Where to go camping with dogs

Camping with Dogs in Australia - tips and where to go




“Happiness is a warm puppy.” – Charles M. Schulz



One of the most common questions we get in our inbox from readers,  is regarding taking the family dog on a camping trip.       “Are dogs allowed?”   “Can we bring our dog"?”

The answer is always going to depend on the location, but if your destination is a National Park, the answer will be a decisive "no".


But there are options, so do read on and find out where you can get more info on dog-friendly locations, plus some tips to camping with dogs.




National Parks

 


where to go camping with dogs australia
photo credit: itspaulkelly via photopin cc




Dogs and National Parks don’t go together.


Taking your pet into a State or National Park is forbidden in order to protect our native wildlife.

Your dog might be this calm and well behaved dog, kept on a leash, but that still does not make it permissible to take them into the Park when you camp.

The following is an excerpt from the NSW Government Environment & Heritage page, giving a few reasons why you can’t take your dog into a National Park:



  • Native animals see dogs as predators. The lasting scent left by dogs can easily scare small animals and birds away from their homes, often causing them to leave their young unprotected.
  • Dog faeces carry diseases which can be harmful to wildlife and people, and also add nutrients to the soil, increasing the spread of weeds.
  • If dogs and other domestic pets have frightened native animals away from popular visitor areas, there will be no wildlife for other visitors to see.
  • Dogs can interfere with the enjoyment of other park visitors.


Assistance dogs, or dogs that provide support for people with disabilities, are an exception.

Failure to pay attention to this rule in a National Park can result in you being asked to leave, or an on-the-spot fine (and could make a cheap camping trip, a whole lot more pricey).



Dog Friendly Camping

 


where to go camping with dogs australia
photo credit: Defence Images via photopin cc


You know that a National Park is out of the question, so what are your options?

Basically, the answer is going to depend on where you are staying.    The rules will vary from place to place, so you will need to do some homework.   


If in doubt, call and ask.    A call to the property you want to stay at, and finding out the rules about pets could save you time and money.


Some private properties will also have a ban on pets, so its important to check, and not just assume.


where to go camping with dogs australia



Taking your Dog Camping - Some Tips




  • Make sure if a dog is meant to be on leash, it is on leash at all times.

  • Collar with ID should be on your dogs at all time.  

  • Reflective collars/leashes are handy to have on pooch at night to maximise chances of being seen by everyone.

  • Know where the nearest vet to your campsite is.   Hopefully you won't need a vet, but when something goes wrong, it's handy to know where you might have to go in a hurry.

  • If camping in a part of the country that has ticks, make sure you have done all you can to prevent ticks, and know how to treat an animal that has a tick (especially if you are visiting a tick prone area, and you aren't familiar with this dangerous problem for animals).

  • Check that vaccinations are up to date.   If a location requires proof of such vaccinations, have a printout by your vet ready to handover.    

  • Keep your dog close to you and your campsite at all times (part of good camping etiquette).  A long lead might be good to have, so your dog can wander but never too far.   

  • Is your dog a big barker?   Loves to yap a lot, all the time?    In a camping situation, people near you will tire of that very, very, quickly.    You may need to consider that your dog isn't really the right companion to have on a camping trip.      Do consider the behaviours of your dog and how your dog could be on a camping trip, and how you plan to manage such a situation.

  • Don't leave your dog unattended.    It's behaviour could deteriorate out of boredom or loneliness in a strange environment, and could result in bothering other campers. 

  • CLEAN UP after your dog.     It's disgusting to be on a trail or around a campsite and find dog faeces there.    Like you have to do in a park, or on a walk, clean it up properly.   Sure you are outside, but if you are near others, they might step in a big messy poo.     Think of others. 



And if you think you need a dog camping checklist, check this list.


useful tips and where to go camping with dogs australia



Useful links

 


We can’t give a blanket answer for every camping location, but below are some links to help you in your search.


State Specific Guides




Camping With Your Dogs   is a website covering campsites that do allow dogs, and covers 5 states, but with a focus on Queensland.

Dogs on Holiday is for those in Victoria, and covers all sorts of accommodation including camping.

Turu – NSW Pet Friendly sites are listed here, and at time of writing, listed 226 pet friendly camping grounds.

Heading to Tasmania?  Then this site has a list of places where dogs can go.

The Courier-Mail listed 7 best sites in Queensland to take your dogs camping.   You can see the sites listed here.

Travel Dogs Australia covers dog friendly locations in QLD, Victoria and NSW.

Western Australia - read the Dog's Guide,  giving you info about your state's dog friendly locations

South Australia - Pet friendly Caravan and Camping locations can be viewed here.




General Search Links for Dog Friendly Locations (not just one state)



PetPlaces has a list of dog friendly locations and a whole lot more about your pooch.

A general site, that doesn't just cover campgrounds is Take Your Pet

Selected Big 4 holiday parks allow dogs.    To see which parks accept dogs, you can click here.

Camping with your dogs is a website specifically for camping and dogs, with a strong focus on the East Coast of Australia.


Get a Book



camping with dogs book




A book devoted to camping and dogs is Bush Camping with Dogs. If you are planning on doing a bit of camping, this might be worth investigating.   The link is for one site that sells the book, though there are many others.




Final Word



Your dog is probably a great companion to you and your family.      And bringing it along can be a lovely way for the whole family to go camping.       Enjoy this time with your 4-legged friend, but please be mindful that just because you love him/her unconditionally, others might not love your dog as much.

Respect those who don't want their camping trip disturbed by a pet or just don't like dogs.   


useful tips and guide on camping with dogs in australia



This post was first published in 2013 but has been updated to maintain accuracy. 

Like camping food that uses a stick? Easy recipes to try.


camping recipes over a campfire with a skewer





Everyone knows about putting a marshmallow on a stick, and cooking it over the fire. If you have camped, you probably have done it at least once!



But do you put anything else on a stick and heat it up?    


Yes, we have some easy camping recipes.


cooking with a stick over a campfire



Here are 8 other foods to cook over the campfire.




What you need:

  • You will need the food, and a good stick (free of loose bark, and nice and clean).

But for longer cooking times, a metal skewer (a long one, ideally with some sort of handle at the end to stop it burning in your hands) might be the implement to add to your cooking utensil box.


1.    Damper


This is a very popular item to put on a stick – easy and delicious.

Make up your damper (not too wet, or its going to slide right off) and roll it into long snake-like shape.    Roll around a clean stick, and when its on securely, SLOWLY rotate it over the fire, so the dough is cooked evenly and thoroughly. 

It can be a bit trial & error getting the dough cooked just to your liking.

Tap the dough, and if it sounds hollow, it should be cooked.

When done, pull off the stick (well cooked, it comes off a lot more easily), and pour jam or maple syrup or whatever you like into the hole where the stick was, and enjoy!



Hint:  Kids love Nutella on their damper on a stick!


cooking with a stick over a campfire

2.    Hot Dogs


cooking with a stick over a campfireAn easy way to heat up your hot dog sausage and get that smoky taste too!   Put the stick through the sausage and heat carefully (don’t put it right into the middle of the flame).

Then slide off onto your bun, with all the condiments ready to go!

If you want to jazz up the humble hot dog, make 4 slices at the end of the sausage, to about 1/3rd of the way down.

 Do this at BOTH ends of sausage.  The middle of the sausage is unsliced.

When it cooks, the ends, curl up, supposedly looking like a spider!



 

 

3.   Roasted Bananas


cooking with a stick over a campfire



Put a banana on a metal skewer (a stick may work, but a skewer is going to be cleaner removing it from a mushy banana) , then heat it over an open flame.

When it's nicely warmed and starting to go a bit soft, you can roll it in choc flakes (Cadbury Flakes all smashed up works), or nuts or any topping you think goes well with a warmed banana.



4.   More fruit -   apples, pineapples or peaches.



cooking with a stick over a campfire



One way to get fruit into the kids is roasting your fruit near the flame.   Other than bananas, fruit that goes well on a skewer includes apples, pineapple and firm peaches.   I love strawberries done like this, but they can fall off quite easily!

If you have the ability, brush the fruit with some melted butter and a dash of orange juice or honey, which contributes to the flavour.

Those who are mega-prepared with camping supplies can dip the warmed fruit in cream (sprinkled with a dash of cinnamon!!!)






5.   Ham and Cheese Sandwiches


This isn’t one that I would normally associate with cooking on a stick, but comes from the Food Network.

On bread, spread mayonnaise, ham, cheese (of choice, but swiss would work well) and pickles.   Top with another slice of bread, and cut the sandwich into quarters.

Toast each quarter on a stick/skewer until the cheese melts.


cooking with a stick over a campfire

6.   Prosciutto &  Mozzarella Balls


Another one courtesy of Food Network!

And one to impress.      Would be very tasty for those who are wanting to have something to munch on with your drink before dinner!

Wrap prosciutto around mini mozzarella balls. Thread a cherry tomato, a prosciutto-wrapped mozzarella ball, and another tomato onto each skewer; toast over a flame until the tomatoes blister.


cooking with a stick over a campfire


7.    Egg in an Orange

 


egg in an orange


This one got a lot of “likes” on our Facebook Page!    The following information comes from Egg Farmers of Alberta.
Cut a large orange in half and scrape out the fruit from both pieces. With a sharp knife, cut a small “x” on one orange half about 1 cm below the rim. Cut another “x” just below the opposite rim. Thread a long pointed stick through the cuts so that the orange half hangs like a basket. While someone holds the half peel steady, crack a small egg into it. Grasp the end of the stick and hold the orange shell over the campfire (low flames or embers) for about 10 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes and remove the orange from the stick. Add salt and pepper… and enjoy your egg!

(reference:   http://eggs.ab.ca/recipes-1/campfire-quot-eggs-in-an-orange-quot)


8.  Kebabs


cooking with a stick over a campfire


Whatever you call it,  shish kabobs or kebabs, these are good on the campfire too.     Generally, it is a meat/fish and a vegetable alternated on a skewer.

The choice of what you put on it is up to you and your pantry!!  The options are limitless.

But a couple of things to ensure you get it right are:


- don’t make the protein so chunky that it takes a lot longer to cook than the vegetable, and vice-versa.  You want the kebab contents to all cooks roughly at the same time.

- if you brush a sauce or marinade over them, sometimes it will make them look burnt, and may mislead you into thinking the meat is cooked.  If it's chicken, you don’t want raw meat!

- If the food looks like it could fall right off into the fire, 2 skewers could be used to stabilise the food


Beginner Guide to all Camping Food Packing and Preparation



If you are not sure about the whole packing food for a camping trip process, we put together a guide on how to pack camping food.   It will tell you how to prepare and pack for a camping trip.    Tips you need to know to make camping food so much easier.

Read it today, especially if you are a beginner.  You won't regret it!


Looking for more easy camping recipes like the ones above?   Then you can read up on these great recipe guides:



French Toast Recipes for Camping

Pancake Recipes for Camping -  from the basics to the more elaborate

and if you want more campfire specific meals, have you thought about foil packed meals?   We have THE guide for you on everything foil packed.  







Cinch! Pop Up Tent Giveaway



Recently we reviewed the Cinch! Pop Up 4 person tent.

You can read the our review of the Cinch here.

Whilst we liked this tent, we have enough tents right now, so we don't have a lot of room for more.

So what to do with it?      

In the past, I have given away gear I have reviewed to people who have emailed us with their stories and questions about camping, but for this tent, it deserves a bit more attention!   So we are giving away the tent we just reviewed, and I can tell you this - it's in as-new condition because we look after our gear.


How to win?


Use the entry form below and answer the question.











The official rules (the fine print)




  • The only method of entry is via the entry form 
  • Open to Australian residents only (no post box addresses accepted).
  • We will read all comments and choose the one we like the most.
  • Our decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into
  • If successful, we will contact you via email within 7 days of the competition ending to advise you and confirm your address. You will need to respond within 5 days from this email otherwise we will give to the second best comment!
  • With bonus Facebook entries, you are encouraged to like a post, but you are not obligated to like a page in order to be in the running for this giveaway.
  • Value of prize $534 - there is only one prize on offer. This tent and canopy has been opened and reviewed by us, and you fully understand that you are not getting a brand new item, but the condition is as-new. Go Camping Australia is not responsible for any faults, omissions or warranty with this tent.
  • The giveaway of this tent runs 19 Sept - 2 October 2017