As the summer sun starts to paint the Australian landscape with its golden hues, the open road beckons to adventure seekers and road trip enthusiasts. But what if your most loyal companion is a furry, four-legged friend? Fear not! With some careful planning and a few pro tips, you can embark on a road trip that’s not only memorable for you but also tail-waggingly amazing for your canine buddy. In this guide, we’ll walk you through how to road trip well with your dog this summer in Australia.
What if you want to plan a last minute trip and can’t find a dog sitter or don’t want to leave your precious pooch in a kennel? Fear not! Your pup can come with you and it’s not as hard as you might think. We have put together the steps you need to take in order to hit the road and get on your way to a dog- friendly summer vacay.
Before you even rev up the engine, it’s crucial to lay the groundwork for a successful road trip with your dog.
a. Check Health and Vaccinations. Start by visiting your vet to ensure your dog is in good health and up-to-date on vaccinations. Discuss flea, tick, and heartworm prevention, especially if you’re travelling to different regions with varying risks.
b. Identification and Microchipping. Ensure your dog has proper identification, including a collar with an ID tag and a microchip with updated contact information. This is vital in case your furry friend decides to go on an unscheduled adventure of their own.
c. Travel-Friendly Crate or Harness. Invest in a comfortable and secure travel crate or harness for your dog. This keeps them safe during the journey and helps maintain focus while driving.
Packing for Your Pooch
Now that your dog is ready to hit the road, it’s time to pack for their comfort and well-being.
a. Food and Water. Pack enough of your dog’s regular food and fresh water for the duration of the trip. Familiar food can help prevent stomach upsets.
b. Doggy First Aid Kit. Prepare a first aid kit with items like bandages, antiseptic wipes, tweezers, and any specific medications your dog may need.
c. Toys and Comfort Items. Bring your dog’s favourite toys and bedding to make them feel at home wherever you stop.
d. Leash, Collar, and Harness. Ensure you have a sturdy leash, collar, and harness for walks and pit stops.
Best dog- friendly camping spots in Australia
At the Best Friend Holiday Retreat, you’ll discover an idyllic haven tailor-made for canine companions. This retreat stands out as a haven for dogs, offering a camping experience designed entirely around your furry friend’s happiness. The campsites are fenced individually, ensuring your dog has ample space to roam freely while you relax, perhaps indulging in toasty marshmallows over a crackling fire. For exercise, there are six dedicated off-leash areas equipped with agility gear and a large dog ball run. Additionally, the retreat provides convenient amenities such as doggy-doo disposal stations and water stations, ensuring your pet’s comfort. If your four-legged companion gets a bit messy during playtime, you can easily clean them up using the hydrobath facilities on-site.
Moreover, if you wish to explore the nearby Tarra-Bulga National Park without leaving your furry friend behind, you can utilise the luxury kennel services available for the day. Alternatively, there are numerous dog-friendly activities in the vicinity, ensuring that you and your beloved pet can enjoy every moment together. Best Friend Holiday Retreat truly embodies the essence of a dog-friendly camping spot, prioritising your dog’s joy and well-being throughout your stay.
New South Wales
Indulge in the perfect blend of relaxation with your canine companion at Wine Country Tourist Park in the Hunter Valley. This laid-back camping retreat offers an ideal getaway, combining the joys of dogs and wine. Small dogs are warmly welcomed with the manager’s approval, and the park provides various accommodation options, including powered tent and slab sites tailored to your camping setup.
Guests can enjoy a refreshing swim in the on-site swimming pool or make use of the communal camp kitchen and BBQ facilities, fostering a sense of community among campers. For beer enthusiasts, a short stroll away lies the Mighty Craft brewery, where your furry friend is just as welcome. Additionally, several dog-friendly wineries dot the picturesque Hunter Valley landscape, eliminating the need for pet sitters when you venture out to explore, or let’s be honest, indulge in some wine tasting. At Wine Country Tourist Park, the combination of canine companionship and fine wine creates an unforgettable camping experience.
Beach camping is already a fantastic experience, but when you bring your furry companion along, it becomes the epitome of holiday bliss. Minjerribah Camping on North Stradbroke Island elevates your vacation to perfection by welcoming dogs of all sizes at its Flinders Beach and Main Beach campsites. However, access to these sites requires a 4WD vehicle.
At Minjerribah Camping, two dogs are allowed per campsite, with the simple requirement that they remain leashed at all times, except when enjoying the freedom of Home Beach or Skate Bowl Park. So, your beach camping adventure can be shared with your beloved pets, making the experience even more memorable.
The Northern Territory
Fulfil your dream of a getaway in the mesmerising red centre with your best furry friend, courtesy of Heritage Caravan Park. This idyllic retreat ensures that your beloved pets are not just welcome but embraced with open arms in all sites and cabins. Worries about their fur getting stained by the iconic red dirt are put to rest, thanks to the convenient onsite K9000 dog wash facility.
At Heritage Caravan Park, your canine companion can burn off some energy in the off-leash dog run, perfect after a long car journey. Numerous shady spots under the refreshing lemon-scented gum trees provide cool respite for everyone. While the resort-style swimming pool offers a delightful cooling experience, it’s important to note that it’s exclusively meant for the human guests. This pet-friendly haven allows you and your bestie to enjoy a memorable and comfortable retreat in the heart of the red centre.
Ningaloo Caravan and Holiday Resort offers dog-friendly camping and caravan sites, provided you inform the management in advance about bringing your furry friend along. The resort boasts modern conveniences, including a tropical-style pool, and features a pet-friendly restaurant named The BBQ Father, where dogs are welcome at specific tables.
For your four-legged companion, there are plenty of approved activities nearby. You can enjoy leisurely walks along the off-leash Bundegi Beach, unwind with a refreshing drink at Whalebone Brewing Co, or marvel at the breathtaking sunset views from Vlamingh Head Lighthouse. Ningaloo Caravan and Holiday Resort ensures both you and your dog have a delightful and memorable holiday experience.
Discover the tranquillity of Murray Bridge Marina Camping & Caravan Park, a picturesque campground just an hour’s drive from Adelaide, where you can bring your furry companion along. Nestled along the scenic banks of the Murray River, this idyllic spot offers shaded campsites beneath trees, allowing you and your bestie to relax and enjoy the peaceful ambiance. As you camp, take in the view of the houseboats gently moored in the marina, and perhaps catch sight of pelicans gracefully floating by.
The campground provides a range of camping options, including powered and unpowered sites, and a few exclusive ones with private ensuites for added convenience. Prior approval is required for pets, ensuring a hassle-free stay for you and your pup. Besides being a pet-friendly haven, Murray Bridge Marina Camping & Caravan Park also offers an excellent opportunity for stargazing, making it a perfect retreat for nature lovers and their canine companions.
Embrace the beauty of Tasmania’s Bay of Fires Conservation Area, where dogs on leashes are warmly welcomed. Picture falling asleep to the rhythmic lullaby of waves crashing on the shore from your beach-side camping spot. For those who prefer a slightly more secluded experience, camping spots with tree-framed views of the beach are also available, and the best part is, it’s all free.
Whether you choose to set up camp right by the beach or opt for a spot nestled among the trees, the tranquil atmosphere is yours to enjoy. If you’re in the mood for a rustic culinary adventure, make use of the dedicated fireplaces (assuming there are no fire restrictions) to brew some billy tea and bake damper. Just remember to bring your own firewood to keep warm. Your canine companions are allowed to accompany you everywhere in the area except Jeanneret Beach, offering you the freedom to explore and enjoy the stunning surroundings together.
A summer road trip with your dog in Australia can be a bonding experience like no other. With careful planning, your journey will be filled with memorable adventures, breathtaking landscapes, and quality time with your furry friend. So, hit the open road, explore the wonders of the Land Down Under, and make this summer a pawsitively amazing one for both you and your dog!
Feel like camping is not your thing? See this amazing dog- friendly Hotel guide (Australia) HERE