The Best Dog Parks in Melbourne’s South East

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Dog parks are a fantastic addition to any council’s resources. They’re the perfect grounds for the socialisation of dogs and owners alike. They make for a fantastic place to train and practise things like recall in a safe environment and they’re just the best place to let your dog get their zoomies out before heading home for a night of cuddling on the couch.

Finding a good dog park can be like finding a diamond in the rough. Some are bougie and well kept, others might as well just be a fenced dust bowl, once you find a good one you stick with it. To make your life a little easier, we’ve compiled a short list of the best dog parks in Melbourne’s southeastern suburbs for your perusal, in no particular order.

Eastern North Reserve Dog Park

Park Street, South Melbourne

Eastern North Reserve dog park is one for little dogs. With its compact fenced-off area, this well-maintained dog park has beautifully kept grass, bench seating for your convenience, a drinking fountain for you and your dog and a rubbish bin to put your pooch’s mess. Being designed with smaller dogs in mind, you can find relief in knowing your dog won’t be bowled over while they’re trying to chase their ball or their friend.

Dogs in Eastern North Reserve Dog Park are allowed to be off leash between the hours of 7am-7:30pm, 7 days a week. All other times, dogs must be on-leash – during these on-leash hours, take advantage of the beautiful reserve around the park and across the street. Be mindful that the only lighting available is street lighting.

Important notes; there are no toilets for human visitors in this Melbourne dog park and parking is ticketed. The busy period is around 9am every day, so avoid it at that time if you’d rather be around fewer dogs and there is only a single gated entry, so beware of opening the entry gate if there are dogs close by and be sure to lock it on entry and exit.

For coffee lovers, there is “Light Up Coffee” within walking distance on the corner of Moray St and Bank St which has outdoor seating, perfect for a cuppa on your way to or from the dog park.

Thomas Oval Dog Park

Corner of Williams Rd N &, Alexandra Ave, South Yarra

This park is a new development in the city of Stonnington. Opening in late 2022, this brand-new dog park in Melbourne is an oasis for dogs of all sizes and temperaments. It boasts two large play areas, a separately fenced ‘quiet area’ and a larger fenced ‘main area’ with a gate connecting the two. There are tunnels and fallen trees as obstacles for your furry friend to play with and explore as well as bench seats for your comfort, a drinking fountain for you both and a shelter to keep you from the sun.

Entry into this dog park is dual-gated meaning that there’s a significantly reduced risk of any dogs escaping upon park-goer’s entry and exit. While in the park, please make use of the bins provided after you pick up after your dog. 

There are no opening hours for this Melbourne dog park, so play at your leisure, this park has solar lighting for you night owls, too!

For coffee lovers, ‘Kanteen’ along Alexandria Ave is perfect for your favourite brew with relaxed outdoor dining and takeaway options.

Eastfield Fenced Dog Park

119-139 Eastfield Rd, Croydon 

This large fenced dog park in Melbourne is perfect for the most energetic of pups to the more quiet and subdued. With a separately fenced ‘timeout’ area for owners to take their dogs of all sizes who might need a break from the high energy of the main area, there’s something for every dog.

Eastfield dog park has lots for dogs to explore, with a sandpit to dig in, boulders to jump on and sniff, and even an agility course to run. 

There are two dual-gated entrances in this fenced dog park for your convenience with a bin at one and a drinking fountain at the other. There are seats for you as you watch your dog frolic with their friends, however shaded areas seem to be few and far between so bring your hat!  There doesn’t appear to be lighting though if you plan to visit at night. 

Being a well-equipped dog park, Eastfield Fenced Dog Park can get quite busy, so trying to avoid peak times such as weekends and just after school start and finish times might be beneficial if your dog doesn’t socialise so well. 

Coffee lovers, there is SoulPod cafe at 43 The Mall for your morning pick me up – they have outdoor tables and chairs and coffee is available for takeaway.

M.O. Moran Reserve Dog Park

 65A Marine Parade, Elwood 

At Moran Reserve, you’ll find a newly updated dog park perfect for your furry friend to play. With new and improved amenities for dogs and owners alike, you could spend an hour or two here happily.

There is seating aplenty, paths and points of access from the car park onsite at the reserve and easily accessible rubbish bins and drinking fountains with dog bowls to quench their thirst. Trees have been planted to provide shade, however, these are still quite a few years away from being useful. 

There are dual gates to and from the car park and another around the other side of the M.O. Moran Reserve Dog park, so no matter whether you’re coming from the car park or the beach, there’s ease of access for your convenience.

There’s no agility equipment or much else to do but run and socialise, but it’s very well-kept and certainly worth a visit. This Melbourne dog park is open all day, every day – however lighting may be an issue at night. 

Coffee lovers, ‘Jerry’s Milkbar’ is located just behind the reserve at 345 Barkly St, Elwood. With outdoor tables and chairs, it’s the perfect place to stop. 

Aranga Reserve 

1 Eastway Ave, Donvale

Aranga reserve is a one-stop shop for your dog’s socialising, exercising and training needs. This fenced dog park in Melbourne boasts a general activity area for activities such as fetch or simply a good run around, there is a dedicated training area away from the hustle and bustle of the main area (which is good for dogs that need a break or are overwhelmed) and a fun agility area for the more adventurous of pooch. Aranga Reserve appears to be open 24/7 but there’s not any lighting close by.

This reserve is fenced in with bins and water at both gates and there is limited seating. 

Parking isn’t the best with only limited parking on Eastway Avenue (the other side of the park), if this is full, you’ll need to park in surrounding streets and walk over – be aware of parking limits in this area. Given that this off leash dog park is located in such close proximity to a primary school, it may be best to avoid school drop-off and pick-up times, as parking may be even more difficult to come by.

Unfortunately, for coffee goers, there aren’t any cafes or coffee shops within walking distance – if you need your caffeine hit, best bring one from home.

Whilst the amenities at dog parks differ, there is dog park etiquette that should be followed at all times: 

  • Please make sure your dog is in your line of sight, always. It only takes a second for an accident to happen. Alongside this, ensure their recall is up to scratch. 
  • Dogs should be vaccinated and (ideally) over 6 months
  • Only bring the number of dogs you can handle – if you have four dogs, maybe don’t bring them all at once on your own.
  • Only bring hidden treats, bringing food in is a recipe for disaster
  • Don’t bring small children in, they can get bowled over and you never know the history of the other dogs you’re in with
  • Lastly, and most importantly, have your dog on a leash as you exit the park. 

By following simple dog park etiquette, you can ensure that you and your dog are doing everything in your power to keep the parks safe and fun for everyone around.

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