Local Escapes

Round Up The Pack, Here Are 13 Of The Best Dog-Friendly Stays Near Sydney

By Jessica Best
31st Jan 2020

Dogs are the best, period. However, we’re not going to lie, planning a last-minute getaway or road trip and trying to find epic accommodation that’s dog-friendly around Sydney, isn’t the easiest. 

That’s where we come in and, trust us, no matter what you’re looking for, we’ve found it. Think huge farms peppered with pooch-friendly farm animals and ample space for your doggo to run around. We’ve also got waterfront beauties for playful morning dips, secluded cottages with chew sticks galore and acres on acres of lawn for all the tail-chasing.

Here are all the absolute best dog-friendly stays near Sydney.

Around A One Hour Drive From Sydney

HamptonsShack 

Dangar Island

For something a little more laid-back, hit up HamptonsShack. Located on a private beach on the Hawkesbury, this little shed made of dreams features a mini-bar (stocked up with beer, wine and soft drinks) and an actual hot tub with views of the river. This site is gated as well so while you’re lapping it up in pure holiday-mode you can rest assured your pup won’t be running amok up the road.

Driving Time: 1 hour

The Boatshed

Dangar Island

This restored, waterfront cabin sends out all the rustic vibes you need for a no-frills getaway (maybe your dog won’t appreciate this, but at least you will). Ready for all kinds of weather, The Boatshed keeps air conditioning and electric blankets. You can also expect a number of vantage points including the upstairs balcony which overlooks the Hawkesbury and a large shady deck with deck chairs below it. You can also make the most of the jetty (in case fishing tickles your fancy), head over to Bradley’s beach or take to the water in one of the kayaks with your four-legged friend.

Driving Time: 1 hour

Eden Farm Escape

South Bilpin

Overlooking the Blue Mountains National Park, the Eden Farm Escape houses horses, pigs, goats, alpacas, miniature donkeys and more. Basically, you'll get the chance to feed a menagerie of little animals and totally disconnect for a short time. Plus, being a feature on this list,  it is 100 percent dog-friendly, so we’re absolutely cheering for that. Owned by the creative powerhouse team behind The Grumpy Baker, Michael Cthurmer and Deborah Goodman have been transforming this space into a haven for retreating and shutting yourself out from the distractions of the city. 

Offering five self-contained cabins, each place has a kitchen, Foxtel, Nespresso (because you know we can’t live without our caffeine-fix) and a fully-functioning fireplace. Of course, you won’t be spending much time indoors, because just to the right of the property is a waterhole, perfect for a dip. And if you’d rather experience the great outdoors, there are many trails and bush walks that wind around the picturesque property.

Driving Time: 1 hour and 30 minutes

Idyllic Waterfront Escape

Phegan’s Bay

This place has been built to champion its insane view (even Fido will love it). A fishing and boating paradise, you’ll have everything you need right at your fingertips and that includes a brand new set of kayaks to take out for a spin. Plus, there’s an internal courtyard in case your furry friend is craving a midday sunbake, a bespoke dog house and then a fresh herb garden (for you of course) to get your MasterChef on.

Driving Time: 1 hour and 30 minutes

The Greenhouse Retreat

Green Point

The Greenhouse is a mammoth place sporting five bedrooms, a studio, games room, gym, pool and yep, she’s a waterfront one too. Sure, this bad boy is dog-friendly but what you’re really here for is the killer sunsets. Santorini can stand down.

Driving Time: 1 hour and 30 minutes

Around A Two Hour Drive From Sydney

Laguna Sanctuary

Upper Colo

Laguna Sanctuary is the ultimate place to unwind. Tucked into mountains, the Balinese-inspired cottage bears a heated spa and epic views that overlook the freshwater lagoon. Maximise your s’mores roasting time over the open fire-pit, go fishing, read a book under the gazebo, take a bike ride, take your pooch out for a bushwalk or hit the lagoon for a morning dip.

Driving Time: 1 hour 45 minutes

Arabella

Kangaroo Valley

In NSW, there’s no denying we love a good tiny house. Arabella fits a maximum of four people and features a fully-operation kitchen and outdoor gas BBQ. There’s also a combustion heater inside for chilly evenings and air-con for scorcher-worthy nights. Located on a 140-acre property, this escape is surrounded by tall, dense bushland that’s home to Kangaroo Valley’s precious wildlife.. Will you see wombats, kookaburras and kangaroos in one day? Yes. While your furry friend is out chewing twigs, you can keep a close eye from the sanctuary of Arabella’s outdoor bathtub fully enclosed in a giant, glass cube.

Driving Time: 2 hours 

The Treehouse

Kangaroo Valley

If you’re looking to step up your usual getaway, this place is absolutely, undeniably for you. The Treehouse is suspended high amongst treetops and sleeps about seven guests. Up here, you’ll get to soak up the sounds of the river below, chill out in a sunken courtyard or zone out in a double bath. For this one, you’ll just need to notify the owners of your dog’s breed so they can approve it before your stay. More details can be found here.

Driving Time: 2 hours and 30 minutes

The Shed

Upper Kangaroo Valley

This one is lowkey one of the most beautiful Airbnb’s in NSW. When there’s a quiet country road that leads you all the way to a stunning farmyard property, you know you’ve hit a jackpot. The Shed is a  converted farm shed and has been transformed using a heap of recycled materials and you’ll be able to invite up to six other mates onto its grounds (plus any animal friends you’re keen to bring along). You’ll find spacious living areas, a wood-fired pizza oven that makes even the worst cooks somewhat impressive. And not to mention, it’s set on Kangaroo River (so yes, spontaneous dips are necessary).

Driving Time: 2 hours and 30 minutes

Around A Three Hour Drive

Lolita's

Jervis Bay

A place for all puppers and their humans, the recently renovated Lolita’s at Jervis Bay is located in the quiet town of Sanctuary Point, in amongst some of the best beaches in NSW. This three-bedroom beauty spans across two levels and sports all the open-plan living you could need for a weekend away. For you, there’s an upstairs balcony made for the ultimate sundowner sessions and for your fluffy mate, there’s a surrounding garden which means a whole lot of running around. If you’re thinking this stay can’t be topped (it can), you’ll also be a seriously short drive away from a bunch of dog-friendly beaches so old mate can live his best sandy life too.

Driving Time: 2 hours and 45 minutes

Barefoot Beach House

Culburra Beach

Two words: big backyard. We guarantee those words resonate with your little furry mate. Barefoot Beach House rests on the bay of the Shoalhaven River and it’s just a few minutes walk from the iconic and absolutely stunning Culburra Beach. From the garden, you can go kayaking, paddleboarding, start up the BBQ and throw a feast in the outdoor dining area (or even slip into the six-person spa). And yes, the yard here is fully secure for your dog to chase its tail in.

Driving Time: 2 hours and 40 minutes

Around A Four Hour Drive Or More

Billabong Cottage

Turmeil

Billabong Cottage is a little further away but she’s well worth the drive. You’ll be in complete seclusion here and yes, much like its name suggests, it’s situated right next to its own billabong. Surrounded by bush, this is any dog’s version of heaven with 25-acres of land right at its paws. There’s even a wildflower farm, a short trail through 9-acres of bush and two large organic veggie gardens so you can level up your feeds while you stay.

Driving Time: 4 hours

A-Frame

Scott’s Head

If you’re after a revival of all the best parts of your favourite childhood holiday, this 70s-inspired joint is for you. The A-Frame property is completely beachfront, north-facing and perched on top of a quiet headland with uninterrupted, panoramic views across the Mid North Coast. Sporting three bedrooms and one bathroom, this classic contains sloping ceilings, exposed beams, polished floors, narrow timber staircases and an insane stretch of grassy outdoor space to let your dog roam free (this site isn’t fenced so you’ll have to keep an eye on them).

Driving Time: 5 hours and 15 minutes

Prefer to rough it? Here are the best dog-friendly camping spots in NSW.

Image credit: Barefoot Beach House, HamptonsShack, The Boatshed, Eden Farm Escape, Idyllic Waterfront Escape, The Greenhouse Retreat, Laguna Sanctuary, Arabella, The Treehouse, The Shed, Lolita’s, Barefoot Beach House, Billabong Cottage, A-Frame

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