Traditionally, Melbourne’s western suburbs have been more limited in their off leash dog parks than their eastern neighbours. Thankfully things are starting to change for local dog-loving residents.
Duke Street Reserve in Sunshine North is a relatively recent addition to the dog park circuit. Wedged between double-storey suburbia, industrial warehouses and the Maribyrnong River, the location feels like an odd choice. However, the park itself is well designed. There is fancy new play equipment and a basketball hoop for the kids, growing young trees and a fully fenced off leash dog park. Plus, it has street parking about five metres from the dog park entrance.
Duke Street’s dog park has all the standard features. There are tall strong fences, front and back latches on gates (although we prefer multiple gates to prevent any escapes and account for silly humans) and big open grassy spaces for your dog to run amok. Unlike a lot of fenced dog parks, there are boulders, trees and shrubbery within the dog off leash area itself. This proved to be a great source of entertainment for our dog in the absence of any other playful puppies. She spent much time sniffing around and playing in the mulch. The dog park also has a big bench for humans and a sturdy water bowl. It is actually quiet a clever design. The giant plastic bucket sits in a hole in the cement, making it easy to refill or replace but difficult for even the clumsiest of pups to knock over.
The doggy bags were empty on our visit and the place could generally do with a bit more maintenance. However, I liked how quiet the park was – it was completely empty at 8am on a weekday. If you need a fenced spot for a quiet ball game, Duke Street dog park is a solid choice.
Address: Duke Street, Sunshine North Features: Fully fenced dog park, dog water bowl, doggy bays, bins. Rating: 🐕 🐕 🐕 ½