Cars, dogs and the open road; name a better combo. That's okay, we’ll wait.
In Australia, we’re blessed with landscapes that could give the Pearly Gates a run for their money – but unlike the Promised Land, dogs aren’t always welcome in these places.
The majority of our rainforests and National Parks are protected grounds, and as a result are very selective about who enters – and most of the time, our domesticated companions are first on the prohibited list.
But there's still plenty of land (and water) for us and our furry friends to roam in this wide brown land.
Let's explore some of the best on offer.
Beechworth Historic Park, Victoria
This beautiful country town is just an hour out of Wodonga, on the border of NSW and Victoria. It’s got some gorgeous cafes, a freaky ex-mental asylum (the ghost tour is highly recommended) and some beautiful scenery along the way.
If you and pup are feeling particularly adventurous, there’s some neat bush walks through the historic park, but be aware that canines must be on a leash.
Turon Gates, Blue Mountains, NSW
This picturesque bushland is located two and half hours directly west of Sydney and offers a range of pet-friendly accommodation options – from camping and glamping to riverside and mountain-view cottages with a spa.
Puppers are welcome at Turon Gates, but they must be controlled at all times.
The Dog Cafe, Victoria
Tuckered out from all that walking? How about a coffee and signature puppacino for you and Pugsy? What about a puppy birthday party or even a wedding for sire and dam? No probs.
Located an hour out of Melbourne's CBD, the Dog Café caters to all pup needs.
Mystery Bay Campgrounds, NSW
Can’t decide between the beach and the bush? Porque no los dos?
Down the south coast of NSW and a bit past Batemans Bay is Mystery Bay. It’s a cold-shower situation (no hot water), and there are no powered campsites or toilets (just holes in the ground).
You don’t need to make a booking, just rock up and shack up – with your precious pooches on a leash of course.
Belair National Park, South Australia
Located within 30 minutes of Adelaide’s city centre, this is one National Park that doggos can attend – as long as they’re on a leash and you clean up any mess they make.
Besides the obvious bush-walking and mountain biking, other activities are available too, with tennis courts and cricket pitches located in the park.
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Nudgee Beach, Queensland
Sunny Queensland is home to dog-friendly beaches aplenty, but Nudgee has both land and water to offer – a dedicated doggy swimming area with an off-leash park just off the beach.
Not too far from Brissy airport, the pup beach allows dogs to roam free through the sand, dig to their heart’s content, explore rock pools and have a doggy paddle for you and your furry friend to cool off after playing.
Evans & Tate Cellar Door, Western Australia
You’ll find this five-star winery in the Margaret River wine region (Wilyabrup). Of course, it’s dog-friendly – but while humans will positively indulge themselves here, we’re not sure dogs will have just as much fun.
Marlow Lagoon Pet Park, Northern Territory
Can you imagine a theme park for pups? Well, this place might not be exactly that, but it’s gotta come close, surely.
Located in Darwin, the park’s full of obstacles to tire out the furry ones, and probably you as well. But it’s recommended you scout the area for croc sighting warnings first (best be safe than sorry, right?).
Secret Garden Cottage, NSW
Would you and fluffy prefer a fairy tale getaway? This dog-friendly accommodation is located in the Blue Mountains (Katoomba) set in a beautiful 1930s cottage.
Sure, it’s old and maybe a little chilly during the mid-year cold snap, but there’s an open-log fire – pack Pugsy’s cardigan anyway (for when you head outdoors) and get on the road ‘cause this is one worth the drive.
Wagtime Cafe, Victoria
A little out of Melbourne’s CBD is another doggy heaven. Wagtime, in the town of Olinda combines grooming, pet shopping and coffee/puppacinos for all. Relax in the café while Wagtime takes care of pooch’s furry coat and sharp talons.
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Got a favourite road trip destination for you and your fur kids? Let us in on your secret in the comments below!