There are plenty of pet friendly stays by the Indian Ocean.
Travelling with a dog can be tricky, with fewer accommodation options because of no-pet policies. But on the stretch from Dongara-Port Denison to Exmouth there’s a range of caravan parks, private residences, homesteads, resorts and stations that offer dog-friendly accommodation.
There are also plenty of beaches and parks in the region where our furry companions can run free.
Drive three-and-a-half hours north of Perth to be greeted by the warm waters of the twin towns of Dongara and Port Denison. A popular and dog-friendly spot is South Beach with its kilometres of white sandy beach and calm waters.
If your four-legged friend is proving particularly yappy, head for the dunes along Kailis Drive, a popular spot for sandboarders, where some steep inclines are sure to wear it out. The shaded walk along Irwin River Estuary offers a peaceful on-lead option.
Located 100m from the water’s edge, The Leander Reef Holiday Park is a welcome haven for dog owners. Park manager Jeanine Murray said dogs, cats and birds were welcomed with open arms when in private caravans.
Three kilometres south of Port Denison, the beachside Dongara Tourist Park also allows dogs year-round for those staying in caravan, camper or tent.
As the manager of heritage-listed Oakabella Homestead for 21 years, Loretta Wright has served many a doggycino and plain versions of her famous scones to canine visitors. She’s even had a pet kangaroo fed at the Oakabella Country Kitchen.
In the Shire of Northampton, the mid-1800s Oakabella Homestead allows pets for those camping or parking their caravan in its dedicated campers’ paddock.
The paddock has proved popular with pet owners — Loretta had eight dogs on site when speaking with Travel — with owners using the designated picturesque paddocks to walk their dogs, as well as dining in the tearoom’s alfresco area.
Heading into Kalbarri, the river foreshore offers a great run spot for dogs, while the Melaleuca Walk trail is nice for an on-lead stroll.
Straddled where the Murchison River meets the Indian Ocean in the centre of Kalbarri, the Murchison River Caravan Park is pet-friendly at its caravan and camping sites, but does not allow pets during the school holidays.
South of Kalbarri, Wagoe Chalets and Camping has the same policy.
Billabong Homestead’s caravan park, halfway between Geraldton and Carnarvon and 220km north of Shark Bay, is a welcome stop for those on a long haul. The caravan park allows dogs on leads and dogs can be tethered outside accommodation rooms or vehicles.
At Shark Bay, Monkey Mia has proved a particularly popular place for a dog pit stop. While dogs must be kept on-lead in the resort and can’t get up close and personal with the dolphins, at Little Lagoon they can be run off the lead.
Carnarvon is a haven for pet owners, with plenty of dog-friendly outings and facilities. Pets can ride aboard the Coffee Pot Train and walk along One Mile Jetty.
Dogs can run free on Carnarvon’s town beach and Pelican Point. The Fascine waterfront even has new dog water bowls.
The town also has some great accommodation options for dogs. The Wintersun Caravan Park allows pets on sites, as well as providing an off-leash fenced and grassed area. Ten of its chalets allow small pets inside and larger dogs can be tethered on the veranda. There is even a dedicated washing machine for pet bedding.
Coral Coast Tourist Park also allows dogs in the camping area and on the chalet verandas and also provides an off-leash run area.
Quobba Station, located on the southern tip of Ningaloo Reef Marine Park, gets plenty of canine visitors with a dog-friendly policy at its camp grounds. It also allows dogs at its cottages but they must be tethered outside.
Quobba Station’s Sarah Stephens said those visiting with dogs took advantage of the walking trails and isolated beaches — certainly no shortage at the pastoral station that enjoys 80km of coastline.
Station, between Coral Bay and Exmouth, has also turned into quite the canine
destination. It is a working station so dogs must be kept on the lead but can
stay in the camp ground or outside the cottages. “There are bush tracks where
you can walk your dogs and because we have lots of space it is nice for owners
and their pets to explore,” Bullara owner
said. Depending on staff, the station can also offer dog-sitting services.
While most national parks are off-limits for pets, for those wanting to experience the Pinnacles or Cape Range National Park there are options.
In Cervantes on Bradley Loop the Department of Parks and Wildlife offer self-service kennels where pets can be left from 8am to 4pm weekdays.
If visiting Cape Range National Park, dog owners can book their dogs into the Exmouth Veterinary Clinic. The Shire of Exmouth and some residents offer dog-sitting services — contact the Exmouth Visitor Centre.
Ideas for dog-friendly accommodation along the Coral Coast
Dongara-Port Denison and Geraldton
Coral Coast Sunset Deck
Dongara Tourist Park
Leander Reef Holiday Park
Belair Gardens Caravan Park
Northampton and Kalbarri
Murchison River Caravan Park
Wagoe Chalets and Camp ground
RAC Monkey Mia Resort
Shark Bay Cottages
Wintersun Caravan Park
Coral Coast Tourist Park
Bayview Coral Bay
Exmouth Holiday Homes
Ningaloo Bed and Breakfast
Search for pet-friendly accommodation at australiascoralcoast.com.
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