Anyone who has loved a dog knows just how hard it is to leave them behind when you’re on holiday. Not only is it a hassle to find someone to look after them that’s not going to feed them burgers and fries, but you also can’t fully relax without knowing their whereabouts every second of the day.
Thankfully there are some amazing dog-friendly camping spots in Australia so you don’t even have to entertain the idea of leaving them behind the next time you’re planning a getaway.
Whether you’re thinking of a quick escape from your city or circumnavigating the country, here are 13 of the best dog-friendly camping spots around Australia.
Best Friend Holiday Retreat, Gippsland
Best Friend Holiday Retreat should be labelled as a human-friendly dog camping spot because the whole place is centred around your pooch’s enjoyment. The individually fenced campsites mean your dog gets to stretch its legs while you kick back toasting marshmallows on the fire. When it comes time to get a little exercise there are six fenced off-leash areas with agility equipment and a giant dog ball run, as well as plenty of doggy-doo and drinking stations. If your furry buddy gets a little dirty you can wash them in the hydrobath. Want to scope out nearby Tarra-Bulga National Park? You can check them into the luxury kennel for the day, but there are also plenty of dog-friendly activities in the area if you can’t bear to be separated.
NRMA Echuca Holiday Park, Murray River
A pet-friendly paddle steamer awaits at NRMA Echuca Holiday Park in Murray River. If that doesn’t float your boat, maybe teaching your dog to stand up paddle board is more up your vibe. And if that won’t fly, a relaxed stroll through the Banyule Forest along the banks of the Murray River will surely delight your K9 companion. So long as you’re not planning to visit at Easter or over Christmas, your pup is welcome at Echuca.
New South Wales
Wine Country Tourist Park, Hunter Valley
Dogs and wine, what more could you want from a laid back camping getaway? Wine Country Tourist Park in the Hunter Valley welcomes smaller dogs with the manager’s prior approval, and they’ve got powered tent and slab sites depending on your setup. There’s a swimming pool to cool off in, as well as a camp kitchen and BBQ that guests are welcome to share. The Mighty Craft brewery is just a short wander down the road and your floof is welcome there too, plus there are a few Hunter Valley wineries that are dog friendly so you don’t have to worry about getting pet sitters for when you go out exploring (read: drinking).
Moonee Beach Holiday Park
Part of the Reflections Holiday Parks Group, Moonee Beach is an idyllic getaway for you and your pupper. Just north of Coffs Harbour, this spot sits creek-side, in front of the calming waters of an estuary, making it the perfect spot if you’re both fans of water sports. Spend your days stand up paddle boarding or kayaking with the pooch and your nights making s’mores on the campfire. There are even dog friendly cabins if you get out there and decide the luxe life is more for you.
Minjerribah Camping, North Stradbroke Island
Beach camping is amazing at the best of times, but add your pup into the mix and you’ve reached holiday perfection. Minjerribah Camping on North Stradbroke Island welcomes dogs of all shapes and sizes to its Flinders Beach and Main Beach campsites, you’re just going to need a 4WD to get you there. Two pups are permitted per site, they just have to be happy to be leashed at all times unless they’re at Home Beach or Skatebowl Park.
Amamoor State Forest
Around two hours from Brisbane, Amamoor State Forest offers pet-friendly camping among diverse forest lands. Part dry forest, part riverine rainforest and part hoop and bunya pine plantation, dogs are welcome at the Amamoor Creek campsite. Pups must be on leash at all times to preserve the natural habitat and the creatures that live in it, but they won’t mind given the number of walks you’ll be taking them on along the creeks and streams as you look out for platypus. It doesn’t get much better than camping under the iron bark and blue gum trees with your pooch nuzzling into as you sit beside a crackling fire.
NRMA Palm Cove Holiday Park, Palm Cove
Just a few paw prints from the beach, the NRMA Palm Cove Holiday Park is a dog lover’s dream. There are powered and unpowered pet friendly sites and cats and birds are also welcome, NRMA just asks that all pets be kept on a leash. While someone hangs out with the animals, you can check out the Daintree Rainforest or snorkel the Great Barrier Reef, before all going for a jaunt along the esplanade or an off-leash escapade on the beach between the Palm Cove jetty and the rocks.
Heritage Caravan Park, Alice Springs
Your dreams of a red centre getaway with your bestie can become a reality thanks to Heritage Caravan Park. All sites and cabins welcome friendly pets, and you don’t need to worry about their fur getting stained by the red dirt thanks to the onsite K9000 dog wash. There’s an off-leash dog run so they can work off some energy after a long car ride and loads of shady spots under the lemon-scented gums so everyone can stay cool, not to mention a resort-style swimming pool (which is obviously only human friendly).
Ningaloo Caravan And Holiday Resort, Exmouth
The camping and caravan sites at Ningaloo Caravan and Holiday Resort are dog friendly so long as you book ahead and let management know you’ll be bringing fido. The resort has got all the modcons, including a tropical-style pool and a restaurant, The BBQ Father (which has dog friendly tables too). Nearby pooch approved activities include walks along the off-leash Bundegi Beach, brewskies at Whalebone Brewing Co and scoping the sunset at Vlamingh Head Lighthouse.
Southern Stars Holiday Park, Dunsborough
With fenced sites that allow your pooch to stretch its legs and not get tangled up in a leash, Southern Stars Holiday Park is a home run when it comes to dog friendly camping. There’s even a dedicated doggo exercise yard, and for dogs who aren’t afraid of getting their paws wet, there’s a dog beach 2.5km away. When there are no restrictions you can hire a firepit from Southern Stars for $20, otherwise you can bring your own so long as it meets the park’s safety standards. As usual, dogs are not allowed to be left alone, but that’s not going to be a problem because there are plenty of dog friendly wineries and breweries in Dunsborough and Margaret River.
Murray Bridge Marina Camping & Caravan Park, Murray Bridge
An idyllic campground just an hour’s drive from Adelaide, Murray Bridge Marina Camping & Caravan Park is a serene spot to stop with your pup in tow. Camp along the banks of the Murray River under a shady tree and you and the bestie can admire the houseboats moored in the marina or, in their case, watch the pelicans floating by. There are powered and unpowered campsites, and even a few with private ensuites. Pets must be approved prior to arrival. This also happens to be a great spot for stargazing.
Pine Country Caravan Park, Mount Gambier
With an off-lead dog paddock, pet friendly campgrounds and cabins, Pine Country Caravan Park is an excellent choice for good boys and girls. Pitch your tent in a shady spot on the lush green grass and you can also enjoy free WIFI, communal BBQs and a camp kitchen. There are powered, unpowered and ensuite sites to choose from, all welcome to leashed doggos. It’s the perfect spot to base yourself when exploring South Australia’s sinkholes and The Blue Lake.
Bay Of Fires Conservation Area
Dogs on leashes are given the green light at Tassie’s stunning Bay of Fires Conservation Area where you can fall asleep to the sound of waves crashing into shore in your beach-side camping spot. If you’d prefer to be further back you can snag a spot with a view of the beach among the trees, either way it’s free. Use one of the dedicated fireplaces (provided there’s no fire restrictions in place) to cook some billy tea and damper, just don’t forget to bring your own wood. Doggos are allowed everywhere except at Jeanneret Beach.
Want to take your trip to the next level? Check out the best pet-friendly hotels in Australia.
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