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February 2024

Dog-Friendly Winter Getaways and Travel Ideas in Victoria


Pet-Friendly Winter Getaways In Victoria

There are a variety of options for getaways in Victoria, each with their own unique appeal. Read on for our suggestions on escapes you can take with your dog, take in our top tips for finding pet-friendly accommodation and get some ideas for activities.

Snow Escapes for Dogs in Victoria

There’s something magical about the snow in winter! And it’s all the more special to have your dog with you. While Victoria is no stranger to mountain resorts (Mt Buller, Mt Hotham and Lake Mountain to name a few) Dinner Plain is the one you’re going to want to visit for its pet-friendly appeal. No permit for your dog is needed, so pack pooch into the car and hit the road. Stay in Dinner Plain itself, or look into accommodation in surrounding towns of Bright, Harrietville, Mount Beauty and Omeo.

Look forward to a wholesome alpine weekend with your pets – enjoy some lovely bush walks, and perhaps try your hand at skiing, snowboarding, or snowshoeing. Don’t forget to prepare your dog for the cold with winter outerwear and have some blankets and towels packed in the car.

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Coastal Escapes for Dogs in Victoria

While a popular summer retreat, beaches are a great option for winter getaways as well. There are a variety of options on the Victorian coast – including locations on the Surf Coast, the Bellarine Peninsula, the Mornington Peninsula, South Gippsland and Phillip Island.

Hot Tip

Be mindful of which beaches are national parks, as you won’t be allowed to take your dogs there.

Country Escapes for Dogs in Victoria

We’ve explored two extremes – the snow and the beach – but for folks that enjoy the middle ground, a country getaway may be the way to go. Victoria is home to many charming regional towns which are perfect for a weekend getaway. Explore towns like Daylesford, Beechworth, Bright or regions like Macedon Ranges, Dandenong Ranges, and the Yarra Valley where you can indulge in local produce, visit wineries, and embark on scenic hikes with your pets.

Tips For Finding Pet Friendly Accommodation in Victoria

Travelling with your pets can become tricky when it comes to accommodation, but our top tips are here to help.

  1. Use dog-friendly platforms. Holidaying with dogs has a great selection of pet-friendly accommodations, and it exclusively lists pet-friendly options so it takes the stress out of finding something suitable.
  2. Apply filters for ‘pet-friendly’ when using accommodation platforms like AirBnb, Stayz and – this is much easier than browsing generally and viewing each individual property’s ‘house rules’.
  3. Be flexible. If you can’t find accommodation in a certain area, look up neighbouring towns which might include a small road trip to where your actual destination is. Pet-friendly accommodation can be hard to come by so you may need to venture slightly off the beaten path.
  4. Book ahead! There are lovely accommodation options for pets throughout Victoria, but they can get snapped up quickly during the weekends and school holidays, so it helps to be extra prepared.

Pet-Friendly Activities in Victoria

Looking for activities you can undertake with your dog by your side? Forget leaving them at home, bring them with you.

Dog-Friendly Wineries and Breweries

Victoria is renowned for its world-class wineries and breweries, and the good news is that many of them are pet friendly. Popular locations include the Yarra Valley, Mornington Peninsula and Macedon Ranges – as well as Melbourne for breweries. Sign yourself up for a tasting, order a platter and settle in with your pooch. Make sure you rug up, as you’ll be sitting outdoors.

Outdoor Pet-Friendly Cafés and Restaurants

Dining out? Don’t underestimate your ability to take your dog with you! There are plenty of pet-friendly cafés and restaurants across Victoria which offer outdoor seating (and heating!) where you can enjoy a meal in the company of your pets. Maybe you can even get them a puppuccino while you’re there. Melbourne has an array of options – if you’re in the country opt for places with outdoor seating and call ahead to ensure you can bring your dog.

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Dog-Friendly Walks and Trails

Hit the road and take a hike – here are out top recommending dog-friendly hiking trails and beach walks that are off the beaten track.

Dog-Friendly Hikes in Victoria

You Yangs

  • At just 55km from Melbourne and 22km from Geelong, the You Yangs are an easy drive from several Victorian cities. Visitors are rewarded with a distinctive granite landscape and stunning views.
  • Dogs are permitted on the Big Rock loop walk and the Flinders Peak walk.
  • Dogs must be on a lead at all times.

Great Otway National Park

  • A beautiful park comprised of both coastland and rainforest along the world-famous Great Ocean Road.
  • While parts of the park are a no go with dogs, there are several dog-friendly walks.
  • Dogs are permitted at all the Lake Elisabeth walking tracks near Forrest, in the St George’s track near Lorne, at the Ironbark St George walking track, at the Ocean View walking track and the Surf Coast walking track near Torquay.

Kinglake National Park

  • An easy daytrip from Melbourne gets you to Kinglake National Park, which features lovely scenic walks and great views of the Yarra Valley, Port Phillip Bay and Melbourne City.
  • Dogs can be taken to the Frank Thomson reserve within the park, provided they are on a leesh.

Other Scenic Spots to Visit:

  • Beechworth Gorge, Beechworth.
  • Lake Wendouree, Ballarat.
  • Cherry Walk, Bright.
  • George Bass Coastal Walk, Anderson.
  • Mount Franklin Summit Walk, Mount Franklin.
  • Sanatorium Lake Eco Walking Trail, Mount Macedon.

Dog-Friendly Beaches in Victoria

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Surf Coast Dog-Friendly Beach Walks

  • Dogs are welcome in White’s Beach, Torquay from Deep Creek to the end of the Esplanade.
  • Walk your dog on Anglesea Beach from O’Donohue St east.
  • Walk from Stoney Creek to Doble Street on Lorne Beach.
  • Dogs can be taken on Fairhaven beach, provided you walk west of the Surf Life Saving Club.
  • Dogs are permitted on Airey's Inlet Beach, provided you walk west of the Split Point (keep your eyes out for the famous lighthouse!).
  • Dogs are permitted on Jan Juc Beach, provided you walk west of Rocky Point.
  • Take your dog to Warrnambool main beach - walk from the west side of the Hopkins River to Flume. You can also take your dog to Logan's Beach in Warrnambool.

Bellarine Peninsula Dog-Friendly Beach Walks

  • Dogs are welcome in Narrow’s Beach, Point Lonsdale from Roddick St to the end of the Boardwalk.
  • Dogs are permitted on Thirteenth Beach, provided you walk west of Barwon Heads.
  • Take your dog to Main Beach in Ocean Grove.
  • You can walk your dog in Point Richards from the boat ramp to Portarlington Sailing Club.
  • Walk your dog from Portarlington Beach to Indented Head, from there you can carry on to St Leonards Beach or for an even longer walk continue on to Edwards Point.
  • Point Henry in Geelong is dog friendly - you can also walk between the Point Henry Road coastline and the Point Henry Pier.
  • In Clifton Springs you can walk your dog on the beach west of Griggs Creek, and on the beach between The Dell and Beacon Point.

Mornington Peninsula Dog-Friendly Beach Walks

  • Walk your dog in Mt Martha on Hawker Beach. Access the dog-friendly beach via fire track opposite Helena St.
  • Dogs are permitted on Hastings Foreshore Reserve. Access the dog-friendly beach area via Marine Parade between Hodgins Road and Cool Store Road.
  • Dogs are permitted on Tassels Cove in Safety Beach, between Martha Cove entrance and Bruce Road.
  • Take your dog to Mornington. Dogs are permitted on Fosters Beach, which you can access via the walking track opposite 630 The Esplanade. Also try the Royal Bay Beach which is opposite the Royal Hotel.
  • South Beach is a 200m stretch of beach in Somers which is dog friendly.
  • For a longer walk, try Flinders Beach between Dodds Creek and Manton Creek.
  • Flinders Beach - long Sandy beach between Dodds Creek and Manton Creek

South Gippsland Dog-Friendly Beach Walks

  • There are several dog-friendly beaches around Inverloch. Try the beach area from Wave Street to Ozone Street, or else there's another beach area east of Grandview Grove through to Cuttriss Street.
  • In Kilcunda there's a beach area near the caravan park which permits dogs.
  • A section of Ventor Beach in Philip Island is pet friendly. Go to the area between Graydens Road and Ventor Beach Road.
Hot Tip

When you bring your dog to the beach, always refer to signs at beach entry points and check with council websites for the latest information. Changes to dog restrictions may be made at any time by local authorities.

FAQS For Dog-Friendly Travel in Victoria

Are there any restrictions on dogs in national parks in Victoria?

Yes, most national parks in Victoria do not permit dogs - though they can be taken into some parts. For national parks in Victoria that do welcome dogs, there are usually restrictions in place. Dogs are typically required to be on a leash and may not be allowed in certain areas. It's recommended to research the rules and regulations of the national park you plan to visit prior to taking your pet.

Are there any pet-friendly transportation options in Victoria?

Yes, Victoria offers pet-friendly transportation options. Trains and trams allow pets on board, although they need to be on a leash and wearing a muzzle, or in a carrier. Additionally, some taxi services and rideshare companies have pet-friendly policies.

Can I bring my pet to wineries and breweries in Victoria?

Some wineries and breweries in Victoria are pet-friendly, but it's advisable to check with each establishment beforehand. Remember to rug up as you’ll be outdoors and keep your dog on a lead.

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