Taking the family pet dog

by Janet

We are hoping to travel outback later in the year with our four kids in a camper trailer. We would love to take our dog but don't know if that would be sensible ie: do many camp grounds allow dogs etc. We are very aware of keeping her away from wildlife and cleaning up after her.
Thank you for your informative site,

Comments for Taking the family pet dog

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Travelling Australia with dogs
by: Birgit

Hi Janet,
That question is a bit too general to answer. It really depends where exactly you want to go and what you want to do.

Buy the way, I just did a search and a related question has been asked before:
Camping in Oz with a dog

Also see:
Pets at Uluru

You can't take dogs into any national parks and most accommodations and caravan parks do not allow dogs.

But there are always options and alternatives and if you dig around on Google you will find books about travelling with dogs that list all those dog friendly places.

I personally would not want to take my dog anywhere, it's just too restrictive with all the hiking I do and the long stays in national parks. But other people feel they just wouldn't be able to enjoy anything without their furry friends.

Taking the Dog around Oz
by: Anonymous

We went around oz in 2004 with a German Shephard and yes we did miss out on some National Parks but we had no trouble finding caravan parks the Racq book lists most of the parks that take dogs. Our dog was well behaved and could be left with he caravan so we could leave him for up to 4 hours which gave us the opportunity to see most things that we couldnt take him along too.

Darwin Parks
by: Anonymous

which Darwin park allows dogs???

Great Idea

There is nothing better than including your dog on a family holiday. There are some limitations ie National Parks. However, we got a great book from NRMA showing all the camping spots and it clearly shows where dogs are allowed. there are heaps of places to camp and caravan parks that allow dogs.
as long as you are prepared she can have as much fun as you.

Dogs in US.
by: Teeto

We just spent a month travelling through several states in the US. We stayed in RV parks and Campgrounds. Many were very high quality with beautiful facilities in the best spots.

EVERY single park allows dogs. Most people were travelling with their dogs and parks would no more dream of banning them than children. They were all on leads and well behaved.

Australia has an amazingly negative attitude towards dogs. This is just to let you all know that it definitely an Aussie thing to ban them.

Australia Hates Dogs
by: Clare

I couldn't agree more with you Teeto. I immigrated to Australia from the UK and have been horrified at the dog prejudice; I feel I can't take my poor girl anywhere!

This might be a solution
by: Jill, Best Friends Tag-Along

Yes, travelling in Australia with dogs and missing out on lots of the major attractions in National Parks is quite a humbug. However my husband and I have just started a new tag-along service to outback South Australia and Northern Territory and you can bring your dogs along. Most of our camps are bush camps with some at dog friendly caravan parks. I provide a dog sitting service at camp while my husband takes everyone else in to the National Parks for sightseeing, taking in most of the major attractions on offer. Keep a lookout for our web site which is under construction at the moment. We have long thought this type of service was needed, having traveled extensively throughout Australia ourselves both with and without dogs.

Dog Tag-along
by: Clare

Jill that sounds awesome and I'd love to have more details.

Why, though, is Australia seemingly so anti-dog? I just don't understand it; people seem generally terrified/paranoid about dogs but it makes no sense. I live in Canberra where it seems that dogs are only tolerated in restricted areas and it makes me, a a dog owner, nervous to even go out lest I cause offence to someone or, as has happened to me, have someone lapse into total hysteria!!!

More Information
by: Jill, Best Friends Tag-Along

Clare, how awful for you, most people around here are quite dog friendly, we just find they aren't catered for on commercial premises.

As soon as our website is up I'll post a link, there's too much information to include here. It shouldn't be long.

More information for Clare
by: Jill, Best Friends Tag-Along

Hello Clare, As promised here is the website address for our dog friendly outback tag-along: www.bestfriendstagalong.com.au It's not finished yet, but there is plenty of information available there and you can contact us if you have any further questions.

Travelling With My Dog Into National Parks
by: Anonymous

In the not too distant future my partner and I are planning to travel around Australia for a couple of years. We will be working here and there as we travel. We avoid caravan parks as we prefer to be in remote areas. My dilemma is that a couple of years ago I rescued a dog from the RSPCA and she is now 8 years old. The thought of having to leave her behind makes me feel ill after the faithful companionship she has provided for me.
What would be great is if there was a dog minding facility near the perimeters of the National Parks that I can leave her at for a short stay.
Can anyone help with me with any solutions please?

Australia is not at all dog friendly
by: Anonymous

I also find Australia very unfriendly towards dogs. I can't take mine to the sidelines of my kids' football game, to any restaurant at all, to many of the parks and open spaces. Dogs on leads are completely inoffensive, so I can't understand it. Football is the most amazing. It's in a field! How can my dog, obviously on a lead, bother anyone?

I used to live in Switzerland and there you can take your dog anywhere. This includes to any restaurant at all, even the fanciest ones. The dogs all just lie under tables not bothering anyone.

The unfriendliness towards dogs is a big disappointment for me in Australia, I wasn't expecting it.

Australia attitude towards dogs
by: Anonymous

The problem is that many Australian owners don't control their animals and allow them too much freedom on camp sites. The result is scared children, upset neighbours who step in their poo, etc. If owners acted more responsibly and kept their animals under control, leashed at all times in public areas and pick up their dogs mess, I feel certain that more places would allow dogs.


We have stayed in quite a few caravan parks around W.A. and have never experienced any bad behaviour with the dogs there. The dogs all have to be kept on a lead, and people walk their dogs frequently. I believe that the majority of dog owners who travel with their beloved dogs are very responsible and I really cannot understand why we cannot walk with our dogs on pathways in National Parks. I believe that in Britain it is the norm. Are we Australians considered less responsible?
I doubt it. I have just written to all of the Ministers for Parks and Wildlife in each State.
I'm not expecting much but one can only try.

Well done M Chapman
by: Anonymous

Good for you! Not wanting to be negative because if you don't ask then you don't get. But again I bet that the response eludes to the fact that the poor obeyance to park rules by many dog owners will be a major reason why this is so. It's up to us to prove we can be mature and trusted and unfortunately there are those who aren't.

I am ex UK and enjoyed the fact that the vast majority of parks, beaches and campsites there allowed dogs, no questions asked. Australia is a nation of pet lovers but also includes the irresponsible owners who spoil it for the rest of us.

not so good
by: Anonymous

Australia has too many laws, taxes, restrictions - travel overeas.

Travelling with dogs
by: Anonymouscheryl

We travel with our two little foxie crosses and find a kennel or traveller, vet etc. to look after them while we do a tour in national parks. Not perfect but don't miss out on some of the most speculator places in Australia plus we have the company of our two little girls. Would never leave them at home, they have travelled at least 40,000 kms and never been a problem as we keep them on leads and clean up after them. As always, the minority who do the wrong thing spoil it for everyone else.

Letter to Ministers for Parks and Wildlife, States and Territories.
by: M. Chapman

In a previous post I said that I was going to write to above and I have done so. I am in W.A. and have only had one reply from W.A. Minister, who said that the main reason for not allowing dogs in national parks is because of baits set for feral animals. I did not receive a reply from any other Ministers.

dogs in Oz, people are the problem
by: BruceMcH

Great comments, on the whole.
I could not find www.bestfriendstagalong.com.au
I would be interested to read the contents.

Travelling with dogs
by: Anonymous

We travel with our two small dogs and simply put them in a kennel or pet sitter when we want to go to national parks. Most visitor information centres can tell you if there is a pet sitter available. Also, some vets will mind dogs for the day. Cheers.

Travelling with dogs
by: Karen

I have travelled from Mission Beach in far north QLD to Tasmania and back again, an area bigger then Europe and take our dog. Pet friendly all the way, just google and you will find... from cheap to expensive... It is fair enough dogs aren't allowed in national parks, not because of the dogs, however, a lot of humans who own dogs are not responsible, are stupid and ruin it for others and animals in national parks have to be protected. Can't compare a tiny country like Britain to Australia. Britain fits into Victoria. A lot of animals live in the wild in Australia over a huge area and deserve to be protected. Where I do agree it is hard is outback Australia . But can be done if you rough it a bit. This is not Europe or America... which isn't a bad thing. More animals, less people, I say.

by: Anonymous

Dogs should be left home. Dogs are dogs not people.

Tiny dogs
by: Anonymous

Seriously--we have two little Yorkshire terriers--they are well behaved and don't drop hair etc. But leaving them with anyone is impossible because they get too stressed if we leave them longer than a couple of hours! Being responsible elderly Yorky owners we knew this when we chose to put them in our family! So it is far from fair that our travelling in Australia is so limited by silly rules/laws that do not let us have them inside accomodation or even on tours! They like to hang out of a shoulder bag no extra seats needed on tours! They are not yappy or bitey/very placid, mostly they cuddle and sleep!
We don't mind paying bonds but it's time Australia tourism grows up with the rest of the world and adds people's doggy family if we are willing to pay!

taking the pet dog
by: Anonymous

I agree that Australia is the most anti dog place I know of. And yes it is about time Australia steps up with the rest of the world. We are so restricted in this country with everything. Dogs are some people's only friend and companion and Australia does not allow for man's or woman's best friend to do much with them. Yet if I wanted to purchase alcohol or gamble somewhere at any time of the day, I could. Yet taking a simple animal with you on a trip is a big no no.

Dogs minding
by: Ann

Jill, that sounds great. Are you on facebook? How can we get in touch? Ann & Brian

Taking your dog
by: Anonymous

We travelled many outback kilometers in Australia with our two dogs. We rarely stayed at van parks, mainly free camped. We would ask around if anyone would like a few extra dollars to mind them for the day while we visited national parks. We also went to visitor centres to find pet sitters like in Exmouth while we swam with the whale sharks. Also some vets and council pounds will mind them as in Tom Price. No, you can't camp in national parks with them but we compromised by taking tours so we got to see everything in a day.

No issues camping with dogs
by: Anonymous

I have not noticed anyone commenting on the availability of camping sites at the showgrounds in the towns. We have done so with our two dogs on several occasions and have found the showgrounds to be cheap and provide lots camping choices. Hope this helps.

Helping people and their dogs find dog parks around Australia, and dog friendly businesses across Australia.
by: Aussie Dog Parks & Dog Friendly Business Directory

The goal of Aussie Dog Parks & Dog Friendly Business Directory is to make it easy for dog owners (locals and tourists) to find:

* Dog Parks & Off-Leash Areas (so far we have identified over 3,800 dog parks across Australia)
* Dog Boarding Kennels
* Dog Day Care Centres
* Dog Friendly Accommodation
* Dog Friendly Cafes
* Dog Friendly Events Calendar
* Dog Friendly Outings
* Dog Groomers
* Dog Health Care
* Dog Rescue Groups
* Dog Training & Education
* Dog Walkers
* Visitor Information Centres


Monica Biegalke
0402 592 838

Campervan v caravan with small dog
by: Anonymous

We are starting to get prepared to do a trip around Australia. We have a foxy cross 6yrs old. Trying to workout which would be best. Motor home or caravan. Understand you cannot always take dogs to places. Thought for short periods she could stay in van with aircon if in park. Where as motorhome would be our means of transport so we can’t leave her in vehicle without aircon. Also opinions on either would help.

A bit of info
by: Audra

My partner and I did a Victoria trip with our puppy in June 2018. We missed heaps by having our boy with us but wouldn't have it any other way. We got to speak to some park rangers who clarified a few things for us. State and national parks do not allow dogs. State forests do. Not only is it to protect wildlife, it is to protect the dogs. Fox baits are all over through these parks and will kill within minutes of being eaten. Because of a few irresponsible people that would let their dogs off lead, the rest of us have to pay. I love the sound of your Best Friend Tag-Along and will keep an eye out for your website.

Travelling with a young border collie
by: Anonymous

We got out lovely puppy and have travelled with him. We stayed in motels and caravan parks. Have dog will travel. Just the same as when you travel with children you must be considerate to others. Some owners have their dog off lead and think they are friendly. To be honest I hate seeing dogs off lead. There is no control and I have had dogs approach us and that scares me.
My dog is super friendly and well behaved but I feel all owners need to be responsible.
National parks should stay domestic animal free. If I want to visit these a sitter for the day is best.
I found my biggest issue was finding accommodation where my dog can be inside with me. But again lots of research and we have found success.

Travelling with Dogs
by: Anonymous

My partner and i are planning a trip from Canberra to WA gold fields this year and we have 2 very special fury children that we want to take with us (we chose to have these pets just like you choose to have children) i dont feel right about leaving them with strangers or on their own in a camper trailer while we go exploring as they would be too stressed out without us and why should we place the responsibility of their care onto a family member at home while we travel. Australia needs to wake up, laws have now changed to allow renters to have pets so why cant we travel with them. I have not yet been able to get onto the website "best friend tagalong". Has it not yet been created? Most of the time you have had your pets for many years prior to choosing to discover your country(which usually takes a few years to save the money to make the journey) why do we have to handball them, we dont handball the kids, pets dont ask are we there yet every 5 mins, much better and quieter travel companions. :)

Dogs on board NEW
by: Marlene

We travelled Aus in early 2000 for four years in a Motorhome with Boxer and Bluey. Best trip ever. Never felt lonely as everywhere you stop there is someone wanting a doggie fix. Security not an issue and as we are SC we only used the odd CP. Have since changed to caravan and shorter trips but still have dogs with us (no, not the same ones) and still free camp most of the time. Why would you not take them with you.

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