Chat with any local dog owners from South Yarra or Prahran and they’re sure to rave about the wonders of Fawkner Park. With one of inner-city Melbourne’s largest off leash areas and limitless walking trails, Fawkner Park offers a serene escape from the day to day buzz of Melbourne’s concrete jungle.
At first glance, you’d be forgiven for thinking Fawkner Park was nothing more than your standard local sports grounds. Mostly tucked away behind buildings, Fawkner Park’s unimposing street frontage reveals only a leafy tree-lined park. But behind all those beautiful plane and elm trees lies over a kilometre of parkland.
Approximately one quarter of the park is off leash. Three large fields at the southern end are available for your pup to chase, jump or roll the day away. Then there are the endless shady paths, which make for gorgeous summer walks with your four-legged friends. What’s more, it’s family friendly. With picnic tables, bbq facilities and playgrounds, Fawkner is a wonderful space to bring big groups.
However, while space abounds at Fawkner Park, in other respects it can be a bit hit and miss. It certainly has all the requisite dog park amenities. Whether you’ll be able to find them is another matter entirely… Bins and doggy bags can be found at some entrances (but not all and they’re not always stocked). Then there is the solitary dog water fountain that sits randomly in the middle of the park. Accessibility can also be an issue. Although there aren’t any official time restrictions, on weekends you may find yourself navigating sporting matches, kids parties or even the dreaded tightrope walkers.
Ultimately, while Fawkner Park isn’t your typical sporting oval it isn’t really a dog park either. Where it excels, is in providing a safe and pretty space for long walks (on and off leash) and games of fetch. It’s not as unique as Albert Park Lake or the Botanic Gardens but you’re sure to meet lots of local pups and it’s nice to be tucked away from main roads and enjoy the greenery. It’s also perfect for getting in some exercise before some brunch. Nearby Slater Street Bench, Mister Zen and Tall Timber all offer delicious coffee and food for dog-owning patrons.
ADDRESS: 24-28 Commercial Road South Yarra Time Restrictions: None Features: Off leash areas, walking trails, dog water bowls, benches, picnic tables, bbqs, toilets
Rating: 🐕 🐕 🐕 1⁄2