The pre-trip consensus from a lot of people was that travelling Australia with a dog would seriously limit our itinerary because we wouldn’t be able to go to national parks. Frankly, we’ve found that travelling-with-a-dog isn’t all that different to living-in-a-house-with-a-dog and we can honestly say that Neddy has enhanced rather than limited our travelling experiences.
The important thing is to be prepared: find out what the limitations of your destinations will be and plan accordingly. Keep in mind that all Places We’ve Stayed are dog friendly unless otherwise mentioned.
Our advice: thinking about travelling Australia with a dog seems daunting, but once you start you’ll just get on with it. Like anything!
What works when travelling Australia with a dog:
- Use mobile apps such as WikiCamps Australia (setting the filter to ‘dog friendly’) and/or camping books such as Camps Australia Wide when choosing places to visit.
- Another option is to use your phone to Google “town name + off leash dog areas”. Failing that, ask caravan park owners, locals, or go to information centres in towns. We’ve been surprised at how many brochures are available.
- When relaxing around our campsite we tie Neddy up with enough length to come in and out the door, reach his water bowl and sit in sun/shade as he pleases. Of course, this works best when you don’t have too much outside furniture set up and we don’t usually leave ours out all the time so it’s not been a problem. We thought Neddy would chafe at being constantly tied up but so far it hasn’t bothered him in the slightest. TIP: buy a couple of carabineers to take with you. We keep one on the handle of Neddy’s lead (very useful if we have to tie him up), plus you can easily hook them to ropes.
- Embrace scatter feeding (that is, scattering dog food on the ground – outside of course – rather than in a bowl). This saves on washing up and also has the added bonus of slowing down their eating and keeping them entertained for longer (while they search for the food).
- It sounds obvious, but try to exercise your dog once a day at the very minimum. Same as when they’re at home, they’re less likely to play up if they’re not full of beans.
- Don’t assume that you can’t visit a location just because you have your dog with you: we’ve visited a number of national parks (including the Grampians and the Flinders Ranges) and it’s worked out every time!