There is honestly no greater joy than going for long beach walks with your dog. The pure joy as they run freely, bound into the water or trot by your side with happiness is the best feeling in the world.
This list will give you some great ideas on where you can find dog friendly beaches for your day trips and holidays.
Please remember dog rules do sometimes change, so always check a government source for the most up to date information on if a beach is dog friendly. On the Great Ocean Road from Torquay to Lorne you need to visit the Surf Coast Shire Map, Lorne west is Colac Otway shire and Corangamite shire west of that.
Point Addis – Dog Friendly All Year – Dogs must be on Lead
Point Addis is a stunning beach and is possibly the most dramatic and beautiful beach on the Great Ocean Road. The area is a marine park so dogs must be kept on lead.
Dogs are welcome all year round on lead so this is a great option for a walk or swim during those busy summer months when dogs are prohibited in other areas. You do need to stay way out from the cliff faces at the far end of the beach as unfortunately, they are becoming increasingly unstable all along the Great Ocean Road (that end of the beach is one of Victorias few nudie beaches so don’t walk all the way to the end if you would prefer to avoid it).
Like most beaches, its always nicer at low tide where you have plenty of space to spread out and can appreciate the cliffs and landscape.
Good to know before you go
There are lots of stairs to this beach so many not be suitable for older dogs or dogs with injuries
It is a confined pathway to the beach with either retaining wall or bushes. I was able to step off to the side up a small retaining wall to let another dog pass however you can’t do this on the steps onto the beach at the bottom. If your dog is reactive to other dogs you may want to use a face halter and/or be aware of dogs coming the other way. Once on the beach there is plenty of space to spread out at mid to low tide.
O’Donohue Road to Urquhart Bluff – Dog off lead all year
This is a section of coast that is all dog off lead all year that runs between O’Donohue Road (which is access from near the carpark for Pt Roadknight) all the way along the coast to Urquhart Bluff (excluding a very short section in front of the carpark that is not offlead in warmer months).
There are several entrance points along this coastline ranging from gentle paths for older dogs (at Urquharts Bluff) to steeper slopes or stairs.
Parts of this section of coast is the Great Otway National Park. While dogs are not allowed in much of the park this section of coast is defined as dog off lead all year in their pdf guide ‘Great Otway National Park ‒ Anglesea, Aireys Inlet and surrounds’ (i’ve linked it but they will break the link at some point, they never redirect).
At the risk of making busier my current favourite dog beach, on weekdays this can be a really great option for dogs who get overwhelmed on busy dog beaches. I often find on weekdays and in winter there are only a few other dogs on this beach so you have a chance to spread out. This becomes obsolete on hot summer days and school holidays when this is a popular beach with families (and has learn to surf groups all year round).
There’s a gentle sandy path onto the beach from this spot so it’s good for people and dogs keen to avoid steps.
You turn off the Great Ocean Road and head to the bottom of the hill. The dog off lead all year section starts from a walkway a few hundred metres before you get to the actual carpark (there are usually a few other walkers or surfers cars parked there to help you spot it). If your dog has less consistent recall, you don’t want to walk too far down the beach as eventually, it runs parallel with the great ocean road again.
Keep in mind the beach is not dog off lead in the section in front of the carpark during the summer months, you will need to walk east to the above entrance at that time of year for a dog off lead (its only a 100 metres or so thats affected).
Fishermans Beach/Whites Beach Torquay
Likely the most popular dog beach on the Great Ocean Road, Fishermans beach and Whites beach are a really good spot for a walk (they are basically the one beach, next to one another). This busy beach is great for social dogs but in summer and on weekends there is 100’s of dogs so skip it if your dog is overwhelmed by socialising.
Part of Fishermans beach is a seasonal dog off lead, with dogs only allowed early and late in the day over the busier summer months. Check the Surfcoast dog map for the most up to date information as they have changed the rules a few times recently.
The east end of the beach is dog off lead all year. A few years ago the dog off lead all year was moved slightly west from Aquilla and now starts at the steps in front of the sundial/Wyndham resort and runs west from there (i’ve pinned it on the map below). This is way more convenient as it means you can park in the big beach carpark all year round and when its no dogs in summer you can still walk along the path to get to the Salty Dog Cafe for post walk coffee with your furry friend.
Lorne Dog Beach
Lorne Dog Beach – Dog Off leash all year
The dog off lead beach in Lorne is north east of town. This beach runs parallel with the great ocean road, the speed limit is town speed however the beach is quite close to the road so its only good for dogs with good recall that will stick close.
This beach also has sections of rocks and rockpools to be aware of. They are really cool to look in, theres brightly coloured sea anemone etc, just good to be aware if your dog is a bit of a nutter or overly curious.
Lorne Dog Off Leash Seasonal Timeshare Zone
The main front beach of the Lorne town is no dogs at any time however there is footpaths and grassy areas you can walk use to bypass this section of beach (and you can stop for a cheeky beer at the Beach Pavillon which has dog friendly tables at the front).
North and south of this the beaches are seasonally timeshare which means 1st Dec-28 Feb + Easter dogs are not allowed on the beach at all between 9am and 7pm, however its dog off lead outside those times. This is outlined in more detail in the surfcoast shire dog map.
Great Ocean Road Dog Friendly Beach Notes
HANDY DOG FRIENDLY TRAVEL PRODUCTS
Sling Guard Car Seat Cover
Investing in a ‘Sling Guard’ car seat cover was one of the best purchases I have made for travelling with my dog in the car at home and on holidays (after my 33kg dog broke multiple cheap ones on the first car trip).
It has big strong zips and is double-sided, one fluffy and soft and the other a bit tougher, with a waterproof layer in between.
But it’s good for more than just the car – I have used it for Dusty and a foster dog to chill on next to the camp fire when camping, on her bed when she’s wet so it can be removed and she has somewhere dry to sleep later and to protect the furniture in dog friendly holiday cabin.
I have had this cover for over 4 years and it’s still going strong.
I accidentally jammed clips in the door over time when I wasn’t paying attention and have just replaced them with those Sea to Summit replacement buckles.
Australian Made Dog Food
Image opens on Pet Parlour
Prime 100 Air range is high quality single protein air dried food. They are an Australian Made alternative to brands like Ziwi and are high in protein (and are priced accordingly).
I use it to offset feeding lower protein PFIAA approved meat rolls or balls from the supermarket when camping and I can’t make homemade food.
There area also a good size for food toys.