7 pet-friendly holidays

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Take it from me, leaving a pet behind when you holiday can be traumatic. I have spent an entire holiday haunted by the memory of my dog’s sad brown eyes, quivery legs and dry nose as I left him behind and took off overseas.

It didn’t seem fair that I was chowing down on pizza, pasta and gelati while my other half – a wily old short-haired dachshund called Oberon – was being served Pal-for-one in a kennel here in Brisbane.

In Europe I saw dogs as small as chihuahuas through to great danes shadowing their masters everywhere, which got me thinking about the pet-friendly holidays I could take with Oberon closer to home.

Here’s my guide to travelling with your pooch so you can skip the kennel fees and the horrendous guilt of leaving your dog behind.

1. Learn a new trick

This old dog could always learn a new trick… and I am not talking about Oberon. I’ve always wanted to try stand-up paddle boarding but have been too scared to do it alone. When I saw I could take Oberon with me on a paddle board at Riverview Retreat in Burrum Heads I jumped at the chance, knowing no matter how many times I fall off, my best friend won’t judge.

2. Don’t get hot under the collar

Just like any other urbanite, Oberon loves escaping to the beach. Elouera on Seagull at Mermaid Beach is the perfect pet-friendly apartment for a weekend getaway – Oberon and I could hit the surf together, then while I pamper my paws with a spa treatment, he’d be as happy as a pig in mud in the large grassed yard.

3. See how the canine half lives

I love the idea of sleeping under the stars and who better to share the experience with than my best friend? Most camping grounds are pet friendly and would let me explore the native bushland with Oberon on leash. For a city slicker like Obie, camping at Flanagan Reserve or Coleyville Farm in the Scenic Rim would give him something to bark about.

4. Farmer wants a dog

The postie bike is only thing Oberon regularly chases in his day-to-day routine so I am always happy to get him back to nature. I can see myself with a glass of local wine, relaxing on a cottage verandah and watching Oberon make new friends with the farm animals at Lee Farm Stay or Deshons Retreat in Kingaroy.

5. Lay in the lap of doggie luxury

Like his Shakespearean namesake, Oberon has expensive taste. For something completely luxurious, Palazzo Versace is soon to launch two pet-friendly rooms with five star doggie service. While I sleep in luxurious Versace linen, Obie will bunk down in a Posh Pets bed by my side. It’s no surprise he’s been on his best behavior lately.

6. Get a new leash on life

Let’s face it – just like us, man’s best friend is not adverse to a little RnR and an island getaway is just what the vet ordered. I’d like to relax at Teacosy Cottage on Karragarra Island and let Oberon explore the beach while I take in views from the deck. Or we could discover North Stradbroke Island and stay at Sea Shanties where there are plenty of dog-friendly beaches to choose from.

7. No need to sleep in the dog house

Sometimes Oberon doesn’t like to sleep outside and who am I to argue with his puppy dog eyes? Lake Weyba Cottages in Noosa are well set up for doggies accustomed to inside living and positioned conveniently close to a dog-walking beach. These fetching lakefront cottages even have a wood fire for us to cosy up together on cool nights.

How could I say no to this face?

What about you? Where do you like to take your dog on holidays?

Photography (from top): David May, Paddle Out for Whales, Deshons Retreat, Hannah Statham

  • Thank you for the article, we only go to places which are pet friendly on our holidays, we like having our Dog with us to enjoy the holiday too.

    • If you want to venture up to the Sunshine Coast with your pooch, check out our pet friendly B&B 10 minutes from Gympie in the Mary Valley, Lagoon Pocket B&B ( our rough collie Danny always likes meeting new friends!

      • Sandra Keeble Larner

        omg ! what a beautiful place !

    • Sandra Keeble Larner

      thankyou 🙂

  • Hi Hannah, We just wanted to say thank you for a great article. We have been running Lagoon Pocket B&B as a pet friendly B&B of nearly 10 years now, we know the joy that our guests get from sharing the special times with the four legged members of the family. And if you are in the Gympie region we can even offer you one of the best Italian Cafes around, Emilias in Mary Street to try!

  • just wanted to say thank you for a great article. we like having our Dog with us to enjoy the holiday

    • TourismQLD


  • tony

    We always go to Coolum Beach on our holidays and have found a nice privately managed holiday house at
    The great thing about these houses is that they are meticulously cared for and the owners make sure that everything is catered for. We go up every year and every year we find the place is spotlessly clean, its not far to walk from the surf club, the yard is well secured and the house in Santa Monica has a great pool. We had a bad experience with a property managed by a holiday managed company and now always return to one of Maureen’s Houses.

    • Sandra Keeble Larner

      will definitely be looking this up ! thankyou

  • Gill Campbell

    We have a pet friendly affordable cabin between Cooroy and Pomona in the Noosa Hinterland – if anyone is interested visit

    • Sandra Keeble Larner

      Thanks for sharing Gill

  • Sandra Keeble Larner

    Hi guys ! i am starting this facebook page to help dog lovers like myself to be able to take our babies on holidays with us ! please share all your pet friendly accommodation ect experiences with us 🙂

    I want to start this facebook page for people who think their furry kids deserve a holiday just like us humans .
    Please feel free to join our group.