The Reserve

Balnarring Beach Foreshore is a 70ha nature reserve bordered by Merricks Creek and Western Port Bay. It forms part of the Western Port Biosphere, an internationally recognised Ramsar site (wetland) and is managed for conservation.

Koala at Balnarring – Image courtesy Malcolm Daff

Balnarring Foreshore Interpretive Trail

The Balnarring Foreshore Interpretive Trail is an excellent way to learn more about the areas natural and cultural heritage values while exploring the Balnarring Foreshore. Read more >

Exercising your dog

Dogs are not allowed from 9am to 7pm during daylight savings.

The Foreshore Reserve is a beautiful place to exercise dogs. The Foreshore Reserve forms important habitat for wildlife and breeding grounds for endangered species. To protect this important habitat and other beach users we allow owners to exercise dogs on the beach while on leash (at designated times).

We ask owners to keep their dogs on a leash so all owners can continue to enjoy this privilege into the future. Maps to leash free areas on the Mornington Peninsula can be found here.

The nearest leash free beach is at Somers (approx 3km to the East).

Horse Riding

Horse riding is permitted on the reserve under strict conditions. Riders must wear a numbered Horse Permit Vest, hold a current Horse Permit (or be a nominated rider), abide by the Horse Permit Conditions and only use the area indicated on the Horse Permit Area Map.

All permits have been issued for the 2020/21 financial year. Please send an email to with subject Horse Permit Waitlist to join the waitlist for 2021/22.

Swimming, snorkelling and surfing

The waters adjacent to the foreshore reserve are attractive for all manner of water activities. There is a near shore reef and the area can be affected by surf and currents. The beach is not patrolled by life savers.

The nearest patrolled beach is Point Leo (approx 10kms to the West).


Parks Victoria has identified a ‘Shared Windsports Zone’ to the East (left) of the Westernport Yacht Club. The zone is marked with yellow buoys. We ask all Kiteboarders to rig and launch to the East of the Yacht Club and abide by maritime law that includes:

Vessels may not travel at more than 5 knots within 50m of a swimmer or mooring or within 200m of shore (except within the Shared Windsports Zone)

Balnarring Foreshore Reserve do not have jurisdiction over the waters of Westernport Bay. Members of the public who witness unlawful behaviour should avoid confrontation and report the matter to Victoria Police or Parks Victoria who are the responsible authorities. Follow the link to a map of the Shared Windsports Zone

Members of the public should report offences to Victoria Police by calling 000

Weddings, Events and other Activities

We welcome weddings, events and other activities on the Foreshore Reserve and are happy to provide advice in planning your wedding or event. Activities that will may or will impact on other users because of group size or limiting acces to any area of the reserve will need a permit to conduct the activity. This will ensure your event goes off without a hitch (except for weddings ofcourse!).

People or organisations may apply for a permit by completing an Application for wedding or event (pdf) or the Wedding and Event Permit Application (Word).

Commercial Activities

We welcome commercial operators to use the Foreshore Reserve for appropriate commercial activities and events. Organisers will need a permit for their operations and should make an Application for Commercial Activity Permit – please contact us for details.

Fauna Survey on the Foreshore Reserve

Balnarring Foreshore and Parks Reserve has completed a comprehensive fauna survey. The fauna survey was completed as part of the Balnarring Foreshore Habitat Enhancement Project.

The $45 000 project takes a holistic approach to environmental management. It includes improving habitat for wildlife by removing weeds and planting native flora as well as the fauna survey. Local ecologist Mal Legg has led and compiled the survey.

The Balnarring Foreshore Habitat Enhancement Project is supported by the Balnarring Beach Community Association, Western Port Yacht Club, Balnarring Kindergarten and has been part funded by an $18 000 grant from the Port Phillip and Westernport Catchment Management Authority.

The completed report is available here Fauna assessment of Balnarring Foreshore Reserve, Final Report (10mb pdf) 

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