So, you’ve decided to go away for the weekend or even longer with your family and dog, camping in a caravan or tent. But where do you find somewhere dog-friendly to camp in Australia, whether a caravan park or campground?
Many caravan parks and campgrounds in Australia don’t allow dogs, while a smaller proportion are dog-friendly. If you’re travelling during school holiday periods you may also have issues, with dogs not allowed in peak periods. At least you’re not trying to find a dog-friendly cabin, which is even rarer!
Rather than look at individual caravan parks and campgrounds to find out whether they are dog-friendly, there are some simpler options you can use to just list places to camp in Australia that are dog-friendly. These are some of my favourite ways…
Use an App on Your Phone
One of the favourite mobile phone apps for people travelling around Australia with their pets is WikiCamps Australia. This app lists a wide range of places to camp with multiple filters, including free camping spots. It does cost to purchase (currently $7.99), but that’s less than a single night stay at an ultra-cheap camp ground.
To find out places to camps where dogs are allowed, switch the filter “Dogs Allowed” to the “With” position. However, this will only show places that allow dogs year round! When travelling outside of the peak summer periods in particular, it’s best to use the filter “No Dogs Allowed” set to the “Hide” position. This will also show locations with “Seasonal Dog Access”. Just double check directly with the caravan park or campground for details.
Handy features of the app include the Trip Planner, plus the ability to download listings and maps to view offline. The app is available for iPhone ($7.99), Android (free 14-day trial, then in-app purchase) and Windows PC ($7.95). Click on the links on the website.
Purchase a Camp Site Guidebook
If you’d prefer your listing of camp sites to be in physical format, there are multiple books available to purchase at your local book shop or camping store. This is what I used when I last camped around Australia, back in the early days of mobile phones.
One of the most popular books is Camps 10, or whatever is the latest edition of the book, with new updates every couple of years. Camps 10 lists just free and budget campsites; if you also stay at caravan parks you should also purchase Caravan Parks 5, with both available in a bundle from the Camps Australia Wide website.
If travelling to remote locations in Australia (and even not so remote locations), there’s a real possibility you won’t have phone service, so having a physical book can be more reassuring.
Check with the Local Tourism Board
If you’re going to just one particular region, looked after by a single tourism board, that tourism board can be a great source of information for travelling with your dog. The majority of tourism boards in Australia will have a page on their website devoted to pet-friendly visits.
For instance, if you’re travelling to the Coffs Coast region, head to the pet-friendly page on their website, which includes accommodation listings. If you’re travelling around Tasmania, pick up a copy of the latest Tasmanian Holiday Guide put out by Carvanning Tasmania, which lists dog-friendly caravan parks by region.
The pet-friendly listings of the local tourism board might also suggest some dog-friendly activities to do during your stay, plus dog-friendly dining venues. At the least, they should provide details on the local dog parks, or link to the relevant council websites, which make the rules for parks.
Prefer to Stay with a Particular Caravan Park Network?
Finally, if you have a preference for staying at a particular caravan park network, each of the caravan park networks has a listing on their website showing which of their parks allows pets. Here’s the relevant links:
- Pet-friendly Big4 Caravan Parks
- Pet-friendly Discovery Holiday Parks
- Pet-friendly Family Parks
- Pet-friendly Ingenia Holidays
- Pet-friendly Kui Parks (apply the Pet Friendly filter)
- Pet-friendly NRMA Parks and Resorts
- Pet-friendly RAC Parks and Resorts WA
- Dog-friendly Reflections Holiday Parks
- Pet-friendly Top Parks
Always check with the individual location for their particular pet policy, as these can and do vary even within the same caravan park network.