Australia has so much to offer for anyone who loves to travel, from majestic coastlines and lush rainforests to arid deserts and dramatic mountains. With so much to see, it’s possible to spend all your holidays travelling around Australia and still not experience everything. If you’ve got a pet, you might feel that your trip opportunities are limited, but you will be surprised to learn that’s not the case.
There are many places in Australia where travellers can stay with their pets. This guide shows you how to prepare for travelling around Australia with pets and where to stay.
Things to know before you go
If you’re relatively relaxed about travelling, you might often take off for a solo trip spontaneously without any rigorous planning in advance. However, you must do more prep when travelling with your pet.
- For trips where you’ll be crossing the state border, you’ll need to check the local quarantine laws. While humans may be able to move around without restrictions, some places have stricter rules for animals. Dogs and cats are typically easier to move around than other pets, including birds. You can check the latest regulations for travelling with pets at the Australian Interstate Quarantine website. Once you get the green light to travel, it’s a good idea to check that any vaccinations for your pet are up to date and that you have insurance.
- The easiest way to make sure that you’ve got everything you need for your pet – and you don’t lose it while on the road – is to pack its suitcase that includes a stash of its favourite food because there are no guarantees that you’ll find what you need while travelling.
- For easy shopping with all your requirements in one store, head to Coles to get their Pet Essentials. You will get the best price for their food, treats and toys to entertain your companions. PetCircle is also a good one should you forget anything; they ship for free.
- The only thing left to do is find places willing to accept pets. Unfortunately, you cannot rock up to any motel when you’ve got a feathered or furry friend in tow. But never fear – we’ve done the legwork and found a few spots for travellers to check out.
Hiring pet-friendly vehicles
If you’re travelling in your vehicle, skip this part and move on to the next section. However, if you plan to hire a car or van in Australia, you must know whether pets are allowed on board. It might be something you’ve taken for granted, but many hire companies have a blanket ban on pets.
The rules are subject to change, so it’s worth checking for yourself, but on researching, we discovered that Bayswater, Thrifty and Hertz don’t usually allow pets in their vehicles. Sixt, Budget and Europcar will probably accept pets, but you’ll need to double-check with the location you hire from.
Enterprise allows pets provided they are created, while Avis seems more willing to accept pets as travel companions.
Whoever you rent from, the critical thing is that the vehicle is returned in the same condition, as you’ll be slapped with a hefty cleaning charge if pet hair or feathers are left behind.
Flying with pets
If you plan on flying with your pooch, there’s much more to consider; this handy guide from Qantas runs through the basics.
Choosing where to stay is a fun part of travelling, but there’s much less choice when you’ve got a pet in tow. Your best options will be independent or boutique hotels or smaller motels.
Generally, chain hotels don’t typically allow pets other than service dogs. The main exception is Ovolo, which offers a VIPooch programme available in their hotels in Canberra, Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne.
Book directly rather than via a third party is also a good idea. This is because hotels tend to be more flexible when you speak to them. You may find that pets are allowed, even when the third-party booking site says otherwise. Consider that hotels may restrict pets to specific rooms, and if these get booked up, they may refuse to accommodate you elsewhere. For this reason, early booking is highly recommended.
Best Places to Stay with your pet in Australia
Here’s a selection of the best places to stay in Australia with pets:
An array of lodges, suites, and family accommodation awaits at Coranda Lodge, set in tranquil countryside and surrounded by horses and local wildlife – no extra fees for pets.
Best Friend Holiday Retreat is a dog-friendly camping and caravan site with fenced plots and many dog-friendly activities nearby.
Hawley House is a paradise for animal lovers, and with the agreement, you can bring more or less any animal with you on your trip to this secluded location.
Mt Cotton Retreat offers stunning luxury cabins for you and your pet, allowing you to enjoy the tranquillity of nature with your four-legged companion.
Yondah Beach House – all kinds of animals welcome, both large and small. Previous guests have included birds, ponies, rats, and the usual cats and dogs.
Batchelor Butterfly Farm is a home-from-home with cabins and motel-style accommodations, all suitable for families and their pets.
New South Wales
Veriu Green Square in Sydney proves that pet-friendly hotels don’t need to be rugged – pay an extra deposit, and your pet is welcome to stay.
Australian Capital Territory
Mercure Hotel Canberra describes itself as welcoming to all pets and even offers a pet-sitting service if you want to head out for the evening (provided by a third party for an extra fee).
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