Top dog-friendly getaway ideas

Going on holidays with your dog is a terrific bonding experience, not to mention an extra-special alternative to kennelling. Including them in your plans is not only easy, it is hugely rewarding. It’s wonderful to watch them explore new places, new sights and new smells, and best of all, you don’t have to be apart from each other for even a day.

Here are some of our top getaway ideas to consider when travelling with your dog.

1. Rent a beach house
Plenty of landlords allow pets and you can enjoy a great beach holiday at any time of year. New South Wales boasts numerous designated dog beaches, while others allow dogs outside certain peak times. This list is as long as the horizon, and, with fewer bathers around in the cooler months, you might even have the sand to yourself for zoomies! Here are just a few ideas of where to go.

Head to the Eurobodalla region on the south coast to find countless dog beaches – from Narooma to Tuross and Moruya and Malua Bay – along with fenced off-leash parks. There are picturesque walking tracks to stride or amble along, as well as sumptuous local offerings for you (and possibly even your dog) to sample – from cheese and ice cream to freshly caught fish and chips.

If you’re heading to the mid-north coast, why not visit check out the gorgeous Forster region? Blueys, Boomerang and Cellito beaches all have great off-leash areas – just check the timing. Further north, still more stunning beaches, rivers and lakes await you around Coffs Harbour. Set out on a long walk, throw the ball or Frisbee, have a go at surfing together or simply let your pup frolic in the water.

2. Go camping
This is always a popular activity for dog-owners. While national parks are, of course, off limits to dogs, there are plenty of spectacular spots in all kinds of landscapes that allow you to get back to nature with your best mate by your side.

Whether you opt for a tent or a cabin – and many site operators do offer self-contained pet-friendly cabins – it’s important to make a quick phone call first just to confirm dogs are allowed (whatever the internet says), and always be sure to observe good camping etiquette

Check out this list of pet-friendly sites in New South Wales and, before you go, consider making a checklist of all the things you need – this one may come in handy

3. Visit a dog-friendly winery

Believe it or not, there are plenty of these around. Here is a list of pet-friendly wineries in the Hunter Valley alone. If you can, it’s best to contact the winery ahead of time to reserve the best dog-friendly table if you’re planning to enjoy a meal after your tasting.

Tastings are generally held indoors, so you will probably need to secure your doggo in a nice, comfortable spot outside for a bit before you settle in to eat. Be sure to bring their bed along so they’re truly cosy, along with a designated driver, of course (although some operators run dog-friendly bus tours of popular wine regions, too. Have a look at Gourmet Pawprints.

4. Check into a hotel

If your pooch is a sucker for the finer things in life, why not treat them to a night in a fancy hotel? In Sydney alone, you’ll find Woollahra’s boutique Hughenden and Darlinghurst’s Medusa Hotel are essential destinations for trendy inner-city doggos, while Pier One Walsh Bay  pulls out all the stops for a truly luxurious stay. The Langham Sydney also welcomes pets, but only those weighing less than 20kg. Other major cities will offer similar options.

Look your best as you strut the city streets together, or order room service and cuddle up together with an in-room movie – just maybe steer clear of ‘Marley and Me’ (spoiler alert: that one’s a tear jerker).

5. Hit the slopes

With winter just around the corner, why not plan a houndie snow trip and allow them to experience snow for perhaps the only time in their life? Yes, most of Australia’s alpine regions are in or bordering national park, but there are options, and tracking down a great dog-friendly location will be half the adventure! We’ve had a heads up that Dinner Plain in Victoria is an extremely popular choice. [ Oh, and don’t forget to pack your doggo’s fleeciest coat for the occasion.

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