Off-Leash Dog Areas - San Remo and Phillip Island

We are seeking community input on potential off-leash beach areas in San Remo, Cape Woolamai, Newhaven and Cowes.

Through an online survey, we want to identify whether there is community support for off-leash areas in the following locations:

  • San Remo – Foots Beach
  • Newhaven – next to Phillip Island bridge
  • Cleeland Bight (Cape Woolamai) – three options on the main beach
  • Cowes – west of the Yacht Club

To have your say, you can complete the online survey and download this FAQ document (PDF 265kb) for more information.

All surveys must be completed and returned to us by 15 February 2019.

Currently, there are no off-leash beach areas in these locations, with the only off-leash beach area on Phillip Island located at Ventnor.

These locations have the potential to provide for fair and equitable use of the beaches, while considering amenity and the environment.

During 2018, Council worked with Phillip Island Nature Parks and the San Remo Foreshore Committee of Management (SRFCOM) to identify potential off-leash dog walking areas in San Remo and on Phillip Island. Through this consultation process, several potential locations on Council managed beaches and a beach managed by the SRFCOM were identified. Due to the significant biodiversity values on beaches managed by Phillip Island Nature Parks, no suitable off-leash areas were identified along Phillip Island’s south coast.

Currently, dogs are allowed on-leash on some Council managed Phillip Island beaches, except between 8.00pm and 7.00am and 10.00am to 5.00pm, from 1 December to 30 April with the exception of Cowes Main Beach (Mussel Rocks to Erehwon Point) where dogs are prohibited at all times. Dogs are allowed on-leash on the beach at San Remo, except between 10.00am and 6.00pm, from 1 December to 30 April.

The proposed off-leash areas will reflect these current regulations, with the exception of Ventnor, which has the potential to become a 24/7 off-leash area.

Phillip Island Nature Parks has undertaken a review of its regulations in relation to dogs and access to beaches, with three proposals arising from this review:

  • Allowing dogs on-leash at Colonnades
  • No dogs any time at Smiths Beach East
  • No dogs any time west of Devon Avenue, Ventnor

Council and Nature Parks are now partnering to consult with the community on the four proposed off-leash locations and changes to current regulations.

Council Officers and Phillip Island Nature Parks staff will be popping up on location in San Remo, Cape Woolamai and Cowes to answer questions on the proposed off-leash areas and to allow people to fill out hard copy surveys.

You can also download more information on our current dog walking regulations.

For a paper copy of the survey or more information please contact our Community Safety Team on 1300 BCOAST (226 278) or (03) 5671 2211, or email with ‘Off leash areas’ in the subject line.

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