For every dog owner looking to combine leisurely strolls with Melbourne's rich tapestry of landscapes and history, the Main Yarra Trail is an undisputed treasure. Spanning a vast 38km from Princes Bridge to the Mullum Mullum Creek Trail, this dog-friendly walking trail is predominantly composed of concrete, bitumen, and pleasant gravel paths that meander gracefully alongside the Yarra River.

As you and your four-legged friend venture on this dog-friendly walking trail, you're invited into the heart of Melbourne's suburbs, from the stylish South Yarra to the quaint charm of Warrandyte. Every step introduces a fresh scene, from urban sprawls to lush green pockets.

View of the yarra river along the Main Yarra Trail in South Yarra

As you traverse the Main Yarra Trail, you'll quickly notice the bountiful natural shade provided by overarching trees, creating a refreshing canopy even on warmer days. Along the path, there are ample spots perfect for settling down with a picnic basket, catching your breath on well-placed benches, or simply pausing to take in the scenery. Families, sports enthusiasts, and children will also find delight in the numerous playgrounds and open spaces suitable for sports activities scattered along the route. Whether you're an avid walker, a casual stroller, or simply looking for a day out with the family and your furry friend, the trail promises varied experiences and cherished moments.

Bear in mind, the trail is a shared space. Alongside pedestrians and cyclists, the warmer seasons might see a few snakes. Keeping dogs on a short leash ensures their safety.

Dog Park Detours

For dog owners specifically, the Main Yarra Trail doesn't disappoint. Though our furry pals need to be on a leash, this dog-friendly walking trail is dotted with off-leash parks:

Yarra Bend Park (Fairfield/Alphington):

Positioned in the heart of Fairfield and Alphington, Yarra Bend Park is a true gem for both humans and their furry companions. Covering a considerable expanse, this park embodies nature's untamed beauty amidst Melbourne's bustling cityscape. The extensive network of trails offers a myriad of adventures, from densely wooded pockets to open meadows where dogs can stretch their legs and chase after shadows. Along with specified off-leash zones, there are also picturesque lookout points and picnic areas, making it a perfect spot for an entire day of fun and relaxation.

Thomas Oval Fenced Dog Park (South Yarra):

Tucked just off the Main Yarra Trail, Thomas Oval Dog Park in South Yarra emerges as a dog haven. Unique for its spacious fenced sections, the park is tailored to cater to both active and more laid-back canines. The park's distinct zones – the 'Active Zone' and 'Quiet Zone' – ensure that every dog, regardless of its temperament or size, finds its comfortable space. While it is quite expansive for an urban fenced area, the park is accentuated by dog sand pits and young plated trees, which, in due time, will provide ample shade. A perfect detour during your trail journey, this park promises wholesome canine fun.

Tomas Oval Fenced Dog Park

Burnley Park (Burnley):

Nestled adjacent to the serene waters of the Yarra River is Burnley Park, a tranquil green space in Burnley. Enveloped by mature trees that cast dappled shadows, this park offers a cool and relaxing atmosphere, especially during the hotter months. While dogs can relish the freedom of the designated off-leash areas, owners can enjoy the gentle whispers of the Yarra River and perhaps even partake in a leisurely picnic. The park's proximity to the river offers the added delight of watching kayakers navigate the waters or simply listening to the rhythmic lapping of waves on the banks. A place of peace and simple joys, Burnley Park stands as a testament to nature's enduring charm amidst urban life.

Culture and History

The Yarra River is not just a waterway but an artery of life and culture. The Traditional Custodians, the Wurundjeri people of Melbourne/Naarm, have revered the river as a path for Dreaming, a life source, and a vital gathering spot. As you walk, take a moment to appreciate the deep-seated history underfoot.


The Main Yarra Trail invites you to explore Melbourne at your own pace, one suburb at a time. Dive into the cultural fabric of South Yarra, feel the buzz of Richmond, relish the tranquility of Abbotsford, and uncover the hidden gems of Kew, Hawthorn, Burnley, Fairfield, Alphington, Ivanhoe, Bulleen, Templestowe, and Warrandyte. With each visit, a different slice of history, architecture, and nature awaits, letting you craft myriad memories along the way.