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How To Easily Travel Australia With Dogs

Are you planning to travel Australia and cannot bear to part with your dog?

It’s becoming more and more popular to travel Australia with dogs, with Instagram accounts documenting pet travels and road trips, which are extra memorable with a dog.

There’s even a Facebook Group for Travel With Dogs in Australia which is updated every 1 to 2 days!

A close friend recently traveled from Tasmania to South Australia with her elderly dog, which got me wondering, how easy is it to travel in Australia with a dog?

Travel with dogs and pets has become increasingly popular over recent years. Whether you are considering bringing your dog to Australia, or taking a road trip or plane travel within Australia, here are some tips on how to decide whether to travel to or in Australia with your dog.

International Travel With Dogs

There are different rules and guidelines for bringing dogs into Australia versus traveling within Australia with dogs.

An import permit is needed to bring your dog into Australia. See the step-by-step guides for the applicable import conditions. If your exporting country is not listed as a Group 1, 2, or 3 country here, you will need to prepare your pet using an unapproved country.

Malaysia no longer has a license to import live cats and dogs into Australia. Dogs and cats from Malaysia must be brought into Australia through an authorized country. Importing cats or dogs from New Zealand or Norfolk Island does not require a permit, but certain conditions need to be met.

If you are flying with a pet, airlines allow you to check it in as excess baggage. Customers in Australia will only need to hire a pet agent for domestic travel if they are not traveling on the same flight as their dog or cat.

Dogs can also fly with you to Australia, although of course there are restrictions.

It is illegal to transport dogs in the cabin in Australia, unlike many countries, like Europe and the United States and Europe, with the exception of assistance dogs.

Travel Australia with dogs

Domestic Travel With Dogs


Traveling within Australia with your dog has limitations, but is still very possible. Dogs are banned in national parks, which will hinder some of your travel options, but there are plenty of dog friendly campgrounds and hotels (see below), to add to your itinerary.

If you live in Australia and you are traveling with your pet across state and territorial boundaries, please be aware that some biosecurity regulations may apply.

In the same way that you may be banned from bringing fruit and vegetables across the border, additional checks may be required to transport your dog.

The latest regulations (which may change from time to time) can be downloaded in PDF format from the Australian Interstate Quarantine website.

Only one state requires dogs to be shipped in that state: Tasmania. The requirements for bringing dogs into Tasmania are they must be treated for Hydatid Tapeworm and be healthy and free from ticks. Further information is located here.

If you are planning on traveling with dogs in a car long distance, this is the best way to travel in most of Australia.

There is a tradition of doing the “Big Lap of Australia” and many people choose traveling with a dog in a car, finding dog friendly options along the way. If your dog is your best friend, traveling with her or him is one of the best ways to make your trip unforgettable.

Otherwise, If you are away for a weekend, it will be even easier if you decide to travel with a dog in a car. There are no additional costs or restrictions and your dog should already be used to traveling comfortably in a car.

Flying with your dog in Australia is fairly easy, though please make sure to review current Covid restrictions if they apply (in 2022 this means booking with a Commercial Pet Transport Company for pick up and drop off).

Virgin Australia has listed all its requirements and costs, including drop off locations and sizing requirements.

Related post: Life Changing Roadtrips In Australia

How Easy Is It To Travel Australia With Dogs?

It’s relatively easy to travel within Australia with your dog, depending on organisation and your awareness.

Little Aussie Travellers discuss on their website how they decided to do the Big Lap of Australia, with their dog. They provide some top tips like, where to leave your dog when you’re taking part in short or long activities, pet sitting, and dog vaccinations amongst other tips.

Emily and Ben from Keeping Up With The Kendalls provide information on some of the difficulties of traveling with dogs like, not everyone likes dogs or understands them, and you need to be organised.

Justin and Bec from Trip In A Van discuss their experience of traveling with two border collies (and 3 kids) and the challenges they faced, like trusting pet sitters and when to put them on a leash, amongst other difficulties which led to them ultimately leaving the dogs with family for the next trip.

Costs Of Traveling Australia With Your Dog

There are many costs to keep in mind when traveling with dogs to and within Australia, and they vary.

To bring a dog into Australia from another country can cost you anywhere from A$2,000- $10,000. This includes freight charges, import permits, and quarantine fees, and can vary depending on the country you are traveling from.

Flying with a dog within Australia will be more expensive than driving. Airlines within Australia currently charge a fee for dogs to fly in the cabin, ranging from A$50- $250 one way.

Other costs to keep in mind when planning a trip with your dog are kennel costs, dog food, additional costs of staying in dog friendly campgrounds and hotels, hiring a dog sitter, and vet or emergency costs.

Dog sitters usually charge $10-30 per day and kennel prices from $25 to $40 per day.


Travel Australia with dogs


How To Prepare Your Dog For Travel in Australia

  • Consider taking your dog’s bowls, a supply of food they like and their bedding with you.
  • Create your own packing list for traveling with dogs.
  • Ensure they are fully vaccinated.
  • Ensure their collar has your phone number on it.
  • Consider buying a dog tracking collar, where you are able to see where your dog is by an app on your phone.

This YaSao GPS Pet Locator Tracker is perfect for locating your dog at all times.

GPS PET LOCATOR TRACKER

Road Trips In Australia With Your Dog

The RSPCA (The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) has listed on their website a whole bunch of tips for taking your dog with you on a road trip in Australia, including:

  • Ensure your dog is microchipped
  • Review laws for transporting dogs by road in each state , including the road rules.
  • Ensure your dog is healthy and all their vaccinations, worming and flea treatment is up to date before setting off. Discuss with your vet for advice.
  • Make sure your dog will be comfortable and safe during the trip.
  • Vehicle restraints for dogs are widely available and include restraints that either attach to existing seat belts or have buckles that clip directly into the seat belt.
  • Ensure that your dog is used to travelling by car before you set off.
  • Never leave your dog unattended in a car.
  • Stop for enough toilet breaks during your road trip and time for on-leash exercise outside of the vehicle, in a safe and secure area.
  • Have the contact details of the local vet at your end destination or vet clinics along the way.
  • This packing list for traveling with dogs.

Pet Friendly Caravan Parks

If you are planning long term travel with dogs in Australia, there are plenty of dog friendly caravan parks in all states of Australia.

Dogs are not allowed in protected national parks, but there are lots of regional parks that allow camping with your dog or pet.

Here are some of the best reviewed dog friendly camping grounds in Australia.

Victoria

  1. Gippsland Lakes Coastal Park Paradise Beach
  2. Lerderderg State Park
  3. Lake Elizabeth Campground
  4. Banksia Bluff Campground
  5. Johanna beach Campground

New South Wales

  1. Smugglers Cove
  2. Big4 Sunshine South West Rocks Holiday Park
  3. Reflections Holiday Parks Evans Head
  4. Inegnia Holidays South West Rocks 
  5. Jervis Bay Holiday Park
  6. Merry Beach Caravan Park
  7. Reflections Holiday Parks Bermagui
  8. Wee Jasper Reserves

Queensland

  1. Neurum Creek Bush Retreat
  2. Coolum Beach Holiday Park
  3. Kookaburra Park
  4. Kirra Tourist Park
  5. Charlotte Plains Station
  6. Mission Beach Hideaway
  7. Fisherman’s Beach Park
  8. Queen Mary Falls Caravan Park

Northern Territory

  1. Kings Creek Station
  2. Dundee Beach Holiday Park
  3. Heritage Caravan Park
  4. AAOK Lakes Resort and Caravan Park
  5. Batchelor Holiday Park
  6. Erldunda Roadhouse
  7. Oasis Tourist Park
  8. Litchfield Tourist Park
  9. Banyan Tree Caravan & Tourist Park

Western Australia

  1. Big Brook Arboretum, Pemberton
  2. Sandy Cape Recreation Park, Jurien Bay
  3. Bungle Bungle Caravan Park, Purnululu
  4. Dongara Tourist Park, Port Denison
  5. Warner Glen Campground, Margaret River
  6. Fonty’s Pool, Manjimup
  7. RAC Monkey Mia Dolphin Resort, Shark Bay
  8. RAC Busselton Holiday Park, Busselton

Tasmania

  1. Abel Tasmania
  2. Caravan Park
  3. Apex Caravan
  4. Beauty Point Tourist Park
  5. Deloraine Caravan Park
  6. Greens Beach Tourist Park
  7. Great Lake Caravan Park
  8. Rosebery Tourist Park
  9. Ross Caravan Park
  10. Mersey Bluff Caravan Park
  11. Tarraleah Caravan Park
  12. Queenstown Caravan Park
  13. Waratah Campground
  14. Scamander Caravan Park
  15. Southport Caravan Park

South Australia

  1. Moonta Caravan Park, Yorke Peninsula
  2. Cooper Creek Camp, Birdsville Track, Outback
  3. Cohen Rest Area, Penong, Eyre Peninsula
  4. Coulta Memorial Park Rest Stop, Eyre Peninsula
  5. Edithburgh Caravan Park
  6. Pine Country Caravan Park


Dog Friendly Hotels

An alternative to camping is staying in a dog friendly hotel in Australia.

You may be searching for value for money, luxury accommodation, or simply a stop between A & B which will allow you to bring your dog inside.  Whatever the reason, I have handpicked some options in Australia for dog friendly hotels:

Ovolo Hotels are a boutique hotel chain with a selection of pet friendly hotels in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, and Canberra. They are on the expensive side but you truly get what you pay for, with many perks and luxurious and comfortable surroundings.

Here are some additional dog friendly hotels in each state in Australia:

Victoria

QT Melbourne
View Melbourne
Grampians Getaway

New South Wales

Medusa, Darlinghurst
InterContinental Double Bay
Tropical Coast Retreat Byron Bay

Queensland

W Brisbane
Quest at Chermside 
Quest Robina Gold Coast

Northern Territory

Darwin Waterfront Wharf Escape Apartments
Timber Creek Hotel
Devils Marbles Hotel

Western Australia

Rendezvous Hotel Perth Scarborough
The Grandhouse York B&B
Citadines St Georges Terrace

South Australia

Hilton Adelaide
Mayfair Hotel Adelaide
Georges Apartments

Tasmania

Cleburne Homestead – Risdon Cove
Waterfront Wynyard
Sherwood View Hotel

Resources for Dog Friendly Hotels In Australia:

Tripadvisor
Concrete Playground

Things To Consider When Traveling With Dogs In Australia

You’ve decided “Yes, Im definitely taking my dog with me”? Here are some additional things to consider when traveling in Australia with your dog, to ensure a positive travel experience.

  • If you’re in doubt whether somewhere is pet friendly, always ask. This could save you time as well as any nasty encounters.
  • Be aware some people may be scared of your dog and others want to play with it. Try to be mindful of other people’s physical and noise boundaries, especially when camping or traveling in close quarters.
  • Try to teach your dog some new safety and obedience tricks before you leave, to assist with any issues that pop up along the way!
  • Take any pet carriers or leads with you, as you never know when you’ll need them.
  • Get your dog used to long car trips and travel before you leave.
  • Review all documents you need to take with you and make copies.
  • Carry extra water for your dog in your car.
  • Never leave your do in the car on its own.
  • Locate the numbers of the local 24-hour veterinary emergency hospital.
  • Consider taking a crate, not only for the plane but or the car as well. Large enough for your dog to stand and lie down. Add a comfortable mat, and ensure it is strong and leak proof, has ventilation, and a water bottle inside and no interior hazards that might harm your dog.

This dog carrier may be perfect for travel in Australia with a small to medium dog.

FUR CADET Plush and Comfy Dog Carrier Backpack for Hiking:

Conclusion

Whether you’re planning a short trip, embarking on long term travel with dogs or you’re traveling from overseas or interstate, traveling in Australia with dogs is possible if you plan ahead. 

Deciding whether to take your dog on your trip through Australia will take some consideration. Where are you planning to visit? How old is your dog? Could you bear to part with them or are they better off with you? and many other factors.

If you are still unsure whether to take your dog with you as you travel Australia, Travelling Australia With Kids has an informative post on the pros and cons of taking your dog with you and they have listed a variety of different travelers’ experiences, from traveling with dogs in a car long distance to traveling with kids and dogs.

If you take your dog with you on your trip to or within Australia, ensure to review all the relevant guidelines and be mindful of noise and safety near other travelers. Respecting other’s boundaries and you will likely meet new friends along the way and have some of your best times traveling with your best friend.

I’d love to hear in the comments below if you have traveled Australia with your dog or pet!

Additional Resources

TRAVEL DOGS AUSTRALIA
PET TRAVELLER AUSTRALIA
PACKING LIST FOR TRAVELING WITH DOGS

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