Oh, boy! Australia. It’s one of the world’s most pet-friendly countries, so there are enough welcoming places for you and your dog to visit to keep you busy for a very long time. Do you like the mountains? Sandy beaches and surf? Rolling hills to hike, or urban streets to shop? Historic sites or vast scenery like you’ve never witnessed before?
Good news. Australia’s got all that, and lots more. Here are just a few of the best vacation spots you and your dog might like:
Great Otway National Park, Victoria
Victoria is located in the southeast corner of Australia (think Melbourne), so one of its many popular must-see vacay experiences is the Great Ocean Road. Along the way, you and your pooch can traverse the tracks of Great Otway National Park through stunning rainforests and waterfalls, or stop to frolic on the beaches. Take your tent and camp at Johanna Beach.
Victoria isn’t all coastal, though. Head inland to find mineral springs, old gold mining sites, and an extinct volcano at Hepburn Regional Park.
Callala Beach, New South Wales
The coastal town of Jervis Bay offers dog-friendly beaches where your pup can run off-leash, as well as pet-friendly overnight options from camping to luxurious beach houses.
Orara East State Forest, New South Wales
This park in the subtropical forest is a half-hour drive from Coff’s Harbour. You’ll want to check out all four dog-friendly trails, especially the Rainbow Loop Track.
Gold Coast, Queensland
If you’re looking to stretch your legs, you and your canine companion can get in a run along The Spit. It’s 5km long, but not quite all of it is dog-friendly. No worries, though, there’s always Broadwater Beach. Or you can trek Federation Walk instead, which is a coastal bushwalk.
Margaret River, Western Australia
Hoping for a taste of Australia? Head out west to wine country, where you can taste Australia’s famous wines and visit local breweries. No sips for your pup, though he’s more than welcome to accompany you. For more action, you can take him for a run in the surf, or a ride on your paddleboard.
Who hasn’t always dreamed of visiting Tasmania? Did you know this island is actually an Australian state? It’s a bit awkward to get there with your dog from the mainland, but Tasmania is reportedly a dog-friendly dream vacation spot.
Pet safety is Priority #1
Australia’s vast territories are home to a wide variety of potentially poisonous plants as well as dangerous snakes and spiders, ticks, worms, and leeches. Don’t let that dissuade you from visiting rural “bush” areas as well as cities, but never leave home unprepared. No matter how tame the setting, you never know what you might run into, so always make sure your pup is wearing his collar and tags.
Keep him on leash unless you’re in a designated off-leash area, and keep him on the trail where he can’t get into animal hidey holes, contaminated water, etc.
Take a rucksack packed with:
- His leash, and maybe a harness
- Supply of poop bags
- Big bottle of water
- Water dish
- Treats or some food
- A pet first aid kit (a standard kit for humans will do in a pinch, but a pet-specific kit is better)
It’s always a good idea to talk to your vet before you take a holiday with your dog to some new area, as they will know what special precautions you might need to take.
And, speaking of precautions, it can get very hot in some parts of Australia. You’ll want to pack lots of water and also keep an eye on your pup for signs of heat exhaustion. That can be just as dangerous for dogs as it is for people. Best to stay hydrated and take plenty of breaks, out of the sun, so your vacation remains fun.
Exploring is good for you – and your dog
Are you relocating to Australia instead of merely vacationing there? The biggest factor in helping your dog adjust to life in his new country is you. You’re his person, and he looks to you for guidance as well as companionship. So get out there and do things with him, whether you go for short hikes or linger for several days. Australia is enormous. You’ll never run out of fun things for you to see, him to sniff, and the two of you to do together.