Top 5 dog-friendly camping areas on Australia’s east coast

Home Rule Campground

Home Rule Campground, Lyndon Sparrow

Finding dog-friendly camping areas can be a struggle. As most national parks and many holiday parks across the country don’t allow dogs, it can feel like your options are limited. But there are still plenty of great camping areas, with fantastic facilities, activities and views you can camp at with pets (and your family).

Coachwood camping area
Chichester State Forest, New South Wales

Hidden under Barrington Tops National Park is Chichester State Forest. You’ll find Coachwood camping area on the banks of the Telegherry River in the state forest, which makes the campsite attractive to families after some river-based fun – as well as the freedom to bring pets along for the trip. You’ll need to bring your own firewood and drinking water, and the campsite is inaccessible for two-wheel drives in wet weather.

Other dog-friendly camping areas in the Hunter Valley: Manning River camping area, Watagan Headquarters camping area, Lake Glenbawn camping area, Lake Liddell Recreation Area camping area, Lake St Clair camping area, Wharf Reserve camping area

Darlington Park camping area
Beaudesert, Queensland

One of the most popular camping areas on the Explore Australia website, Darlington Park was a shoe-in for this list due to its fantastic facilities, which make it perfect for families with pets. The camping area’s facilities range from a kiosk, to disabled access, to a playground and cricket ground for the kids, although you do need to bring your own drinking water.

Beaudesert is a great stopover point for drivers coming off the inland drive up from Melbourne, and is not too far from both Surfers Paradise and Brisbane. Darlington Park camping area is 25 kilometres south of Beaudesert via Kerry Road.

Other camping areas around Brisbane that welcome pets: Burgess Park camping area, Atkinson Dam Waterfront Caravan Park, Boonah Showground

Johanna Beach camping area

Johanna Beach camping area, Tourism Victoria

Johanna Beach camping area
Great Otway National Park, Victoria

Johanna Beach camping area is a free camping area just off the Great Ocean Road that allows dogs – so pretty much the perfect campsite. But a lot of other people think so too, so Johanna Beach is always crowded, and not recommended for campers searching for somewhere secluded and quiet.

The camping area is in Great Otway National Park, and is just behind the sand dunes at Johanna Beach, which is famous for its excellent surfing. The area offers plenty of sightseeing, as well as a plethora of walking tracks for the more active.

Other dog-friendly camping areas near the Great Ocean Road: Killarney Beach Camping Reserve, Queenscliff Recreation Reserve camping area, Skenes Creek Beachfront Caravan Park, Surfside Holiday Park

Loyalty Beach Campground and Fishing Lodge
Cape York, Queensland

You’ll find quite a few dog-friendly campsites on your way to the tip of Australia, but Loyalty Beach Campground has to be our pick of the bunch, from its excellent facilities to its prime beachfront location – although you’ll need to watch out for crocs.

Just 45 minutes from the tip of Cape York, this campsite has a prime location. The camping is spectacular, offering 500 metres of grassed beachfront sites where you can set up shop. The amenities at Loyalty Beach include everything from powered sites to hot showers, and pets are allowed under supervision.

Other camping areas in Cape York that welcome pets: Bramwell Station Tourist Park, Home Rule Rainforest Lodge camping area, Cullen Point camping area, Granite Gorge camping area, Musgrave Roadhouse

Mystery Bay Camp Ground (bush camping)
Mystery Bay, New South Wales

If the spectacular views from Mystery Bay Camp Ground weren’t enough to convince you to visit this campsite, the fact that your pet can come along and enjoy the view as well might be. Mystery Bay is situated on the South Coast of New South Wales between Narooma and Tilba Tilba.

While this is bush camping, so don’t expect too many amenities, Mystery Bay camping area can fit all sorts of rigs, and is shaded by gum trees. And if you ever get sick of sitting there and admiring the views, there are plenty of activities you can enjoy nearby, from fishing to swimming.

This is one of our favourite campsites.

Other dog-friendly camping areas on the south coast: Araluen Creek camping area, Danjera Dam camping area, Newtons Crossing camping area

What are your favourite dog-friendly camping areas?

  • Glynis Cole

    Inskip Point is the best dog-friendly beachside camping & caravan site we’ve found in over 12 months full time travelling. It’s just across the water from Fraser Island and the most wonderful cheap spot with fantastic views.

    • Explore Australia

      Hi Glynis, we’ve also heard great things about Inskip Point! We’ll have to add it to the list :)

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