“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 "no"....read on to find more about dogs and where you can take them.
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
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.
Some private properties will also have a ban on pets, so its important to check, and not just assume.
We can’t give a blanket answer for every camping location, but below are some links to help you in your search.
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.
Selected Big 4 holiday parks allow dogs. To see which parks accept dogs, you can click here.
Travel Dogs Australia covers dog friendly locations in QLD, Victoria and NSW.
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.
And remember, just because you love your dog, doesn’t mean everyone else will, so please be a responsible owner and keep control of your pet and clean up after them too!!
Do you take your pet camping with you? Is it easy to find places that allow them? Let us know below.