If you travel with your pet, or you are planning a trip with yours – then this article is for you. These tips are worth knowing BEFORE you hit the road. We’ve found in some districts, pet-friendly parks or campgrounds are few and far between. This is something you need to know before you plan your itinerary.
The good news, is that pet friendly is in! In the CAMPS 11 book alone – there are over 4400 free and budget campsites around Australia and there are over 1830 pet friendly caravan parks in the Caravan Parks 5 book. So the majority of sites out there are ready to welcome you and your animals.
Know which sites are pet friendly
The new Camps 11 book is designed so you can easily identify what sites will suit you and your family’s pets. In previous editions, you had to look to the listings pages to check which sites were pet friendly. Now you can see it on the maps – all you have to do is choose a site with ears!
If you like to use the Camps Australia Wide App – simply use the filters to set it to ‘pets allowed’ and ‘pets seasonal’ so you only see camping areas and caravan parks that allow your pooch or cat!
Always call ahead
Regardless if it is a showground or a caravan park, pub or farm stay – if it is community or privately run, do give them a call. Conditions may apply – size limits, dog breeds and number of dogs may be a factor. Not everyone takes bookings in advance, but it is always worthwhile checking your pet is welcome, with a phone call.
It is pet seasonal?
Some places are pet seasonal (a new symbol in our Camps 11 book). This simply means pets won’t be welcome there, during peak times. Peak times may not always be predictable – it could be when the local festival or country show is on. So again – it pays to contact the site before you arrive.
Remember baits are distributed throughout Australia for wild dog, dingo or wild cat control. Signs should be up in locations where this occurs. Help out other pet owners by adding a review to the site (in the Camps Australia Wide App), so they can be extra cautious or avoid the area. Stations may have a dog policy: for instance at Warroora Station in WA, all dogs accompanying visitors MUST BE kept on a leash and are the full responsibility of the owners.
Cats and other animals
In a few properties, other pets are allowed – however, some specify no cats, like Hi Vallee Farm in WA. Although rabbits are pets in other states, they are not allowed in Queensland at all! Perhaps you have a feathered friend or a snake? Again, it is best to check first with a phone call to the campsite.
As a general rule across the country, National Parks do not welcome pets. However there are a few campgrounds where this does not apply. An example is Inskip Point Campgrounds, Rainbow Beach, Queensland. But just across the ocean, no dogs are allowed at Fraser Island campgrounds.
If you are driving through National Parks, be aware that different rules may apply in different states.
State forests and conservation parks
In a lot of states, these are open to pets. In others, this isn’t the case. Luckily – it is all specified for you site by site in CAMPS 11 and the Camps Australia Wide App.
Cabins, villas and motel rooms
We may have a caravan park, pub stay or other camping site listed as pet friendly. However, this does not necessarily mean that pets are allowed in onsite accommodation – like cabins, villas, glamping tents, hire vans, dormitories or motel rooms.
Wildlife and livestock
Wherever you travel, remember to look out for native animals and be sure that your pet does not contribute to decimation of an endangered species. Likewise – look out for your pet! You don’t want to lose your furry friend to a bird of prey or crocodile.
Whether it is a farm stay or a farm tour – some properties do not allow pets at all. At Mikkira Station in South Australia, there are no domestic animals at all because the farm is also a koala sanctuary. Other farms have their own working dogs or livestock and may prefer visitors without pets.
Bonds and other conditions
There are all sorts of conditions that some private campgrounds or caravan parks may impose. It could be a fee bond, a limit on the size of the animal, even dog breeds. Many site managers ask that pets are kept on a leash, or restrained. Some pet lovers travel with a portable fence.
Don’t leave them unattended
Not everyone knows what their pooch does or how much yapping they might create, when their beloved owners are away from the caravan, RV or tent. Some people or children are terrified of dogs. It is a courtesy to keep them close to you when you are camping.
Kennels and pet sitters
If you do want a day in a National Park or local attraction that doesn’t accept pets – consider booking a kennel or finding a pet sitter. Many caravan parks list these for you – some campgrounds offer the service of kennels on site. For example, Sandstone Park – near Carnarvon National Park in Queensland hires specially designed pet kennels on a day rate. Other travellers swap pet sitting with their dog loving neighbours, to free them up to visit pet-free tourist sites.
Off leash areas
Look out for these – if you know of one nearby the campground or caravan park – please add this in your review on the Camps Australia Wide App. This will help other dog-loving travellers.
Pick up after your pet!
This is the most common complaint we receive at CAMPS AUSTRALIA WIDE. That, and dogs urinating on neighbour’s tents, awnings or property. Travel with dog bags and look out for the handy council provided bio-degradable bags. Or use a shovel and bury or dispose of the waste, if appropriate. Most importantly, if we want to keep freedom camping in Australia, we need to keep areas pristine for others as well.
If you do find changes to pet policies, please let us know, so we can change the listing and add a website update. Check out the new pet friendly book in a Standard CAMPS 11 or Easy to Read CAMPS 11 edition!