Whether or not you’re familiar with Melbourne any pupper parent will be delighted to learn there are quite a few scenic places to take your BFF for a walk and exercise. Have you been to the dog-friendly trails in Yarra Bend Park? With the winding Yarra River to walk against, alongside plenty of open grass and dog-friendly trails, it’s the perfect place for your pup’s walk, run, or playtime.
Just be aware that Yarra Bend Park is a multi-zone park, meaning dogs must be leashed in specific areas. You and your pup also have to keep any dog exclusion areas in mind. Before visiting Yarra Bend Park, or any park, it’s important to make sure pupper is properly leash-trained.
Now that we got the formalities out of the way, let’s walk through our route! We’ve created a walk that’s on the longer side (the whole loop takes just over 1.5 hours) so this is a great option for a high-energy pup with a free schedule. Or—if you skip the flying-fox viewing platform, the length of your walk would be cut in half!
- Start Point: Fairfield Amphitheatre
- End Point: back to the start point
- Distance: ~8km
- Time required: 1.5 – 3 hours
- Difficulty: Easy to moderate
Here’s a handy walking map to the the dog-friendly Yarra Bend Park walk:
On our suggested route, you’ll see a ton of different sights and terrains along the way.
The walk starts at Fairfield Amphitheatre located just next to Yarra River. You can park your car at Fairfield Park Drive, off Heidelberg Road. It’s a free parking area limited to 4 hours from 7 am to 7 pm.
Pit Stop 1. Follow Main Yarra Trail towards Yarra Bend Road then head south to the Bluestone Pillar. This pillar reminds viewers of the Yarra Bend Asylum that operated in this very spot from 1848 to 1925.
Cross M3 and head toward WJ Cox Oval. You should be able to see the river at this point. Walk alongside it on Dights Falls Loop Trail, if your pup wants!
Pit Stop 2: Head due south to the Loop Picnic Area and Playground. This is a great opportunity for you and your dog to take a rest or food break. You can find toilet facilities here. If you and/or pup are too tired, the walk back to the starting point is just shy of 40 minutes from here.
But if your pup is all ready to keep going, head across Yarra River and down Boathouse Road. From here, you can either walk along the Bushland Circuit Trail or Yarra Blvd. We recommend Bushland Circuit Trail—it’s the best walking trail in Yarra Park with dogs.
Pit Stop 3: Keep walking along the river and you will hit Bellbird Park and the Flying-Fox Viewing Platform. The name says it all—this is the place to be if you want to see Mother Nature in action. If your dog is frightened by smaller animals, this might not be worth a stop.
Keep heading north, still along the river, and cross the Fairfield Pipe Bridge. Head north just a bit and you’ll find yourself back where you started!
If you’re ready to make this walk into a day-long affair, pack your must-have grilling essentials and chef up some lunch at the Loop Picnic Area before or after you walk along the Bushland Circuit Trail—the ultimate dog-friendly walking trail in Yarra Park. Just make sure to pack pupper’s favourite snacks—he’ll be hungry!