Holidaying with Dogs Five-Paw Pet-Friendly Accommodation Awards
When planning a holiday with your dog there are many factors to consider: Location, travel distance (especially if your pooch is prone to carsickness), budget plus and what’s on offer in the area for you and your fur family to enjoy.
One thing you want to be certain of when booking accommodation, is that the holiday rental you select is genuinely pet-friendly. We’ve compiled a list of the best pet-friendly accommodation options in Australia for you and your dog to enjoy, as voted by you in the Five Paw Pet-Friendly Accommodation Awards. Discover what sets these pet-friendly properties apart from the pack and how the owners of these holiday accommodation options make their guests (furry or otherwise) feel right at home.
About the Five Paw Awards
The Holidaying with Dogs Five-Paw Pet-Friendly Accommodation Awards were created to give recognition to outstanding accommodation providers who go above and beyond to ensure that dogs and their owners feel like valued and welcome guests.
The Australian public were invited to nominate their favourite pet-friendly holiday home, Bed & Breakfast, hotel or caravan park from the Holidaying with Dogs website. Properties with the highest number of votes, and those with a perfect 5-paw rating from guest reviews, received Finalist status and were submitted to the Holidaying with Dogs judging panel. The judges assessed each property on its pet-friendliness, people-friendliness, location and value to determine an overall winner in each state or territory.
Below you’ll find an overview of each award-winning property; Its dog-friendly features and information about the local area.
Chill-Out Beach House @ Forster
Forster, North Coast, New South Wales
Smell the salt and wake up to the waves. This relaxed coastal retreat at One Mile Beach has a laid-back surf shack feel and is a great option for both winter and summer holidays. The house is located a short stroll from sand dunes, rock pools, the rainforest boardwalk, golf course, shops and an off-leash dog beach – something to suit everyone’s needs.
Spend long days enjoy the surf and sandy paws at the beach and at night you and your pup can curl up by the cosy wood burner with your favourite book, cuppa or a nice glass of red.
- Space for up to 9 guests and 2 pets (allowed indoors)
- Fully fenced grassy yard
- 50m walk to the off-leash beach
- Holidaying with Dogs guests receive a doggy gift bag on arrival!
About the area:
The Great Lakes region is located north of Sydney and is one of the most popular tourist destinations on the NSW coast – known for whale and dolphin watching, fishing and water activities.
One Mile Beach is popular with families and surfers alike. The northern end provides access to Bennett’s Head Lookout where 360-degree views of the area can be enjoyed. Travel along the boardwalk from One Mile Beach to Main Beach for an early morning breakfast at one of several beachfront cafes.
There are a number of off-leash options nearby for you and your pets to enjoy:
- One Mile Beach 5am – 9am and 5pm – 8pm
- Pipers Bay Forster Keys 6am – 8pm
- Southern end of Blueys Beach 6am – 9am and 5pm – 8pm
- Southern section of Boomerang beach 6am – 9am and 5pm – 8pm
- Taree Street Tuncurry 6am – 8pm
- Tuncurry Dog Agility Park – 6am – 8pm: This park is for amateurs to provide mental simulation and activity for dogs. It consists of weave posts for slalom manoeuvres, tunnels, ramps and jumps where dogs can test each discipline and eventually race against owner and the clock.
Angie’s Garden Retreat
Hervey Bay, Fraser Coast, Queensland
This family holiday home is located just 250m from a dog-friendly beach in picturesque Hervey Bay. The house has a stunning private Balinese-style garden – so you can make the most of those warm Queensland evenings. The property owner, Angie, runs a charity called Project Shelter and kindly donates a portion of every room night booked towards to a local animal shelter. Now THAT is pet-friendly!
Angie created Project Shelter after adopting her own fur baby, Adison, in order to help other dogs in need and as a way to give back to her local community.
- Space for 6 guests and 3 pets (allowed indoors)
- Relaxing Balinese style garden
- 250 meters from dog-friendly beaches and cafes
- Every booking helps a shelter dog in need
About the area:
Hervey Bay is the gateway to Fraser Island. Located a scenic 3.5 hours north of Brisbane, this family-friendly holiday destination with its temperate subtropical climate is commonly referred to as the “Whale Watching Capital of the World”.
There are a number of dog-friendly beaches and parks to enjoy in the area:
- Burrum Heads Foreshore (see map)
- Craignish Park
- Dundowran Beach
- Howard Park
- Visit the Fraser Coast Council website for a full list
Seagrass Villa 1 at Normanville
Normanville, South Australia
A couple’s retreat on the fantastic Fleurieu Peninsula. Seagrass Villa 1 is one of two purpose-built pet-friendly accommodation offerings each providing a romantic and relaxing escape for couples and their dogs.
The front of each Villa overlooks the park opposite, while at the rear of the property you’ll find decking with chairs and a BBQ plus a small garden with a spa! Dogs are welcome indoors and the property is located near popular Normanville Beach plus cafes and restaurants.
- Space for 2 guests and 2 dogs (allowed indoors)
- An inhouse massage can be arranged
- Outside spa
- Guests can order platters to be enjoyed in the villa
About the area:
Normanville is located approximately 1.5 hours’ drive from Adelaide. Known by the locals as ‘Normy’, the town has a variety of great eating spots, second hand shops and galleries. Local activities include golf, fishing and diving plus there are also several local wineries and horse riding along beautiful Normanville Beach. From Normanville it is a short ferry ride to Kangaroo Island.
There are a number of permanent off-leash dog beaches, open all year round:
- Normanville/Carrickalinga Beach (between 200 meters north of Normanville Jetty (Lacham Street access) to the southern side of Carrickalinga river estuary)
- Pebble Beach (west of the Jetty at Second Valley)
- Fisheries Beach – Cape Jervis
- Visit the Yankalilla District Council website for a full list
Sisters Beach Retreat
Sisters Beach, Tasmania
A Tasmanian treasure! This 3-bedroom pet-friendly holiday rental at Sisters Beach, is surrounded by the Rocky Cape National Park and has stunning sea views. There is a large fully fenced yard and walking tracks that start at the property and lead to caves, waterfalls and the beautiful beach at Anniversary Bay.
- Space for 5 guests and 2 dogs (allowed indoors)
- Very secluded and private
- Views of the ocean on one side and the surrounding hills on the other
- Great spot for those keen to go fishing. A boat ramp is located across the road
About the area:
Situated in North West Tasmania, Sisters Beach is approximately 1 hour’s drive from Devonport (where the Spirit of Tasmania docks from Melbourne) and is a holiday haven for nature lovers. The main beach is 3 km of white sands and stunning views. There are plenty of walks to be enjoyed ranging from 30 minutes to an all-day trek, depending on your level of fitness.
Tyntynder Garden Cottage 2
Situated on a tree-lined country lane 100 metres from the mighty Ovens River, Tyntynder Garden Cottage is one of four accommodation offerings on the property that is surrounded by an acre of magnificent gardens. Each cottage has its own fully-fenced, private garden solely for your use. Water and food bowls are provided along with doggy towels and dog toys. Poo bags are also provided in a handy dispenser in the back yard.
- Space for 4 guests and 2 dogs (allowed indoors)
- Located 1 minutes’ drive from the Bright town centre (or a 20-minute walk)
- Dog sitting services are available
- Catch trout or go swimming 100 metres from your cottage
Located 3.5 hours from Melbourne, Bright is a picturesque village in Victoria’s High Country that is close to the Victorian Alps and various alpine national parks – including the Mount Buffalo National Park and Alpine National Park (Falls Creek). Popular with hikers and cyclists, local attractions include wineries, historic sites and touring the beautiful natural landscape and surrounding mountain areas. Enjoy the miles of riverside walks or ride your bicycle along the famous Murray to Mountains Rail Trail. The township of Bright has many great eating and drinking spots, in particular the Bright Brewery which overlooks the river and is pet-friendly.
Esperance, Western Australia
EcoValley Retreat is set on seven acres of selectively cleared bushland and offers contemporary, fully self-contained units a world away from the hustle and bustle of life but just moments away from Esperance’s pristine beaches and CBD. This environmentally and pet-friendly accommodation can accommodate 2 people and up to 4 dogs.
Hosts Tina and Winton fell in love with Esperance and spent several years of hard labour to develop the site and home before opening their purpose-built accommodation. They have a keen interest in sustainability and organic farming and the property is fully self-sufficient – powered by solar, wind and bio-diesel generation. But never fear, a trip to EcoValley Retreat will see you relaxing in nature as it should be without scrimping on all the little luxuries you would expect on holiday.
- Space for 2 guests and 4 dogs (allowed indoors)
- Set on seven acres of bushland
- Purpose-built sustainable eco-friendly accommodation
- Plenty of room for your dog to explore
About the area:
A tour of Western Australia isn’t complete without visiting Esperance on Australia’s south coast, approximately 7 hours from Perth. Traditionally a farming town, Esperance is famous for its white sand beaches, clear turquoise water and of course, Lake Hillier – that turns a soft shade of pink in the right weather conditions due to the high concentration of algae in the water.
There is plenty to do in the area including fishing, diving, sailing, surfing, sandboarding and whale watching. Esperance’s stunning beaches (some say the best in Australia) include Blue Haven and West Beach – both of which are dog friendly. Head east of the Tanker Jetty, along the beach to Straker St, between the hours of 5am to 8am and 4pm to 8pm daily. Dogs must be held on a leash during excluded times. Find out more about off-leash areas on the Shire of Esperance website.
That’s it for our winners showcase. As well as these award-winning options, there are now over 1800 other pet-friendly accommodation offerings around Australia on the Holidaying with Dogs website. Search for and book your next pet-friendly holiday at www.holidayingwithdogs.com.au.
We would love to hear about some of your best experiences when travelling with your dog or dogs. Comment below to tells us how they have helped enhance the fun and adventure on your holiday.