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.