The 9 best dog destinations in Australia

Written by in National on September 14, 2018

A cattledog sits in the outback

If you can’t bear the thought of holidaying without your four-legged friend, you’re in luck! Trusted Housesitters have recently released their list of the top 100 pet-friendly spots around the globe, and there are plenty of Australian destinations that made the cut! Next time you’re planning a getaway, consider bringing your canine companion along to one of these great friendly dog destinations…

South Bank

The highest-ranked Aussie destination, coming in a number seven on the Trusted Housesitters list, is South Bank. The crème de la crème of Brisvegas, South Bank is located, unsurprisingly, on the southern banks of the Brisbane River. There are 17 hectares of parklands, drool-worthy delicacies on offer at the many restaurants and cafes, and they even have dedicated water bowls dotted around the Parklands for thirsty dogs! Dogs are not permitted in the wet areas or eating areas, so try taking your pup for a stroll along Clem Jones Promenade instead.

The South Bank Parklands in Brisbane with purple flowers and greenery.

Photo Credit: Innovative Rigging

North Stradbroke Island

North Stradbroke Island, or “Straddie” as it is affectionately known, is just a 20-minute water taxi ride off the coast of Brisbane, and has pretty much everything you could want in a holiday destination. Fishing, kayaking, paddle-boarding and whale watching are just a few of the awesome activities you can get up to, and there are plenty of opportunities to embrace the culture of the Indigenous Quandamooka people, the island’s first inhabitants. You are welcome to take your dog with you to Straddie, due to the unique and isolated nature of the ecosystem, you’ll need to keep him under control and only let him run free in the designated off-leash areas. Straddie took out twelfth spot on the list.

Photo credit:

Photo Credit: Wikicommons


Hahndorf, 28 kilometres south-east of Adelaide, in the Adelaide Hills, is Australia’s oldest surviving German settlement and the best place to take your pooch in the whole of South Australia. This charming town was delighted to take out the 21st spot on the list of the most pet-friendly locations on the planet, with a number of local businesses welcoming four-legged friends—including Hersey Wines Cellar Door, Hahn and Hamlin provedore, and Chocolate at No.5.

The Big Banana

In Coffs Harbour, on the New South Wales north coast, the Big Banana is an iconic tourist attraction unlike any other and is ranked 29th in the world for canine compatibility. There’s laser tag, ice skating, a water park and mini-golf—not to mention the rather large banana out the front, which makes for a cracker of a photo opportunity! The Big Banana is proudly pet-friendly and can even play host to your birthday party or corporate event.

A very big statue of a banana in Coffs Harbour

Photo Credit: Wikicommons

Love the thought of adopting a pup, but not sure how to make it work with your apartment lifestyle? Check out this article for the top breeds to suit even the tiniest home.

Watiparinga Reserve

Located in the Hills Face Zone in Place, South Australia, Watiparinga Reserve is a restored woodland area where Grey Box Eucalyptus trees soar above a grassy understorey. Watiparinga has been returned to its pre-colonial state after being used as a farming property for some time, and is considered to be an excellent example of how conservation can be achieved with good land management. You’ll need to keep your pup on-leash here, to protect the rare and vulnerable birds and plants found in the Reserve. Trusted Housesitters ranked this beautiful Reserve number thirty-six on their list.

Ballarat Botanical Gardens

The Ballarat Botanical Gardens is one of Australia’s most significant cool-climate gardens, and comes in at number 38. It’s located just 4 kilometres from the centre of Ballarat, on the western shore of Lake Wendouree. With four zones over forty hectares, you can take a stroll down Prime Ministers Avenue to see statues of 28 Australian Prime Ministers, atop polished granite pedestals, or take in the displays of seasonal flowers in the Conservatory. The Gardens are open every day of the year, and entry is free!

The Robert Clark Horticultural Centre in the Ballarat Botanical Gardens

Photo Credit: Wikicommons

Broadwater Parklands

Opposite Australia Fair on the Broadwater side of Marine Parade, Broadwater Parklands on the Gold Coast has something for everyone—including dogs. With barbeques, picnic spots and an amazing water play area the kids will absolutely love, you can’t go wrong! The open spaces and friendly atmosphere saw it score 39th spot on the Trusted Housesitters list.

Floreat and Peasholm Dog Beaches

Coming in at number 42 are the dog beaches in neighbouring Floreat and Peasholm, in sunny Perth. These off-lead beaches are must-sees if you’re holidaying in Perth with your furry friend! The pristine white sand and clear, warm water make it a treat for dogs and kids alike, and there’s a kiosk nearby for Mum and Dad to grab a coffee.

Lux Foundry Café

This warehouse-style café in Brunswick, in Melbourne’s inner north, is located just off bustling Sydney Road on the former site of the Lux Oven Company and ranked number 48 on the list. They proudly source all their ingredients locally, and their coffee comes from specialty Collingwood roasters Proud Mary. The café is huge, with soaring ceilings overhead and an ample outdoor space to bask in the Melbourne sunshine with your pooch.

For more friendly dog destinations, check out the full list here.

A warehouse-conversion cafe in a large brick building

Photo Credit: Lux Foundry