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 opportunities to take a trip 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, when you’re travelling with your pet, you’ll need to do a bit more prep.
- 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 types of 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 their 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 the Coles online catalogue to browse their Pet Essentials. You will get the best price for their food, treats and any toys to keep your companions entertained. PetCircle is also a good one should you forget anything; they ship for free.
- The only thing left to do is find some places that are 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, you can skip this part and move on to the next section. However, if you plan to hire a car or van in Australia, you’ll need to 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 crated, 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 there’s any pet hair or feathers left behind.
Flying with pets
If you’re planning on flying with your pooch, there’s a lot more to consider; this handy guide from Qantas runs through the basics.
Choosing where to stay is a fun part of travelling, but you’ll find 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.
As a general rule, chain hotels don’t typically allow pets of any kind other than service dogs. The main exception is Ovolo, which offers a VIPooch programme available in their hotels in Canberra, Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne.
It’s also a good idea to book directly, rather than via a third party. This is because hotels tend to be more flexible when you speak to them, and 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 lots of 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 and rats, and the more usual cats and dogs.
Batchelor Butterfly Farm is a home from home with cabins and motel-style accommodation to choose from, 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).