire

 – Parks Victoria

The Anglesea dog beaches tend to have seasonal or time regulations eg early morning or late afternoon during summer, but more hours in winter.

All dogs are required to be on a leash in a public area, unless it is designated as off-leash.

Some beaches are only available to dogs in Anglesea late afternoon. Always check with the council or shire before heading out.

West of Point Roadknight is Anglesea’s dog friendly beach.  But be aware, that your dog should be able to come back to you if called, otherwise even if it’s a dog friendly beach, pop on a leash. Don’t forget to also pick up after your dog – please take bags with you.

In Aireys Inlet, to the west of the Fairhaven Surf Life Saving Club, is Aireys Inlet dog friendly beach.  Keep in mind that you must keep your dog on a leash before you reach the beach as well as when you leave it, to return to your car. 

Lorne Dog Beach

The main beach in Lorne prohibits dogs.  But, there are other off-leash dog friendly beaches.  Some other dog friendly beaches have time or seasonal conditions attached, available for you and your dog.

Similar to the regulations of the Torquay Dog Beach, keep a note on details via the Surf Coast Shire website, as rules often change.

If you have a favourite beach in Lorne that you frequent with your dog, please let us know and we’ll add it to this post.

Apollo Bay Dog Beach

Walk your dog at Apollo Bay on the Surf Coast Shire

Great Ocean Road Dog Friendly Beach – Image : Alexander Shore Photography

Marengo Beach is the place to go for a dog friendly beach. Just outside Apollo Bay, there is plenty of space to run.   Some of the beaches in Apollo Bay, do have restrictions on times when you are able to take your dog for a walk.  This is particularly important to know, during the summer months when the beaches are busy.

There are usually plenty of signs that will help you with information on where and when you can take your dog to a dog friendly beach.

And remember, there are a number of dog friendly cafes, pubs and restaurants in Apollo Bay.  These will provide you and your dog with some welcome relaxation and refreshment after your walk, plus support local business.

Warrnambool Dog Beach

Point Richie (Moyjil) is a dog friendly beach in Warrnambool.  Point Ritchie is a rocky headland, situated at the mouth of the Hopkins River.

Dog Friendly Logan’s beach can be found just below the Whale Watching Platform, on the eastern side of the Hopkins River. 

Hopkins River (west side) to Flume is also available as a dog friendly area.

The sand is beautiful wherever you and your pup go, but do be aware of strong currents if your pup enters the water.

Looking for a Dog Friendly Cafe along the Surf Coast ?

There are many cafes along the Surf Coast that allow well behaved dogs on leads to join in on the fun.  This enables their owners to sit outside and have a coffee and/or a meal.   A favourite café that welcomes dogs in Torquay, is called the ‘Salty Dog Café’, down at the Torquay dog beach near the boat ramp.

Let us know which ones you’ve come across, that have made a difference to you and your pet.

Where are Veterinary Clinics along the Great Ocean Road ?

If your pooch needs some extra care in the holidays, there are many veterinary clinics that can help along the Surf Coast and further along the Great Ocean Road. This area has one of the highest pet ownership in Australia, consequently there are all types of services and suppliers to help you with anything you may need

Should you need emergency help with either your or another’s dog, you can call the Animal Control Unit on 03 5272 5272.

And of course for Emergencies, call 000.

What to take on your walks :

Surf Coast, Geelong, Bellarine, Ocean Grove, Anglesea and Aireys Inlet

Torquay Dog Beaches off lead – Image : Alexander Shore Photography

A quick reminder on the bare essentials to take with you when walking your dog along dog friendly beaches on the Surf Coast :

 – Take a water bottle for yourself and a water container for your pet.

 – Some favourite toys,

 – A few delicious treats,

 – Their collar and a lead,

 – Poo-bags (don’t forget your bags.)

In public areas, dogs must be on leads at all times – this includes public playgrounds.  You can check dog controls in any area by looking for signs or checking the Surf Coast Shire details.

Get a hard copy of the map at any Visitor Information Centre or the Surf Coast Shire Torquay office. Talk to any of the customer service operators there, and they’ll be happy to assist you.

Keep a watchful eye out for :

Snakes :

Watch out for snakes in the summer months.  They can be slow to move out the way in the hot sun, and your pup might surprise them.  Seek veterinary care immediately should you think your dog may have been bitten.

Hot Days :

Always take plenty of water with you.  Dogs tend to run continuously, so are not aware of how dehydrated they may be getting. Keep a watchful eye on your dog to ensure he or she is not getting heat stroke, on those really hot days in January and February.  A handy rule of thumb to use is the 10-second rule ! Place your hand on the sand or pavement and if you can’t comfortably hold your hand there for 10 seconds, it is too hot for your dog to walk on.

Other Dogs off-lead :

Some dogs love being off-lead, other dogs are nervous and stay close to owners.  Many owners are cautious, and even if it’s an off-lead area, they keep their dogs on leads.

Be mindful of how your dog behaves in all public areas.  Large friendly dogs are often seen as aggressive by smaller dogs, and may get growled at or bitten, if they loom up out of nowhere wagging their tales. Best to ensure your dog will return to you if called, when on a dog friendly beach.  Otherwise pop a lead on.

Dogs left in Vehicles :

Don’t leave your dog in a hot vehicle. Very often, it is hotter inside a car than outside, even if windows are left open.  Rather take your dog on a lead with you.

Dog Friendly Beach on the Great Ocean Road

Surf Coast Dog Friendly Beach – Image : Alexander Shore Photography

Your Responsibilities when visiting a dog friendly beach along the Great Ocean Road :

 – Keep your dog in hearing range all the time, and ensure that you can see her all the time.

 – Your dog needs to be able to return to you when called. Always keep some delicious treats in your pockets, as this helps. Pop a leash on, if your pup is just getting too excited and perhaps ignoring you.

 – Make sure your read the signs along the beach. You’ll notice that both humans and dogs are not allowed to walk around the dunes and other protected areas. This helps regenerating coastal vegetation plus protect local wildlife. 

 – If your dog is quite anxious and nervous, pop a lead on and keep them close. Especially if they are a smaller dog or have experienced trauma previously, they may bite a bigger more extrovert dog that pops up unexpectedly, tail wagging. Not a nice situation for both you and the other dog’s owner.

 – Sometimes there may be a seal on the beach, and therefore all dogs must be kept away more than 50 metres from the animal. You will be fined if your dog comes closer than 50 metres. Some seals are exhausted and just need to rest.  Leave them alone to recover, and invariably they’ll enter the sea again at the right time for them.

 – When there are children playing cricket on the dog friendly beach, pop a leash on your dog if your dog loves a ball. This happened to our dog at the Torquay dog beach.  He wanted to get involved and join the team. He grabbed the ball, and played catches with the kids.  He was much faster than them, very unpopular, there were lots of tears, and we had to pop the lead on, to stop him.

Photo Opportunities

Send us your favourite pic of your dog and we’ll show it on our site.  Give us a little info on your best friend. How do you find travelling with him/her on the Great Ocean Road ? Other dog owners will love to hear your stories. 

Your Business on the Great Ocean Road :  

Would you like to feature your business in one of our blogs or on our directory?  Join us by adding your business to our local directory or please connect via email and let’s make it happen.

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About us : Great Ocean Road Locals

The Great Ocean Road Locals Business Directory was born when we tried to find local businesses to work on our Torquay-based property, but there was no easy-to-use online directory to achieve this. So we set out to create one to make it convenient and quick for businesses to be found online; and for residents, holiday home owners and visitors to connect with local business owners.

Who we are

We have a closed Facebook group, to connect like-minded entrepreneurs and business owners who will encourage and inspire one another in a supportive environment. Join our group if you are a business owner, and you’ll immediately identify with the diverse group of owners there, who have the opportunity to connect with one another.

Why not check out our Facebook Page if you’re a visitor: 

Great Ocean Road Locals

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