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Fun holiday activities to enjoy with your dogs
  • Cafe Bones in Leichhardt
  • The kids will enjoy having extra friends to play with!
  • Pamper your pooch at Pobblebonk B&B
  • Pobblebonk 'pet-friendly' B&B

The next time you plan to take a break, bring your pets with you! There was once a time pet owners wanting to take a fun-filled holiday would need to arrange for someone to watch their animals or pay to send them to a kennel. Today, thanks to countless pet-friendly accommodation options, owners can share their holiday fun with their four-legged mates. This is the ultimate way to enjoy a break; save money you would otherwise spend on a boarding kennel, avoid the worry and/or guilt you might feel at leaving them behind, and instead experience the joy of sharing your special times with a loyal friend. The wagging of a dog’s tail can add to the enjoyment of any special break.

The question then arises – what do you do with your pets while on holiday? Few pooches would appreciate the fine art of a museum in Melbourne, or be welcome into an antique shop in Launceston. Even dogs with the best noses for fine wines would discover they are unwelcome at the vineyards of the Barossa Valley. So how do you make the holiday enjoyable for both of you? 
Pet cafés: Several countries throughout Europe happily accept dogs into their restaurants, but in Australia, canine pals are usually expected to stay at home. However, many innovative Aussie pet-lovers have opened up special “Pet Cafés” around Australia. At these places, your pooch is treated like royalty. For example, next time you’re in Sydney, be sure to head to Café Bones in Leichhardt. This delightful spot has a full menu of munchies and lattes for two-legged clientele, and yummy doggy treats, like the “Pupaccino”, for their mates.
Beaches: Australia has phenomenal beaches, and many allow dogs. Pet-friendly accommodation owners often have animals themselves, so be sure to ask them where their favourite spots are located.
Picnics: Eating, swimming, and playing are favourite pastimes for most pooches, so a real treat for your pet is to go on picnics wherever you holiday. Instead of limiting yourself to restaurants, where they are usually not welcome, consider packing a gourmet picnic for yourself, and some special doggie delights for your friend. Find out from locals or tourism offices which local parks welcome dogs, and head out for some fun. Every city has them, for example, in Canberra there are 39 different off-leash parks you can visit. In most cases, it can be as simple as looking up the town’s website for listings, or even just Googling the name of the city along with “off-leash parks”.
Water sports: Dogs love water and would be thrilled to go on a yacht, canoe, or even a paddleboat. Check with rental or tour companies before you bring your canine friend along though, to be sure they are welcome.
Doggie SCUBA? Heading to the Great Barrier Reef? Some of the best SCUBA diving in the world awaits you! Although some nutters on the internet have tried diving with their dogs, we don’t recommend it. However, many of the awesome places you can stay in northern Queensland have dog-friendly accommodation options that allow you to dive while your dog takes a relaxing snooze.
“Where the heck is Fido?” Become a YouTube sensation by making a video of your pets frolicking around Australia. Check out “Dancing” and try to do the same as Matt, but around Australia and with your pets! Take them to as many of the country’s coolest places as possible, and film them catching a ball, jumping, barking – anything they like to do often. Then add music and upload to YouTube, and you may soon be famous!  
Pooch poses: Remember to have lots of photos taken of you and your pal enjoying the holiday together. Scenic backdrops and special times add to the joy of photos many years later. You may even decide to develop a scrapbook for your dog. Include photos of their happiest moments on the trip, some mementos from the adventures and maybe even add some of their paw prints for good luck. If you have children, these photos will become extra special as they grow up with their pets and look back at their times together. 
For those activities where your dog is not welcome, many places offer doggie babysitting so that you can get out and see the sites that your dog may not appreciate. For example, one fabulous Bed and Breakfast, Pobblebonk was the 2009 State and National Winner of the  takeabreak.com.au “pet-friendly” accommodation award. This cosy and welcoming place nestled in the Adelaide Hills will treat all of you, including your pooch, like royalty. Pobblebonk will even be offering dog weddings in the future!

About the Author
Kylie-Jane Degeling is a freelance writer who has lived in Adelaide, Yulara (Uluru), Alice Springs and Canberra, as well as five different countries throughout the world. After backpacking around Australia, she worked as a tour guide in Central Australia, before training for her Commercial Pilot License and working as a flight instructor, scenic flight and charter pilot. She later worked as a travelling IT trainer for the Civil Aviation Safety Authority, which involved spending time in each of their 16 District Offices around the country on a rotating basis.

Having experienced Australia as a backpacker, tour guide, pilot and business traveller, Kylie now enjoys family holidays with her husband Alex, and children Jezzy and Jordan. She says, “I have been lucky to see Australia from a variety of perspectives, and as a travel writer can use this experience to inspire others to find holidays they would enjoy.”  Kylie currently works as a travel writer in addition to being a government writer and columnist for two parenting magazines.


About the author
Find out more about Kylie at http://bit.ly/h_experts

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  I go through your blog, it is fantastic. I like your way to explain the topic .This is really awesome to read such type of blog. I am Australian and interested in sports. I am interested to get information about Cricket training Australia. If anyone has idea about this please let me know
Posted on Sep 07 2011 at 16:25

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