Dogs just want to have fun… so do cats. Sometimes even budgies feel the need to cut loose. That’s right, you’re not the only one who deserves a holiday. Larissa Dubecki has found more than 30 pet-friendly accommodation options around Australia so you’ll never have to leave your furry friend behind again.
New South Wales
The Gallery, Berowra Waters
With three storeys and five bedrooms worth of river frontage, The Gallery is accessible only via a three-minute boat trip from Berowra Waters Marina on the Hawkesbury River, 50 kilometres north of Sydney’s CBD. The good news is the owners will let you and Rover use their boat and they’ll set crab pots so you can hopefully eat mud crabs for dinner.
Pier One Sydney Harbour
“Accepting” pets and being “pet friendly” are, ahem, horses of an entirely different colour. This funky five-star hotel – part of Sydney’s historic Walsh Bay Wharves Precinct – practically wags its tail when you and your pooch rock up to reception. Pier One Sydney Harbour has 10 Waterside Rooms for guests with dogs (suites 19 and 20 are the largest). All are on the ground floor, have pier access and a canine “minibar” stocked with waste bags, treats and toys from swank dog boutique Dogue. As impeccably behaved as your fur child may be, they can’t be left alone in the room but they can sit with you in the hip bar area and pier side of recently hatted diner The Gantry. So you can savour dishes such as “partridge – rhubarb – radicchio – blood” (modern menus, what can we say?) and your dog can chow down on the special room-service menu, which includes fillet of grilled sea trout with broccolini, tender chicken thighs with carrots and our test pet’s favourite, ground short rib sautéed with fresh farm vegetables. (Yes, humans have to stick to the humans’ menu.) Want to spend December 25 with the whole family? Check out the Christmas Luxe Lunch, where you can deposit your dog at the on-site puppy playpen before you tuck in. Book now
Le Petit Palais, Thirlmere
A touch of the Mediterranean about 100 kilometres south-west of Sydney’s CBD (and less than an hour’s drive from the glorious beaches of the South Coast), Le Petit Palais comprises two very private villas, one with a sauna and spa. They’re set on five hectares of lush cultivated gardens and serene bushland, plus there are two resident dogs for your pup to hang out with. le-petit-palais.com.au
The Art House, Tamarama
From the lounge upholstered in Marimekko fabric to the eye-popping collection of colourful modern artwork and the astroturfed alfresco area, The Art House is a bright, breezy delight. The cottage has three bedrooms, plus a granny flat, and is just a short walk from Marks Park, where dogs are allowed off leash between 8.30am and 4.30pm.
The Langham, Sydney
The grande dame of low-rise luxury, The Langham, Sydney was one of the city’s first five-star hotels to allow pets – and we’re talking every room being available to dogs and cats. Animals aren’t permitted where food is served so the room-service menu will be your new best friend. Sorry, Fido. langhamhotels.com
Larmont Sydney by Lancemore
Hidden behind the iconic Coca-Cola sign in Kings Cross, Larmont Sydney by Lancemore has three pet-friendly rooms, each with a courtyard, and arrivals are greeted with a treat. It’s located in the thick of the city’s bar and restaurant scene so you and your dog can party ’til dawn. lancemore.com.au
Estate Tuscany, Pokolbin
A boutique four-star hotel in Hunter Valley wine country, Estate Tuscany has five pet-friendly rooms and 11 hectares of grapevines and bushland – which your dog can enjoy on a lead – in the foothills of the Brokenback Ranges.
You can’t beat the location: Wombarra Coasting is an absolute waterfront property with manicured lawns sloping down to a broad rock platform that separates Wombarra Beach from Coledale Beach. It’s hard to beat the house, too: a rambling, character-filled four-bedder with a north-facing deck. Take your hound to nearby Scarborough Beach, where dogs are allowed in the morning and evening so long as they’re on a leash.
Beach 39, Rosebud
For the ultimate in cool coastal style, the owner of Beach 39 – an interior stylist and architect – has made the secluded three-bedroom beach shack in Rosebud a showcase for objets d’art and furniture from around the world. For a pet booking, he’ll ensure the selection of flowers in your accommodation is non-toxic, in case of (accidental) ingestion.
Folly Farm, Olinda
A quaint self-contained cottage designed for two… and a pet. Set in the Dandenong Ranges, Folly Farm grows blueberries and comes complete with a National Trust-classified Edna Walling-designed garden and resident alpacas.
Coolart Studios, Balnarring
The two modern, light-filled, Instagram-worthy cottages that make up Coolart Studios are tucked into a native garden on the Mornington Peninsula. Studio One is perfect for a couple but sleeps up to four; the second self-catering suite sleeps up to six. Both have everything that a well-behaved mutt (and his feline friends) could wish for, including an open fire, an alfresco deck and barbecue facilities.
Jeraboam Eco-Lodge Cottage, Moyston
Go off the grid at Jeraboam Eco-Lodge Cottage, a three-bedroom rammed-earth house set amid 37 hectares on the edge of the Grampians National Park. Mobile coverage is patchy but the pay-off is kangaroos, emus and birdlife galore, plus a dam that doggy can swim in.
The Salthouse, Separation Creek
You might spot a whale from the elevated deck overlooking the sea at The Salthouse, a casual three-bedroom Great Ocean Road hangout in Separation Creek that’s just a quick skitter from the beach. There’s a kennel on the deck should your dog be a Greta Garbo type who just wants to be alone but pups are also welcome inside.
The Metalhouse, Blairgowrie
This good-looking metal-clad beach bungalow is ideal for a group getaway; there are five bedrooms and a gargantuan recycled-timber table to accommodate everyone at dinnertime. The Metalhouse is within easy walking distance to Camerons Bight, a dog-friendly beach that’s perfect for swimming.
It’s pure yesteryear luxury at Linden, a renovated Victorian gem in one of Melbourne’s prettiest suburbs. Play lord or lady of the manor with four bedrooms, four bathrooms, immense living areas and all the mod cons, plus a kids’ playroom, designer kitchen, swimming pool and tennis court.
The Grainger, Carlton
Right in the thick of the city’s cultural precinct, just over the road from Melbourne Museum, these designer digs are great for the discerning dog owner. A grand house set over two levels, The Grainger sleeps up to 16 and has a flatscreen TV in each of the seven bedrooms. Plus, your pampered pooch can enjoy a dignified on-lead walk through Carlton Gardens, which is just across the road.
Mali Mali, Miallo
Everyday life could be ruined forever after you’ve enjoyed panoramic views of the Daintree Rainforest and Pacific Ocean at Mali Mali, as well as the full-sized tennis court, infinity pool, 16 hectares of tropical hilltop gardens, a sunny deck and a massage pavilion (in-house treatments can be arranged). Oh, and this resort-style hideaway has a helipad so you and man’s best friend can arrive in style.
Blue Dog Beach House, Noosa
Pup-friendly Castaways Beach is just out the door and the sea sparkles through the windows of the living room at Blue Dog Beach House. Add an elevated deck, infinity lap pool and luxurious master suite (the house sleeps up to six adults and four children) and you’re in Sunshine Coast heaven.
Casa Grande, Broadbeach Waters
Grande by name, grande by nature. The wow factor is all sewn up with a 100-square-metre patio overlooking a wide, sandy Broadbeach canal – and Jupiters Gold Coast casino and the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre just across the way. Fully enclosed and safe for any dog, Casa Grande has seven huge bedrooms (five with balconies), a swimming pool and a lap pool.
They take their canine guests seriously at Alure Stanthorpe, a wine-country couples’ getaway in the Granite Belt. The property has one pet-approved split-level villa with a combustion fire and outdoor spa. Your pup will get a white bathrobe, cocoon bed, specially made soap and treats, plus a list of attractions for those with four legs. And if you want to go out sans dog (perish the thought), you can request a pet-sitter.
Shangri-La, Whyanbeel Valley
First impressions count: a 500-metre driveway winds its way through coconut and mango groves to reach Shangri-La, a stonewalled French Provincial four-bedroom house with a Balinese-style pavilion and views of the Daintree mountains. Laze around the 18-metre saltwater swimming pool, explore the 12-hectare grounds or jump on a bike to whiz around the peaceful valley.
Red Gate Cottage, Bruny Island
At Red Gate Cottage, just a few steps beyond the gate – yes, it’s red – your toes will hit dog-friendly Nebraska Beach on the northern tip of beautifully rugged Bruny Island. A 20-minute ferry trip (you can take your pet) from south-east mainland Tasmania, the island has a renowned food, wine and spirits trail featuring Bruny Island Cheese Co., Bruny Island House of Whisky and Get Shucked oyster farm and bar. Make sure you check out Smokehouse for smoked fish and meats (note it’s closed for two weeks over cherry season, generally around Christmas).
Thalia Haven, Little Swanport
Offering stunning eco-luxury on Tasmania’s east coast, Thalia Haven is set on a private 53-hectare wooded peninsula that hugs Great Oyster Bay. The accommodation options are four stone cottages clustered around an internal courtyard, offering all the ocean views anyone could wish for. Pups are given brass dog tags that say “Thalia Haven Guest” so they’ll be delivered home safely if they go wandering.
Sandy Bay Chalet, Hobart
Not only does it have an enclosed yard, Sandy Bay Chalet is also just a few minutes’ drive from the heart of Hobart and a couple of minutes’ walk from a dog-friendly beach. Pooches are greeted with homemade organic liver treats and can access a doggy day care service should they (or you) wish.
White Houseboats, Mannum Waters
Flynn the Weimaraner rules over the three well-equipped vessels operated by White Houseboats on the Murray River. “He thinks he owns them all,” says business owner Brendan Taylor. Still, your pet is equally welcome to laze on the sundeck while you take in the views of the stunning South Australian countryside.
Offering luxury accommodation overlooking Victoria Square, Hilton Adelaide has a running track that’s perfect for your four-legged training partner. The hotel will provide your friend with a dog bed and bowls. hilton.com
Pike River Villas, Lyrup
In the heart of the beautiful Riverland, an old corrugated-iron shearing shed has been converted into the schmick Woolshed at Pike River Villas. The quarters variously sleep two to 12 guests and are set on three unfenced hectares. The property also has villas but these are not dog friendly.
Hazell House, Nightcliff
Relax in tropical splendour at Hazell House, just 10 minutes’ drive from the centre of Darwin. The huge home includes five bedrooms and a spa – and you can let your pooch stretch their legs on nearby Nightcliff Beach.
Mercure Canberra, Braddon
The polished political animal – whether it be a cat, dog or bird – can enjoy one of two rooms, each with an enclosed garden, at Mercure Canberra. The hotel’s Pampered Pet Package includes breakfast for two humans and, for pups, bedding, a food bowl and a toy to take home. mercurecanberra.com.au
Abbeys Retreat, Yallingup
Rustic has rarely looked better than it does at Abbeys Retreat. This two-storey stone house, close to Three Bears, Yallingup and Smiths beaches, is set on four hectares and allows up to two dogs. Two words: canine heaven.
There’s a lake with a jetty – great for pups who want to practise their diving skills – and sweeping valley views from this stylish, sprawling house. Set on three secluded rural hectares, it’s just a couple of kilometres from dog-friendly Yallingup Beach at the northern end of the Margaret River region. Marribrae has a pool, a vine-covered outdoor dining area and an open fire to ward off cool nights.
The Church, Kalgoorlie
Dating back to 1867, the former St Georges Presbyterian Church is now a lovely accommodation option complete with a vast open-plan living area and soaring gold-trimmed ceiling. The Church has all the old-world charm that a history-loving pet owner could hope for. ￼
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