Navman guide to dog friendly holidays

Dog Friendly Holiday

If you didn’t own a dog before 2020, chances are you have one now. Pet ownership around the world has gone up exponentially, and now with borders beginning to re-open, it’s time to plan a holiday. And one that includes Fido.


After all the time your dog has spent with their families over the past two years, it is undoubtedly going to be tough on them if you choose to leave them behind with friends or leave them in a kennel.


A more humane (yes, dogs are people after all!) option is to take the dog with you.


Five or 10 years ago this was quite a challenging task. Hotels, motels, even caravan parks and campsites were very unwelcoming about four legged guests. The good news is today you can find pet friendly accommodation in virtually every city and town around the country, even five-star hotels, you just need to know where to look.


Don’t just check out the websites that are focused on pet friendly holidays, you may miss options, as today many of the general travel sites enable you to filter searches to include pets.


Big 4 Holiday Parks have 99 locations around Australia that are pet friendly and these include sites for camping, caravans, cabins and more luxurious accommodation.


Airbnb also has plenty of options for accommodation to suit holidaymakers and their dogs. Often houses will feature fenced gardens, courtyard areas or be located close to dog-friendly beaches. Do make sure you read and follow the house rules. Not everyone wants to stay in a bedroom where someone else’s dog has been sleeping.


Even luxury four and five-star hotels are welcoming furry friends. Yes, you may need to pay more to cover your pet’s stay, but it can be worth it so you can all stay in style. The W Hotel in Melbourne’s Flinders Lane is one such hotel, as well as the Ovolo group which has a number of cool dog friendly hotels in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Canberra.  In Sydney other notable hotels include The Langham, Crowne Plaza Darling Harbour and Pier One and in Adelaide, The Hilton is one of many options.


You may also be amazed at the number of regular motels that are happy to accommodate pets these days.  Just use the ‘facilities’ filter on site, click on pet friendly and you’ll find so many options, many of which are very affordable.


Here are some of our favourite places to stay in NSW (yes, writer is based in Sydney so travel has been limited to own State):

·         Evanslea in Mudgee is set among pretty gardens with four cottages each perfect for a couple and a dog. There is a pool and tennis court, and the location is pretty close to the town centre.

·         Tonic in Lovedale in the Hunter Valley is a neat spot with lots of space for your dog to run around, as well as relaxing spots for you and close to many good vineyards.

·         River Country Inn in Moama (Echuca, Victoria across the river) is great value for money, spacious rooms, garden courtyard with pool and kitchen facilities.

·         Outback Church Cottage at Broken Hill, just down the road from the famous Bell’s Milk Bar (Airbnb).

·         Yarrabandai Homestead at Ootha between Condobolin and Forbes is not only friendly to dogs, but you can also bring your bigger four-legged friend aka horse to stay. There is a pool, river with kayaks and a tennis court and much more.


We’d love to hear your recommendations for pet friendly accommodation you’ve found on your travels, so please send us a message via Messenger.


And do remember that if you are travelling with your dog in the car, it must be properly tethered either via a clip onto the seatbelt or in a travelling box.  You risk large fines in many states for not having your dog properly secured, and it’s for their own safety after all. And don’t put your dog in the front seat, it could be the end of a very happy holiday if the airbags are deployed.


Also remember to take the dog out for a pee when you do, make sure there is plenty of ventilation and don’t overfeed them before you set out, dogs can suffer from carsickness just like kids. No fun for anyone!


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