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Top Travel Spots in Australia to Explore with your Dog

With the summer months already upon us and the holidays rapidly approaching, working out how to spend your days off while still enjoying the company of your dog without being stuck at home can leave you crunching for ideas. 

Below is a list of sixteen dog-friendly outings, spanning through all states and territories to get you and your dog out and about this holiday season.

#1. Murrumbateman Winery

The Murrumbateman Winery in the ACT offers not only an experience for you and your dog, but also the opportunity for you to reach out and help the RSPCA through purchase proceeds of wines and dog treats, while their annual Christmas party for dogs encouraging all guests to donate toys to go towards the organisation. 

The winery has two resident dogs named Mollie and Tannin, with Mollie having her own range of Sauvignon Blanc named after her. The winery provides a large selection of seating, both on the terrace and on the lawn where the owners are more than happy to welcome dogs to stretch their legs. 

Along with being open for general visits, the winery also hosts several events for dogs throughout the year for occasions such as Mother’s Day and Christmas. 

Find more information here

#2. Ovolo Nishi Hotel

Located in Canberra's CBD, Ovolo Nishi offers a luxury experience for you and up to two dogs, providing dog beds, treats and dog-friendly staff for any assistance that may be needed. 

The hotel asks that dogs are not to be left unattended for extended periods of time and to ensure all dogs are on a lead while outside the room. 

As part of the VIP package, an all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet is on offer with a puppuccino for your dog, a free mini bar in the hotel room and an all vegetarian kitchen and bar with an extensive menu. 

Find more information here

#3. Cowra Japanese Gardens

Credit: @fymy_adventures
Cowra’s Japanese Gardens and Cultural Centre
is not only a great attraction for humans but for dogs, too. 

With adult entry priced at just $18, the gardens offer a wide variety of activities, spanning from walks around the gardens, meals at the cafe overlooking the gardens and fish feeding in the spring, summer and autumn months. 

The garden is the largest Japanese garden in the southern hemisphere and is an ideal place to get out and experience something that you and your dog may not have before, with the only requirement being that dogs are kept on leads. While the gardens are regarded as their most beautiful during early spring due to the cherry blossom season, the scenery and atmosphere are still renowned by visitors year round. 

More information can be found here

#4. High Tea at Cafe Lost and Found 

Cafe Lost and Found
is a botanical-inspired cafe and store located in North Sydney offering a dog-friendly high tea session, every Sunday from 2pm to 4pm serving a range of sandwiches and sweets designed specially for dogs. 

The session is priced at $45 per dog and $65 per person, with it being compulsory for owners to join their dogs for high tea.

Bookings for the session must be made at least two days in advance as spots are limited. Once the session has started you and your dog will be seated in the outdoor sitting area of the cafe to enjoy your high tea. 

Attached to the cafe is a plant and antiques store with a variety of unique trinkets, decor, vases, pot plants and many more. Find out more here 

#5. Darwin Botanic Gardens

The George Brown Darwin Botanic Gardens is located just outside the city centre and is full of lush greenery, being described as a great place to escape the heat while still getting outside and spending time with your dog. 

Unlike many other places in Darwin and the Northern Territory in general,  dogs are not only permitted to visit the gardens but are also allowed to be fully off leash granted that they are controlled. 

As well as having many different sections of the garden that house a range of different ecosystems, there is also an on-site dog-friendly cafe, open year round. More information can be found here

#6. Holmes Jungle Nature Park

Credit: The Life of Py
Located on the edge of Darwin in a small and protected part of monsoon forest, Holmes Jungle Nature Park spans 250 hectares and is full of walking tracks, lookouts and countless other spots for you and your dog to unwind while soaking up the fresh air. 

Along with the park being happy to welcome bushwalkers, there is also a selection of trails that are open to cyclists and a large number of picnic areas. 

The park requests all dogs remain on leads while on the premises as of the high numbers of native birds, mammals and reptiles found in the park. 

Find more information here

#7. Mary Valley Rattler - Pets Onboard

It’s not just us humans who enjoy watching the scenery go by!

Credit: @mr_milo_moments
Bring your dog or cat along on the Mary Valley Rattler on the Sunshine Coast and e
njoy the sights of the scenic Mary Valley, the quaint little town of Dagun and the historic Amamoor Station and surrounding Amamoor State Forest.

Dogs are welcome on their Classic Rattler Run on Wednesdays and Saturdays or All Stations Train on Sundays. They have a carriage that has been configured with two segregated booths that can accommodate up to six people per booth with up to two pets per booth from the same family.

Train tickets are $25 each for your dog or cat. They must remain on leash at all times during the journey and of course remember to  clean up after them. Find all the details and how to book your seats here  

#8. The Crystal Caves

Credit: @corporatetocaravan
The Crystal Caves
, located in Atherton, Queensland have been a prominent attraction since it was first built in the late 1980s. With the rise of influencers visiting the caves, they have taken off across social media and gained new recognition around the country, having an estimated number of more than 250,000 guests visiting the caves since they opened. 

Whether or not you are a spiritual person or just want to take your dog along to visit the exhibit it’s an experience well worth it, offering five man-made tunnels full of crystals, stones and fossils collected by founder RenĂ© Boissevain.

The caves offer geode cracking, a gift shop and self-guided tours through the caves all for a $25 adult entry fee, having no size restriction of dogs allowed inside. Find out more here

#9. Dog House Cafe

Credit: @theshibakai
Located in one of Melbourne's most contemporary suburbs, the Dog House Cafe in Collingwood offers a large range of meals, snacks and drinks fit for dogs. 

Not only do they provide a range of food served on the premises, but they also offer their own brand of raw dog food, an in-house grooming station, treats and toys. The cafe offers a number of different seating options including fenced-in booths to keep you and your dog separated from other customers.

Along with the cafe, there is a pet shop that stocks a variety of collars, accessories, enrichment activities and almost anything else your dog could possibly want, complete with an online shop. 

Find more information here

#10. Paddle Boarding with SUPS for PUPS

SUPs for PUPs was created after the founder discovered a love for paddle boarding with her dog Bobby and wanted to share that love, with bookings available for both the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria and Melbourne Bayside

Sessions are able to be booked for various numbers of participants, from a private lesson for one person / one dog, a couples lesson for two people / up to two dogs, all the way up to group lessons for four people / four dogs. Sessions last for an hour and fifteen minutes with life jackets provided to all dogs. 

The team at SUPs for PUPs strongly believe in the importance of bonding time outdoors with your dog and say that stand-up paddle boarding is a great way for all involved to bond, exercise and spend time outside in one of the most beautiful environments our country has to offer. 

Use code AustDogLovers to receive 20% off (expiry 1 May 2023). More information can be found here

#11. Timboon to Camperdown Rail Trail

This track (40km one way) is located 160 km southwest of Melbourne, full of steep inclines and descents, with an estimated seven hours and six minutes of walking to complete. 

The hike is labelled as a level two hike and while it is achievable for most age and fitness levels it is recommended to have riding experience if you wish to ride along the trail. While hiking or riding the trail solo with your dog may appeal to some, there are also a number of guided bike tours available for those who want a more interactive experience. The trail passes surrounding rainforests, volcanic lakes, farmland and historical sites and has countless spots throughout that hikers have regarded as photo worthy. 

Due to the amount of wildlife in this environment it is a requirement for all dogs to stay on lead for the duration of the hike. Find more information here

#12. Farm Beach

Farm Beach
is located on the Eyre Peninsula, approximately 55 km away from Port Lincoln. 

The beach stretching for just over 2 km, has 24-hour off lead dog access and multiple campsites along the beach with bathrooms available and sheltered picnic areas for as little as $10 a night. 

While Farm Beach isn’t the most scenic of all the beaches in the Eyre Peninsula, it commonly has calm, flat conditions accompanied by crystal clear water making it a great location to keep an eye on your dog while still being able to enjoy the beach. Find out more here

#13. Bacchus Bar

Dogs are welcomed with open arms at this beachfront bar located on Henley Beach. The bar has a dedicated section for dogs, known as the “Pooch Park”, providing water bowls and toys to keep your dog entertained.

Bacchus Bar also offers a dog-friendly menu, which consists of peanut butter cakes, homemade bacchus bites, bacon, pup patties and bags of liver treats, with a Mediterranean cuisine offered for humans. 

Alongside their dog-friendly menu and pooch park, another accommodation made for dogs is the designated seating areas, which are still located inside the venue to ensure you still get the best of the live music the bar has to offer. Find more information here

#14. Harlequin

Just outside of Hobart's city centre in Lenah Valley, Harlequin prides themselves on their robust menu and unique location.

With the restaurant sitting on the bank of the creek it is a hotspot for native birds and other small animals to gather in and around the trees, while there’s more than enough grass down below to accommodate anyone looking to take their dog outside for a stroll. 

While there is no official dog menu, there is a space on the lawn dedicated to seating you and your dog in an area that ensures both of your comfort. 

More information can be found here

#15. Port Arthur Historic Site

Port Arthur Historic Site
is regarded as one of the most dog friendly attractions in Tasmania with dogs being welcomed on guided tours and only having a small number of areas across the site that dogs are not permitted, such as the cruise vessel and house museums. 

Upon entry management must be informed that you have a dog with you, and you will be let in via a side gate. The world heritage listed site not only has a wide variety of historic convict-built structures but also a small number of walking tracks through the bush that surrounds it. 

While visiting dogs are to stay on a lead at all times and be picked up after in order to keep the grounds maintained to the best possible standard. Find out more here

#16. Ningaloo Station

The 50,000 hectare sheep station located in the Gascoyne region of Western Australia has been regarded as a great camping ground that offers opportunities for four-wheel driving and access to five designated campsites, all of which allow dogs but have no bathroom block available.

It is a requirement that dogs are on a lead at all times, are not roaming, are controlled and are only in the areas designated for them throughout the day. 

Areas that do not permit dogs have it clearly posted on signs and make the reasons for it known, whether it be to do with nesting turtles or native birds. 

It is also important to note that the station places 1080 baits around certain places in order to maintain numbers of foxes posing as a threat to turtles in the area. These baits can often be moved around by birds or other wildlife and while baits aren’t placed in areas that permit dogs, consumption is still fatal. More information can be found here

Enjoy your adventures and stay safe! If you happen to visit any of these places over summer, why don't you drop us a line or tag us in your photos on Facebook or Instagram?

written by Maddison Yeates, December 2022 for Australian Dog Lover

About our writer

Maddison (Maddi) Yeates is currently a Year 12 student who has had a love for writing from a young age. After graduating she hopes to study a communications degree with the intent of pursuing a career in journalism.

She’s an avid pet lover, being a fur sister to 2 chocolate Labradors, Max and Solomon, a fur mum to crazy cat Raven as well as having kept rabbits, chickens and birds.

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