Just because dogs are famously easy to please doesn’t mean they don’t deserve a change of scenery from time to time. Taking your dog with you can result in one of the most memorable holidays – particularly because you won’t spend it wondering whether your dog-sitter is remembering to feed and walk them correctly.
But any pet-owner will know finding pet-friendly accommodation can be tricky. So we’ve gathered a selection of some of the best around the country that are accustomed to guests of a different breed. Once booked, the only consolation you’ll need to make is packing for both of you: even if that’s just a dog bowl, their favourite foods and some chewy treats – like Black Hawk’s Beef Jerky Straps or Chicken Jerky Bites – and a warm coat for any wintery destinations on the itinerary.
New South Wales: Bannisters, Port Stephens
The quiet seaside town of Port Stephens is an hour’s drive from Newcastle and home to Bannisters. This hotel on Soldiers Point Road has pared-back luxury down pat, with all the trimmings included. All pet-friendly rooms are located on the ground floor with garden access (for obvious reasons) – Chalky, the former Jack Russell companion of co-owner and celebrity chef Rick Stein, is to thank for that.
Choose between a standard ocean deck room, or the luxury suite complete with a decadent bath (for you) and separate living area. While a pet-friendly spot, there’s still plenty to do for the human members of the family, from sipping cocktails looking over the infinity pool among the treetops, to the ocean below or indulging at the in-house spa. There are also a few dining options: choose between Mediterranean-inspired pub Cheeky Dog or the main drawcard, Stein’s namesake seafood restaurant. A continental breakfast is also included as part of your stay. Time it with feeding your dog its breakfast: we wouldn’t want to upset their normal morning meals.
Victoria: The Barn at Heathcote
If a rustic, down-to-earth getaway is what you’re after, 90 minutes north of Melbourne lies Heathcote. Here you’ll find a charming American-style timber barn on a six-acre property. Inside is an expansive warehouse decked out with a wood fireplace and a whole nook of books – the ideal spot to spend the evening indoors lazing with your dog by your side.
There are plenty of small and family-run wineries that produce stellar shiraz nearby, such as Sanguine Estate and The Shiraz Republic, or spend an afternoon on a walk through the dog-friendly Pink Cliffs Geological Reserve. Back at the barn, light the brazier outside and enjoy a glass with a cheese board dinner, marshmallows on a stick and a few Black Hawk Kangaroo Jerky Straps for your friend.
Queensland: Crystalbrook Bailey
Within the inner-city of Cairns, Crystalbrook Bailey on Abbott Street includes dog-friendly residences with access to either a courtyard or balcony so your furry friend can get a whiff of the tropical North Queensland air whenever they desire – particularly handy if you’re escaping a cooler climate. The room comes complete with food and water bowls, so that’s one less thing to worry about when packing. Aside from strolling the Esplanade and visiting the many dog-friendly beaches in Cairns, Goomboora Park is around a 15-minute drive from the hotel and is a popular hotspot to take your pooch for a splash around in the (thankfully croc-free) creek.
South Australia: The Greenly Carriage
What was once a 100-year-old train carriage found in a junk sale for $500 has now been lovingly restored into a unique stay on a rural property right near Greenly Beach in Coulta, South Australia. The Greenly Carriage sleeps two to three adults and two kids (in addition to the furry kind), and features the original Oregon pine floorboards, I Love Linen bedding, and vintage and antique pieces alongside modern ones by Australian designers such as Sarah Ellison Studio. All the creature comforts are thought of, too, including beach chairs, an umbrella and towels (yes, including for your dog).
Sitting on the remote Eyre Peninsula, spend your days doing a bunch of water activities (most of which are dog-friendly) – from fishing and swimming to surfing – and hiking the nearby Mount Greenly. You can also make a stop in Port Lincoln on your way over for supplies, which is about a 50-minute drive – that way you can make the most of your time by the firepit and enjoy slow meals (kibble or otherwise) on the undercover deck while watching kangaroo graze the land.
Western Australia: Heyscape
Scattered around Western Australia is a host of dog-friendly Heyscape cabins on rural properties surrounded by bush, vines or farmland. A favourite is in Serpentine, just a 15-minute drive away from Millbrook Winery. There’s also one in the Yallingup, minutes away from the iconic Injidup Bay. Or, try the Louis cabin in Narrogin, which is 200 kilometres out of Perth, sits on a 2000-hectare farm and sports 360-degree views and an outdoor bath.
You can also head north to the Avon Valley, where a farm with grazing sheep and views of said valley is only a one-hour drive from the capital city. Here, the Jack cabin has its own outdoor picnic setup and, yes, dogs are always welcome. Each cabin is fully equipped with a queen-sized bed, kitchenette, indoor bathroom, outdoor barbeque and an array of games and books to rummage through while your live-in footwarmer has another nap.
This article is produced by Broadsheet in partnership with Black Hawk Pet Care. Whether on holidays or at home, keep your pup happy with a Black Hawk diet.