Discover The Best Dog-Friendly Travel Destinations Around Australia With Insta-Famous Pooch Alma The Lappie

Alma the Lappie on Kangaroo Island, SA

You asked… and we listened!

Get ready for another insta-dog takeover! This week it’s all about adventure and road trips with Alma the Lappie and her human companion, Emily.
In this interview we get to know where the best dog- friendly travel and adventure spots are around Australia with this experienced traveling duo, and not to mention the travel hacks too!

Alma and Emily in Western Australia and exploring the Northern Territory

Q: How did the idea for road tripping around Australia with Alma come about?

Emily and Alma: I am quite lucky with my work; I worked in TV, and it takes me across Australia a lot. I’m not sure how it happened, but I managed to get a pet-friendly hotel on a job I was working on and asked to drive to locations instead of flying. They seemed OK with it, and this meant that Alma could come with me. She is more than happy to sit in the hotel while I work, and then we adventure after I finish. From then on, if I know I am getting sent to a place, I check the length of time it would take to drive and if I can take leave after or before the job to plan trips around that. Sometimes it’s very short notice, and sometimes it is planned in advance, but owning a camper van always means we are ready for a trip. This is another reason for owning the camper van; it means we can drive long distances and always have somewhere to stop and sleep along the way.

Q: Give us a brief overview of the whole trip. Where have you already been, and where is still to come? What is the best/worst part about it?

Emily and Alma: We have been on a couple of trips this year. We started the year touring around South Australia on the Yorke Peninsula, between two jobs I had for work. We traveled for just over two weeks from Melbourne, exploring Rapid Bay, Sellicks Beach, and onto the Yorke Peninsula, camping our way along the beautiful beaches. We then headed back to Melbourne along the Great Ocean Road before driving back to Sydney.

Our second big trip was a two-and-a-half-week holiday. We couldn’t take our own van, but we hired a pet-friendly van, picking it up in Darwin and driving through Broome, Exmouth, Coral Bay, Perth, Margaret River, Albany, and ending up in Esperance. It was the most amazing trip, and we saw so much!

Emily, Alma and their camper van on Kangaroo Island, South Australia

Our third trip we have just come back from; we left Sydney mid-December, driving to Brisbane for work. We then spent Christmas in Noosa before driving across Australia to Adelaide to camp back on the Yorke Peninsula for New Years. From here, I did a quick job for work in Adelaide before heading out for two weeks in the van. We first headed to Flinders Range, then drove along to the Nullarbor – camping on the cliff tops of Nullarbor had been on my bucket list for a while, so we drove 7 hours just to tick this off the list! From here, we took our time camping along the Eyre Peninsula before catching the ferry across to Kangaroo Island, where we had 5 days back on this incredible island. We then headed back to Rapid Bay and Sellicks Beach before driving back to Melbourne and finally arriving back in Sydney early February.

Emily and Alma in Flinders Range, South Australia
Emily and Alma in Flinders Range, South Australia

We have also done a lot of little trips, from Sydney we have been camping our way through the Blue Mountains, Orange, Hunter Valley, Byron Bay, Coffs Harbour, Port Macquarie, Canberra, Kiama Coast, Jervis Bay, Batemans Bay to name a few.

The best part of our trips is having the freedom to travel with Alma in the camper, being able to just get in the van and go wherever, to pick a beach we haven’t explored and camp for free close by. To be able to give her a life full of adventure and to see her free and happy is the best thing about traveling!

The worst part is the heat. Sometimes it can be difficult to do things when it is so hot! Especially because the van doesn’t have aircon, we have to find a shady spot or beach to paddle in the sea or do most of our driving in the day so we can explore at cooler times.

Alma Ocean Kayaking in Western Australia, Discovering a Shipwreck at Netta’s Beach, Western Australia

Q: Give us your top 3 dog-friendly places along the way so far. Tell us about why they are so good.

Emily and Alma: Our top dog-friendly place we have been to so far is Monkey Mia!

I was so shocked to find out how friendly this beautiful place is! Firstly, most of the campsites in this area are insanely beautiful and dog-friendly! Then comes all the activities you can do with your dog… We firstly went to Ocean Park Aquarium, which welcomed dogs! Alma had a ball looking at all the fish and shark feeding. Next, mostly all the beaches we came across were dog-friendly, including Nettas Beach, where Alma swam out and explored a shipwreck. At Monkey Mia resort itself, camping is pet-friendly, and the resort café outside and grassy areas. Then early in the morning, they do dolphin feeding, welcoming well-behaved dogs to sit on the jetty and watch as they do a demo and morning feeds. After this, you can explore the beach and hire either a SUP or Kayak, which also welcome dogs, where you can explore Shark Bay from the ocean. And to top off this amazing place… a boat cruise! There are two types of cruises that are dog-friendly here, and we opted for the sunset cruise. Alma was the only dog, so had a full range of the boat to explore.

Elephant Rock, Western Australia
Elephant Rock, Western Australia

Our second place that is dog-friendly is Kangaroo Island. Mostly all the campsites are dog-friendly, and there are some beautiful holiday lets to hire too. Mostly all the beaches here are dog-friendly and are out of this world! The only place we missed out on was the national park, but I didn’t bother us too much as there were so many other places to explore.

Our third top dog-friendly place is Hunter Valley. What’s a better weekend than wine tasting in the beautiful countryside watching your dog living its best life running free in a vineyard! We love to hire electric bikes and cycle our way from vineyard to vineyard. Most places welcome Alma more than us, and she makes herself at home, chasing the resident dogs, eating cheese, and sleeping under a tree before running or being carried to the next place.

Emily and Alma road tripping across the Nullabor!

Q: How has Alma been handling all the travel? What are your tips and tricks for road-tripping with a pup?

Emily and Alma: I love how adaptable Alma is; she is such a great dog and takes everything in her stride. I set foundations when she was little with training and by taking smaller trips and getting her used to sleeping in tents and driving distances from a younger age. Now she has no issues being on the road and living in the van. In fact, when we got home in Feb, she didn’t want to leave the van when she knew we were home.

Travel Hacks:

  • Basic obedience training – We saw three snakes this year, and I have never been so grateful for the time that I invested in her training to give her off-leash freedom and to be able to trust her around wildlife. A very large red belly black snake passed right in front of us when we were in Esperance, and our training kicked in. I asked her to sit and stay, and we both watched the snake disappear into the sand dunes. We also hike a lot and come across kangaroos a lot of the time, so her listening and knowing not to chase gives her more freedom.
  • First Aid kit – You just can’t go wrong carrying a dog first aid kit. I have one in the van for Alma because we came out in the bush hours from a vet, so it’s always good to know I have something to help us if anything was to happen.
  • A muzzle – being muzzle trained is very important for us. This year we have been around a lot of baiting areas, and it gives me peace of mind if she wears a muzzle to prevent her picking anything up off the floor.
  • A long/drag line – lots of places are dogs on lead, but putting her on a drag line means she can still have some freedom.
  • Always, always take a risk and see if it’s dog-friendly. The internet is not always correct, so always check signs. I have been surprised so many times because dogs are actually allowed, but I would have missed it had I not explored it myself.
Alma the Lappie in Byron Bay
Alma the Lappie in Byron Bay

Q: Have you learned any new funny quirks about Alma since the trip began?

Emily and Alma: Alma refuses to swim past her tummy from shore but will happily jump off the paddleboard and swim around the sea or lake!

Alma loves to adventure, but she always loves to go to bed. A lot of the time, she sneaks off to bed on her own, and you find her asleep upside-down in the van.

Q: Where is your next stop?

Emily and Alma: We haven’t got a big trip planned for a while. I want to do a few more local trips around Sydney in the coming months and explore more of the Blue Mountains hiking and camping. At the end of this year, we will go back to Tasmania for 2/3 weeks and do more mountain hiking as we still have some mountains to tick off our list. I also would love to drive from Darwin to Adelaide through the middle of Australia and take Alma to Uluru and Coober Pedy. But my biggest bucket list entry is to take Alma to New Zealand and travel in a camper van, hiking and camping our way around each island, but this is still in the planning stages… Who knows where the van may take us though with our spontaneous trips this year.

And that ends our exclusive interview the adventurous Finnish Lapphund – Alma and her mama Emily! We sure are keen to go road- tripping to some of those dog-friendly spots mentioned above.

Follow @almathelappie on Instagram to see where she adventures to next!

All images in this post are credited to Alma and Emily

If you’d like to get to know other insta-famous pooches we have interviewed before, see HERE for the Stylish pooch of Sydney, Miss Dior, and HERE for some more road tripping tips with your dog!

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