Top 10 Pet-Friendly Vacations in Australia and the South Pacific
Most Australian and New Zealand national parks do not allow dogs, although bona fide guide dogs are an exception. But there are still some good opportunities for dog walks and horse riding.
- The Great Australian Outback Cattle Drive, Australia
This annual drive across South Australia can include up to 300 guests moving 500 head of cattle over 135 miles in three weeks. It’s a perfect way to appreciate the outback by horse experiencing life as a real drover and seeing the geographical splendors first hand.
- Australian Bicentennial National Trail
This trail follows the paths of the pioneer stockmen and includes stock routes, stagecoach tracks, pack horse trails and country roads. It is the longest designated trekking trail of it’s kind in the world and takes the adventure trekker on a 3,312 mile journey from Cooktown, North Queensland, to Healesville in Victoria.
- Hiking in New Zealand
New Zealand is perfect for hiking, but you can’t hit the trails together just anywhere. Guide dogs are permitted in national parks, conservation parks, State forests and forest reserves but other dogs are often limited to specific exercise areas that you find in larger towns or to beaches. Hyde Park in Greater Auckland is one of the best places to walk your dog with 100 acres of natural surrounds and delightful marked trails. Dunedin is another good city for finding dog-friendly tracks through native bush as is the Otago Peninsula.
- Queensland Horse Trails, Australia
Over 310 miles of horse trails are open in five national parks in southeast Queensland in Noosa and the Kenilworth-Mapleton area on the Sunshine Coast, Caboolture and Bellthorpe, north of Brisbane, the Brisbane Forest Park west of Brisbane, and on the Gold Coast.
If you’re planning to go to Tassy and don’t want the hassle of the flight, consider taking your dogs and cats voyaging on the Spirit of Tasmania. They’ll be well housed and arrive rested and ready for adventuring on the island.
- Belair National Park, South Australia
Belair National Park is an 835-hectare urban national park reserve located just 8 miles from the Adelaide City center. You can ride your horse in the Park on the designated roads and horse trail. Just remember it’s considered a vehicle and you must give way to pedestrians. Dogs are also welcome.
- Sheep and Dog Shows, New Zealand
In New Zealand there are more sheep than humans and a lot of dogs are needed to keep them in check. Take Fido down to the local sheep and dog show to learn a few tricks or test him out.
- Birdwood Races, Australia
Australia’s biggest outback horse racing event is a good way to race your stock, bet on others or simply live it up at the big tent party in the bush.
- Country shows
If you’re keen on the pet life of the Australian country show you can watch sheep dog trials, camp drafting, dressage or show jumping or take part yourself. Most major rural centers have their annual show and championships.
- Million Paws Walk, Australia
This annual event is held in over 70 locations across Australia to raise funds for animals at the RSPCA shelters. You can get out your walking shoes and your pet leash and bring your four-legged friend to this premier pet event.