Australia is a massive country full of beautiful sights and exciting activities for the whole family—including your furry friends! However, any well-seasoned traveller knows that planning is the secret to executing a great trip. If you’re planning a great Australian journey with your dog, read on to learn more about your mode of transport options, current travel restrictions, must-have travel essentials and some of the best Aussie dog-friendly destinations.
The most popular mode of transport when travelling with dogs is by car! The rules for dogs travelling in cars vary state by state in Australia; however, regardless of where you are, driving with your dog on your lap is always a huge no-no. This rule extends to anywhere that a dog could obstruct your view and impair your control of the vehicle. A police officer can give you an infringement notice and fine if your dog is:
These scenarios can be avoided by properly restraining your dog using a harness or seatbelt tether. It’s also advised that you do not travel with your dog in the front seat as the airbags can be dangerous in the event of an accident. Additionally, when travelling in all states except for the Northern Territory, you must always tether your dog when they are riding in the back of a utility vehicle or truck.
Another type of transport you’ll need to consider is trains and any other forms of public transport you may wish to use on your trip. Trains are an absolute must for inner-city travel as they make it easy to get around quickly and affordably.
However, public transport rules vary around Australia, with each state and territory having its own restrictions:
All assistance animals with a valid form of accreditation are allowed on public transport.
All other pets are permitted to travel via buses, ferries, light rail and taxis as long as they meet the following requirements:
Pets are not allowed on metro stations, metro trains, coach stops, coaches, trains or train stations. Please refer to the Transport NSW information page to read these restrictions in detail.
Victoria allows all accredited assistance animals on public transport, as long as they have an Assistance Animal Pass or interstate assistance animal accreditation.
Small animals can travel on metropolitan and v/line trains, trams and buses as long as they are in a suitable animal container. Animal containers are any clean container that allows the animal space to move comfortably, suitable ventilation and food and water access. Only one pet carrier is permitted per customer and must not block doorways or passageways.
Dogs are permitted to travel on trains as long as they are on a lead and wearing a muzzle. However, it is required that the owner cleans up any messes created by their dog and ensures that their dog is under control. It’s also required that owners do not allow their dogs to sit on any seats or block aisles and doors, and finally, it is advised that owners avoid travelling on weekdays during morning and evening rush hours.
Dogs and other pets are not allowed on V/Line coaches, including rail replacement buses, unless they are verified assistance animals. You can read these restrictions in further detail at the Public Transport Victoria website.
In Queensland, the rules vary depending on your location. However, some major rules include:
Translink Queensland Services require an approved Assistance Animal Pass for all Translink buses, trains, trams and ferries. There is an exception, however, when travelling with a dog on the Brisbane River ferries all weekend and between 8:30 AM and 3:30 PM as well as 7 PM and 6 AM on weekdays.
Your dog must always be on a leash and wearing a muzzle or be in an enclosed carrier when travelling. You are required to clean up after your pet with waste bags and remain in the outdoor area of the ferry where possible. If you’d like to read more about these restrictions, please refer to the Translink information page.
Unfortunately, you will not be able to use any Transperth services unless you have an assistance dog. Your dog must be approved by the Department of Local Government or trained and registered with any of the following organisations:
You can read more about Western Australia’s public transport restrictions here.
The Transport Canberra network allows accredited assistance animals, guide dogs and assistance animals in training on buses and light rail. If travelling with a pet on buses or light rail, your animal must be confined in an appropriate animal container. You’ll also need approval from the driver of the vehicle. Read more about these rules here.
Unfortunately, similar to Western Australia, Metro Tasmania only allows qualifying assistance animals on their buses. These animals must have one of the following:
If you’d like to read more, check out their information page here.
Hearing guides and assistance dogs are the only pets allowed on buses in the Northern Territory. More information is available here.
If you’re travelling through one of the more difficult areas, you can consider riding with Uber Pet—a mobile rideshare service. Uber Pet is available in Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide, Gold Coast, Canberra, Newcastle, Hobart, Cairns, Sunshine Coast, Geelong, Wollongong and Darwin. This service typically costs an extra $6 to $7.
Travelling interstate with your pup and don’t want to drive? Taking a flight with your dog every now and then can help you save time and avoid long stretches of driving. Flying with a dog in Australia requires forward planning. Luckily there are some companies to ensure your pet has a great and safe travel experience. These companies include:
Specialising in international and interstate pet travel for over 30 years, Jetpets domestic pet transport allows their customers to travel to or from any state in Australia. Jetpets provides each of their customers with a pet travel consultant who discusses everything from the itinerary, flight routes, travel crate sizing and more. Due to prices varying depending on various factors such as travel distance and pet size, Jetpets provides an individualised quote for each customer.
AeroPets provide international and interstate pet travel and can organise everything required, including flights, pick-up services, deliveries and boarding. AeroPets transports all manner of pets, including dogs, cats, birds, snakes, lizards, ferrets, mice, rats, rabbits, ducks and goats. They also facilitate travel crate hire and stay dry fleece mats.
Another popular pet travel provider is Dogtainers, who have been providing specialist pet travel services since 1971. Dogtainers offers international and domestic services including air and road pet transport. Prices vary depending on pet size, transport length and travel method.
Pet travel providers ultimately assist in booking your pets transportation and arranging appropriately sized and regulated travel crates for you.
If you want to fly your dog across Australia, you will need to book them to fly in the cargo hold. This means booking your pet through the airline’s freight division. Commercial pet transport companies are required to book at major airlines including Qantas, Virgin Australia and Rex Regional Express.
It should be noted, however, that certain breeds are prohibited from flying in Australia. These include the:
Additionally, some stronger dog breeds are required to travel in special non-plastic crates. Consider giving extra care to snub-nosed breeds like bulldogs, French bulldogs, pugs, and Shih-Tzus. Snub-nosed breeds usually have extra flying conditions because of breathing issues and an increased chance of heat stress.
It’s important to check airlines for their individual breed specifications and vet health certificate requirements. Your pet’s eligibility for a flight can vary per airline and pet travel company depending on their age, breed and weight. Similar to regular cargo, the pricing will vary based on your pet’s size and container.
No major airline permits pets (other than recognised service dogs) to travel in the cabin on regular commercial flights. However, The Civil Aviation Safety Authority has recently revised regulations to allow pets to fly in the cabin on certain airlines. This exciting change will make it easier to travel with your pet in the future, but until individual airlines accept pets, the only pet-friendly cabin flights currently available are to Tasmania via Pawmobile. However, Pawmobile has some limitations – it’s more expensive than other options, and it doesn’t accept human passengers.
Understanding travel requirements and restrictions can help make your journey smoother, safer and more enjoyable for your pet. With some research and time, you and your pet can hit the road, rail or sky and start your journey to the many beautiful destinations in Australia.
Australia is a great country to travel through with your pup, as a land of beaches, sun and vibrant outdoor attractions. There’s no shortage of exciting opportunities for adventure, whether you prefer grass, sand, or something a little more refined. Below we provide a few suggestions on popular attractions and destinations you can visit with your pup.
Australia is filled with heaps of great dog-friendly places, with each state offering plenty of food options to tuck into between activities. Some places you might want to check out around Australia include:
Located in the bustling cityscape of Brisbane, Mylk + Ko offers dog biscuits and doggy ice cream to keep your pup happy on a long day out.
Enjoy a beachside brunch with your dog at this bold eatery, blending cafe, restaurant and bar experiences.
Stop for a bite on Flinders Walk at Arbory, an outdoor restaurant and bar offering a view of the Yarra River.
Slate Cafe, Bennet Springs, WA
Treat your pup to an off-lead play date at this gorgeous Perth cafe, with a regular on-site treat truck and puppacinos.
If you prefer a fine vintage over coffee and ice cream, you can find a large selection of wineries dotted across the Australian countryside. Enjoy a glass of wine while your pup takes in the Australian landscape with gorgeous wineries Australia-wide, including:
Taste, play and stay at this gorgeous winery, popular for its dog-friendly accommodation, events and stellar dog blog.
Hidden Creek, Granite Belt, QLD
Located in the high-altitude hills of Granite Belt, Hidden Creek is run by a fantastic team, including winery dog Pepper.
Rochford Wines, Yarra Valley, VIC
Enjoy a glass of wine, gorgeous views and a robust music scene at Rochford Wines, long-running host to the “A Day on the Green” concert series.
Explore three off-lead areas with your pup as well as numerous dog functions at Wobbly Boot, host to quarterly animal welfare fundraiser Wine and Woofs.
When it comes to dog-friendly beaches, you can guarantee Australia has plenty to offer, no matter the location. Here are some beautiful dog-friendly beaches to enjoy with your best friend:
Sirius Cove Reserve, NSW
Sirius Cove Reserve is a dog utopia with plenty of space to zoom around off-lead.
Great Ocean Road Beaches, VIC
True to its namesake, the Great Ocean Road includes plenty of off-leash beaches, including Torquay, Anglesea and Lorne.
Sunshine Beach, QLD
This off-leash option on the Sunshine Coast will be a hit with large stretches of sand for your energetic pup.
Peasholm Dog Beach, WA
Peasholm Dog Beach is located in Scarborough and offers off-leash areas all year round.
There are also plenty of on-leash options for those who might have a more excitable pup. Some popular tourist destinations in Australia include:
The Phillip Island Coastline, VIC
Enjoy the beautiful scenery and wildlife on the Phillip Island Coastline in Gippsland.
Glenelg Beach, SA
Take a walk on this picturesque beach in Adelaide, where dogs are kept on a leash all day in the summer and from 10 AM to 8 PM during daylight savings.
Nine Mile Beach, NSW
Also known as Tuncurry Beach, this beach is popular for its surf, rockpool, enclosed swimming area and on and off-leash areas.
When planning your trip, you may want to map out some more convenient beaches for your journey. There are heaps of dog-friendly beaches around Australia. Always consider your pup’s temperament, training and the local leash requirements and remember — have fun!
While on your trip, you may want to map out your local parks to enjoy with your pup. Luckily there are plenty of attractive options, with dogs being welcome in many state forests and regional parks throughout Australia.
Between trips to the many dog-friendly eateries in Brisbane, Samford Conservation Park is a fantastic place to visit. This park is home to many native flora and fauna and is known for its beautiful red ironbark trees. Other well-known options near Brisbane include the Amamoor State Forest and National Park, Brooyar State Forest and Cordalba State Forest.
If your pup enjoys swimming, you might consider beautiful locations in Victoria, such as Yarra Bend Park, where they can have a paddle in Deep Rock. There are also many remote options – whether you’d enjoy a picnic or barbeque at Silvan Reservoir Park, a historical trip at Point Gellibrand Heritage Park or bushwalking through Woowookarung Regional Park.
If you enjoy salty air, you can explore the ocean views at Cape Conran Coastal Park with your pup. Or, if you like a greener, more inland scene, the Strzelecki Ranges at Agnes Falls Scenic Reserve offers views of Victoria’s highest single-span falls.
Between the wineries and cafes in New South Wales, you can find a huge selection of parks to explore, including the Euston Regional Park, with a gorgeous lake and towering river red gum forests. If you enjoy camping, consider the Murray Valley Regional Park, located near numerous inland beaches, fishing spots and the Five Mile mountain bike trail.
Over in Northern Territory, with its vast landscape, there are many gorgeous parks to visit, including the fully-fenced Marlow Lagoon Dog Park, which has smaller fenced areas for quieter dogs as well as BBQ and picnic areas. Located near Darwin, you can also enjoy the Lakeside Dog Park, with dog water troughs, disposal bags and separate small and large dog areas.
There is no limit to your wanderlust, but be mindful of local signage detailing leash restrictions and remember that pets are typically not allowed inside national parks in Australia.
So you’ve mapped out your trip itinerary, booked a dog-friendly hotel and made the call to work to take time off. Hopefully, your suitcase won’t be too full, because you can’t forget your beloved dog’s travel supplies! We’ve aimed to make this an easy process with our ready-to-go checklist! So get a pen and paper (and maybe a tennis ball?) and get ready to start your journey – happy packing!
Once you’re familiar with the information in this article, you’ll be able to confidently start your journey across Australia. Always remember to double-check travel and leash requirements no matter where you are, and be sure to pack plenty of treats for the road. Now you’re ready to take time to enjoy all the food, sunshine and fun that Australia has to offer!