Posted Thu 02 Mar 2023 at 07:33am
Head out on an adventure with your furry friend and explore the best dog-friendly road trips from Brisbane. There’s plenty on offer, from fun water activities, foodie adventures, wine tastings to camping and bushwalks, so pack your cars and get on the road!
1. Gold Coast
Famous for it’s stunning beaches, surf and fun activities, Gold Coast is the paw-fect dog-friendly road trip from Brisbane. Just over an hour’s drive, you and your pup can easily spend a day exploring or settle in for a weekend away.
There’s plenty of dog-friendly cafes in the Gold Coast that welcomes furry friends, so you’ll have no trouble getting your caffeine fix. Treat your pup to a delectable doggy meal at Palm Beach Avenue, grab a Cookie Crumble Puppuccino from Daymaker Espresso or get Fido featured on Blackboard Varsity’s Instagram story highlights.
Now that you’ve fuelled up, it’s time to get sandy! There’s no shortage of dog-friendly beaches on the Gold Coast, but Spit Beach has to be one of the locals’ favourites. With a large off-leash area spanning 1.5km, Fido can run, swim and dig to his heart’s content. It’s rumoured that Seaway Kiosk nearby has doggy ice creams, biscuits, beef pattys and beef sausage too, so don’t furr-get to stop by!
If your pup’s not into surf and sand, head to Pizzey Park or Robina Parkway Dog Park for some off-leash fun. Both parks have fenced agility areas where you can train your pet and see their skills in action.
Wind down and de-stress with an interactive Doga (dog yoga) class at Hot Tropical Yoga. Doga has many benefits and is proven to help pups with anxiety, dog socialisation, behaviour and focus.
2. Sunshine Coast
Sunshine Coast is another dog-friendly road trip from Brisbane that should be on your bucket list! With beautiful coastal towns like Noosa, Mooloolaba and Caloundra, you and Fido can have a blast exploring and eating your way through Sunshine Coast.
You’re bound to be hungry after a two-hour drive from Brisbane, so stop by Lane 32 Woodfire Pizza in Maleny to grab a slice or two. Don’t want to share your pizza? Fido can run around, play in the enclosed dog area, and snack on doggy biscuits. Or if your pup needs their own meal, head to The Velo Project or Mykie’s By The Bay and order from their lip-smacking doggy menu.
There are plenty of other dog-friendly beaches to explore in the Sunshine Coast, but Noosa Spit Dog Beach is a must-visit! With clear shallow blue waters, it’s the pawfect spot for pups still learning to swim.
Alternatively, head to O Boat Hire, hop on their BBQ Pontoon boat, cook up a delicious feed, hire a Kayak or SUP, and explore the river and canals! Not a big fan of watersports? Hop on the Noosa Ferry Cruise with Fido and enjoy the scenery.
Reward yourself with a pint of beer at Land and Sea Brewery or Glass House Brewery and settle in for a chill afternoon. Want to extend your trip? Book into one of these dog-friendly accommodation options.
3. Byron Bay
Although Byron Bay is in NSW, it’s only a two hour drive making it an easy, dog-friendly road trip from Brisbane.
The Farm should be at the top of your list of places to go. With a restaurant, bakery, playground, farm animals, and hands on activities during school holidays, there’s plenty of fun for the whole family. Pups are allowed everywhere on-leash apart from inside the Three Blue Ducks restaurant, so they can sniff around and meet new friends.
Looking for an adventure? Embark one of several bushwalks at Rocky Creek Dam – with walks ranging from 1.2km to 6km; you’ll be able to find something suitable for you and Fido’s exercise levels.
For a change of scenery, head to Belongil Beach, Tallow Beach or Brunswick Heads. Cool yourselves down in the water or relax in the sun. Just make sure you check which areas of are off-leash before you get sandy.
After a long day, you and Fido are bound to need some food! Treehouse on Belongi offers delicious Mediterranean-inspired dishes and wood-fired pizzas with shady outdoor areas to sit with your pup. Miss Margarita is a blend of Mexican flavours with Byron vibes, so don’t be surprised if you come back for seconds. And, of course, there’s plenty of margaritas to go around – choose from 10 different margaritas and sip the night away!
4. Lockyer Valley
Lockyer Valley is one of the top ten most fertile farming areas in the world, which makes it the perfect dog-friendly road trip for foodies. You can explore Lockyer Valley and purchase fresh produce in the comfort of your car. With roadside stalls across the region, you can stock up on all your heart’s desires. Stop by Flagstone Fresh, Ghost Gully Produce and Gatton-Esk Road Vegie Stall for fresh, seasonal fruits and veggies and 9 Dorf Farm for eggs, chicken and fish. Just note that Fido might have to stay in the car while you browse and purchase the produce.
Grab a classic breakfast or pub takeaway from Porters Plainland Hotel, or opt for delicious German bratwurst in a roll or paired with mash and sauerkraut from German Bake & Wurst House. Head to Lake Apex, a stunning waterfront park and spread out a picnic to enjoy your meal while keeping an eye out for the 150 different species of birds that inhabit the area. Stroll around the paved walking track with Fido and enjoy the peaceful scenery.
5. North Stradbroke Island
Venture out on a little island getaway with your pup to North Stradbroke Island! North Stradbroke Island lies within Moreton Bay and has many different wildlife species roaming around. You and your pup will be able to spot koalas in the trees, kangaroos hopping about and, if you’re lucky, some turtles in the ocean.
You’ll have to get a water taxi or vehicle ferry to the island from Toondah Harbour. Don’t worry, they’re both dog-friendly, so Fido can come along for the ride. Just make sure you book tickets in advance, as they’re quick to sell out.
Needless to say, one of the best things to do on North Stradbroke Island is to explore their stunning beaches. Keep Fido on-leash at Main Beach, Flinders Beach, Deadman’s Beach or Frenchman’s Beach. There are several restrictions in place, so make sure you check beforehand. If your pup loves zoomies and go for a swim, head to Home Beach, where they’ll be free to roam around off-leash.
Why not spend a night at North Stradbroke Island and camp outdoors with Fido? At Main Beach or Flinders Beach you can set up camp via tent, trailer or caravan. Toast a marshmallow over an open fire and stargaze with your furry friend. You’ll also need a vehicle permit to access the campsite, and dogs must be kept on-leash.
Looking for other dog-friendly beaches in Brisbane? Check out our top picks!
6. The Scenic Rim
Want to feel on top of the world? A day at Scenic Rim is just what you need. You can expect breathtaking views of the sweeping valleys and mountain ranges, food and wine experiences and outdoor adventures. And the best part is there’s plenty of dog-friendly places to explore and activities to do.
Start happy hour early at some of Scenic Rim’s paw-some dog-friendly wineries. Try Kooroomba’s extensive selection of wines and experience southern France in Brisbane. Head to their Lavender Farm afterwards to browse exclusive products with various health benefits, including improving digestion, soothing burns and more. Sarabah Estate Vineyard and Witches Falls Winery are also great options to stock up on local wine.
If you’re lucky enough to be in Scenic Falls on the second Sunday of the month, stop by Canungra Village Markets with Fido and sniff out the best local produce and goods.
7. Granite Belt Wine Country
A drive to Granite Belt Wine Country is another dog-friendly road trip from Brisbane that should be on your bucket list! With plenty of places to pick up local goods and produce, you won’t be leaving empty handed.
You’ve got to stop by Sutton’s Juice Factory and Cidery to sample their famous apple pies and refreshing apple juice mixes. Then, head to Jamworks Cafe – a haven for jam, sauce and relish lovers. You can grab a bite to eat or stock your pantry up with a range of different condiments made from local farm ingredients. Taste samples of different cheeses at Stanthorpe Cheese, like Thumlimbah, a smooth, buttery, hard cheese with a tangy aftertaste or Stanthorpe Pepper, a rich, crumbly and spicy cheese with peppercorns.
You can’t have cheese without wine! So head to Jester Hill Wines, where you and your pup will be greeted by Scooby-Doo and Major, the winery dogs. There’s fun for the whole family with an outdoor bocce court, large outdoor area, and winery animals to meet. Heritage Estate Wines, Ballandean Estate Wines and Summit Estate also welcome furry friends, so book in a visit with them.
Go on a dog-friendly walk at Donnelly’s Castle, where you and Fido can explore and walk over giant boulders. You can relax and enjoy the scenery with picnic tables and BBQ facilities. Afterwards, head to Eastern Colour to pick your own strawberries or apples (seasonal) and treat your pup to freshly picked fruit.
Looking for other fun road trips? Check out our guide to the best dog-friendly road trips from Sydney.